Ask a Question forum: Hard to germinate seeds, Impatiens capensis, "spotted touch-me-nots"

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Name: Eric
North Georgia, USA (Zone 7b)
Region: Georgia Garden Ideas: Level 1
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CommonCents
Mar 9, 2016 11:50 AM CST
AKA "Jewel weed."

I know, it's a weed. It grows wild down by the creek across the road. Still, I'd like to start some in containers. I gathered some seeds last year. These seeds seem impossible to germinate, though the areas where it grows wild seem to reseed naturally.

I'll be dumb enough to ask: what's the trick to germinating and raising these things in containers?
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Mar 9, 2016 12:08 PM CST
They are a pretty plant and deserve a place in the garden.

They are a double-dormancy seed that requires a cold, moist period followed by a warm, moist period and another period of cold, moist.
So roughly 60 to 90 days of cold, moist; then a warm, moist period at about 80 F for 60-90 days; then back to the cold, moist...or you can just chuck the seeds at some soil in pots outside and leave them alone for 2 years and they'll germinate to the best of their ability.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Eric
North Georgia, USA (Zone 7b)
Region: Georgia Garden Ideas: Level 1
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CommonCents
Mar 9, 2016 1:11 PM CST
I was afraid that was the answer. I saw that in a couple of places online.

I was sort of hoping someone had a workaround. Something like soaking in balsamic vinegar, plant in a mixture of coconut coire and composted wolfsbane blooms, sprinkle with holy water, or something to get them to germinate quicker.

I should have done 6 or 8 weeks in the mini-fridge, 6 or 8 weeks in the heated "tropical room", and another 6 or 8 weeks in the mini-fridge after I harvested the seeds. I'd be almost ready to set them out now for final germination if I tried that.

Now I've already wasted one winter cycle when I could have had them outside in a pot Confused Crying Sighing!
[Last edited by CommonCents - Mar 9, 2016 1:18 PM (+)]
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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Mar 9, 2016 1:51 PM CST
I love Jewelweed. I had it all over the place behind the back fence. I hope I still do, but the electric utility came around and cut all the trees and vegetation along their power lines. In doing so, they trampled and covered a lot of things. I'll have to wait and see what happens.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Mar 9, 2016 2:30 PM CST
Eric, could you just dig up a clump of the seedlings this spring, plant them, and then let them do their own thing after that? We have a pretty big patch of jewelweed near the edge of the woods and I want to put some of that in my shady garden; my original plan was to collect some seeds and scatter them where I want them to grow, but I didn't catch them at the right time -- so as soon as they start popping up I'm going to move some to the garden.
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Name: Eric
North Georgia, USA (Zone 7b)
Region: Georgia Garden Ideas: Level 1
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CommonCents
Mar 9, 2016 3:37 PM CST
I was also considering digging some up and moving them.

They are across the road, on a neighbor's property. I'll call them later on and see if they are OK with me gathering some wild plants and flowers from along the creek.

I also need to make sure I don't go on a day when they are turkey hunting. Turkey season starts soon, and I haven't seen any jewelweed yet.

What time of the year/month is it, or what soil temp is it when the jewel weed sprouts? I'm in north Georgia, a bit north of half way between Atlanta and the Tennessee state line. Or when does jewel weed sprout relative to Daffodils, Irises, or Dogwoods blooming?
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Mar 9, 2016 4:56 PM CST
I would expect them to come up for you anytime now. Seedlings are surprisingly frost hardy, and should come up before your last frost date. That is, if they act the same as they do in Minnesota.

The probable work around for seed is to gather them fresh and plant immediately (within days). Most impatiens that are native to temperate (non-tropical) climates will only need one cold treatment if fresh sown. This includes I. capensis. But if seeds dry, some will die, and those that don't will need the double temperature cycle.
Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
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Danita
Mar 9, 2016 5:19 PM CST
If you transplant some, get them while they are still really small (seedlings) and take a lot of attached soil with them. Basically, shovel them up and then replant them in a hole that is shaped the same as that shovel of soil. They don't like to be transplanted and when larger they will usually croak.

Also, they are susceptible to the Impatiens Downy Mildew that is taking out the related bedding plant, Impatiens walleriana.
Sadly, we have the Impatiens Downy Mildew here so I don't have any Impatiens capensis.

Hummingbirds adore them! Smiling

Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
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SongofJoy
Mar 9, 2016 6:09 PM CST
So true. They don't like being transplanted at all.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Eric
North Georgia, USA (Zone 7b)
Region: Georgia Garden Ideas: Level 1
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CommonCents
Mar 9, 2016 6:17 PM CST
So, I probably need to go out tomorrow or this weekend, and look where I saw the jewel weed last year, and see if I can find a patch of seedlings that look like this:



Dig some of those up and plant them in my garden, or in containers ASAP.

Got it!
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Mar 9, 2016 6:22 PM CST
So true. They don't like being transplanted at all.





The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Mar 10, 2016 3:15 PM CST
Probably best to wait until they they get their first set of true leaves:
Thumb of 2016-03-10/Leftwood/acab21

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Mar 10, 2016 4:27 PM CST
I actually think the smaller ones might do better -- but I haven't tried it yet (either way), so I'll find out this spring. There are always plenty of seedlings for me to experiment with! Smiling
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Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Mar 10, 2016 6:51 PM CST
Would love to here your results! I've transplanted at the first true leaf set and 3 sets (they grow fast), but never that small, so I can't be sure.
---
I should also have said that the seedlings in my photo are a different Impatiens species, from the Himalayas, in case anyone thought they looked a little funny for I. capensis.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Mar 10, 2016 7:23 PM CST
Rick, I will try my best to revisit this thread with my results!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
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