The Q&A Archives: New Guinea Impatiens Seeds

Question: Impatiens are the only annual that I have trouble starting from seeds. I only get a 40 to 50 percent germination rate. I start indoors, under four foot flourescent grow lights. I use Burpee seed starting formula, moisten it a day ahead, lay seeds on top, cover with a very thin layer of more formula, spray moisten that. Cover with clear plastic, set six inches from the light. The seeds are Tango Hybrid Impatiens, New Guinea type. Always from Burpee.

Answer: It sounds like you are doing everything right for average seed starting. The secret to New Guinea Impatiens seed is soil temperature. It germinates best at 75 to 78 degrees, and should be pressed into the soil rather than covered. Soil tends to be cooler than the surrounding room temperature, so you might wish to use a gentle bottom heat but be careful not to get the soil too warm as that will also stop germination. Good luck with your impatiens!

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