Impatiens – Re-seeding

Q: I have a neighbor with a garden full of impatiens, in varying colors, that re-bloom every year. They disappear in winter then come back in summer. He says that they re-seed themselves. I would appreciate any knowledge that you have.

A: Impatiens do indeed come back from their own seed each year. You’ll realize with experience that the seedlings don’t begin blooming until late May, which is why most folks plant blooming, nursery-grown impatiens plants in April. To get yearly re-seeding, leave the bed alone after winter kills the plants.

Buy and plant some impatiens now. Take note of the green pod left behind after a flower fades. If you touch the pod with any force, it will rapidly open, slinging seeds in all directions. This is why impatiens are sometimes called “Touch Me Not” plants. The seed pods are wonderfully fascinating to kids and adults alike!

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