Starting Impatiens - Knowledgebase Question

Charlton, MA
Question by RBerlyn
March 14, 1998
I started some Burpee new guinea impatiens in a starting mix under lights, temp. about 65-70, on Feb 10. As of today, March 15, they have not spouted. Any ideas what went wrong?


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Answer from NGA
March 14, 1998

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It is quite possible that you planted your impatiens too deeply. The seeds are very tiny and need to be sown on top of soil and not covered--light is necessary for germination. Maintain at a tmeperature of 70 - 75F; germination can take up to 3 weeks.

Generally, impatiens seed should be started indoors about 12 weeks before setting outdoors. On top of the potting soil put a shallow layer of vermiculite or milled sphagnum moss and sow the seed of top of this layer. Do not cover. By using this method you can prevent damping off. Water well and place in a plastic bag out of direct sunlight. Place under fluorescent lights as soon as you see the first sprout.

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