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Impatiens catatii

Impatiens catatii

Germinating the seeds

 


When to plant --
Plant your seeds when you receive them for best germination.

Getting started -- I recommend planting each seed in individual, small containers, but you may plant them all in a single container and transplant them a few months later.  Either way, use pots with drainage holes

 For soil, use a well draining mix that is high in organic matter.  A typical mix is 2 parts potting soil to 1 part perlite or coarse sand.  An alternate mix is 1 part perlite to 1 part coir fiber, with some slow-release fertilizer mixed in.

 Fill the pots with soil, and water it until uniformly moist (but not soggy). Place a seed on the surface and drip some water over the seed to settle it in.  Light helps the seeds germinate, so they should not be buried completely.

 Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the seeds always stay moist.  A plastic dome or bag may be used to maintain near-100% humidity, but leave it open a crack to allow some fresh air in.  You may need to drip a few drops of water over the seeds every day to keep the seeds moist.

 The ideal temperature for germination is between 65 to 75 degrees F (18-24C).  A little cooler at night is ok.  Avoid letting them get warmer than 77 F (25C) for prolonged periods.  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.

 The seeds need some light to germinate.  A fluorescent bulb kept 4 inches (10 cm) away provides the right amount of light.  Protect from direct sun. 

 They should start germinating in 3 to 6 weeks and continue for another few weeks.  Once they sprout, increase the ventilation a bit to avoid stem rot.  Continue keeping the soil surface moist though until they are a month old; then you may allow the soil surface to dry between waterings.  Give bright light but avoid giving direct sun until they are a few weeks old. 

Growing older plants...

Lighting --
The plant is happiest in filtered sun or bright shade.  Give it protection from strong afternoon sun.  Acclimate it to increased sun levels slowly to avoid burning.

Transplanting -- When your plants are 2-3 months old, you may gently transfer them to a larger pot.  For the first week after transplanting, shade from sun, and give no liquid fertilizer.

Watering -- Aim to keep the soil evenly moist most of the time (but not soggy). Avoid letting the soil dry out completely.  You may use a moisture meter probe to monitor the moisture level down in the root zone.

Climate --
It grows well for me between 60 and 75 degrees F (16-24C).  I have not grown it outside that temperature range, and recommend doing so with caution.  Some related Impatiens species resent temperatures that are consistently above 85 F (29C), especially if nights are warm.  It probably cannot survive freezing temperatures.

Fertilizing -- During periods of active growth, feed about every 2 months with a slow-release (pelleted or organic) fertilizer.  If your potting soil contains nutrients (check the package), your seedlings shouldn't need feeding the first 3 weeks.

Pests to watch for -- Watch for any bugs that affect your other indoor plants.

 Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

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