Impatiens is a wonderful annual to plant when you want color in shady to partially sunny areas. While you can go out and buy your plants, why would you when these are so easy to start at home.
The easiest way to begin is to start the seeds indoors. The first thing you need to do is to clean up the shallow container by which you are going to start your seeds. This means you will be sterilizing the container by placing it in a bucket of warm water and bleach. Allow it to soak for a few minutes and then scrub it. Once the container is clean, rinse it in clear water and set out to dry. Do not skip this step. Cleaning your new and old containers can prevent plant disease, which means you will be a more successful gardener.
Now that you have your container cleaned, the next step is to add the soil to your container. Since the plants will not be in the container very long, there really is no reason to add drainage material. Next, fill the container with an all-purpose potting soil. Water the soil at this point. You may wonder why you need to water at this point instead of later. The reason is the fact that the impatiens seeds will be planted very shallow. Watering thoroughly after planting will cause the seeds to sink.
Once the soil is completely damp, it is time to begin the seed planting process. To plant, open the seed packet and sprinkle the seeds on the soil’s surface. Gently push the seeds down so that they make contact with the soil. Top with 1/8 inch of soil and mist with water.
What you will need to do next is to create a little greenhouse. This is done by covering the top with clear plastic. Place the container in a location that receives some sunlight but not a lot. Exposing these seeds to sunlight will help with germination but there is a fine line when you are using a DIY greenhouse. Too much sun will cook your seeds and kill them.
While your seeds are in the DIY greenhouse, you will not need to worry about watering. After you begin to see little green dots, you will need to remove the clear plastic cover and begin to monitor the soil moisture.
Once the impatiens seedlings have two sets of true leaves, the next step is to move each of them to new containers. Continue to monitor the soil moisture. After your local frost free date has passed, plant your impatiens outside. To get the most out of your plants, make sure to space them so that they are 10 to 12 inches apart.