As a kid, I remember fondly working with my mom each spring, early on before “winter” really ended, on planting impatient from seed. It’s such a simple process to grow impatiens from seed right at home. In this article, we’ll do a deep dive on how to grow your own impatien seeds and harvest them for next year!
Impatiens are a type of flowering plant belonging to the family of geraniums and are known for their bright and colorful flowers. The flowers come in many different colors and range from pink, white, and yellow to purple. They are easy to care for and require minimal maintenance. Impatiens are known for their ability to bloom continuously throughout the summer months with the right amount of sunlight and water. They also attract pollinators such as butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds and can be planted indoors or outdoors.
How to grow impatiens from seed indoors
Impatien seeds can be started indoors about eight weeks before the last expected frost date for your area. Plant the seeds in small pots filled with seed-starting potting soil and keep them warm and moist. Place the pots on a sunny windowsill or under grow lights. Impatien seeds are slow, typically taking about 2 weeks to germinate. If you don’t see them coming up right away, don’t fret! Keep the soil moist but not soggy and provide plenty of warmth and light to encourage germination. The seedlings will be ready to transplant outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.
Planting impatien seedlings outdoors
Impatiens can be planted outdoors in the spring when the temperature doesn’t drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) at night and the soil is warm. If you live in a warm climate, you can plant them earlier in the spring. If you live in a cooler climate, wait until the last frost date has passed. The best soil temperature for planting impatiens outdoors is between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit (18-24 degrees Celsius). Soil temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit may hinder root development and stunt the growth of your impatiens, so be patient when planting impatiens!
Harvesting impatien seeds for next year
The great thing about impatiens is that, although they are annuals that will only grow for one season, you can very easily harvest their seeds for next year. Here’s how to do it:
- Wait for the plants to die back. The plants will die back in fall or early winter.
- Cut the stems of the dead plants and shake them into a paper bag. This will collect the seeds that are ready to be harvested.
- Remove the seeds from the stems and spread them out on a paper towel to dry.
- Once the seeds are dry, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Storing impatien seeds for next year
The best type of container to store impatien seeds is a sealed glass jar. The glass will help to keep the seeds safe from moisture and pests, while also allowing for some air circulation. When using a glass jar, be sure to label it with the type of seed, date of collection and store in a cool, dry place. Impatien seeds will remain viable for 2 or more years when stored properly, but you get the best germination rate when they’re under 1 year old.