Impatiens capensis (Spotted Touch-Me-Not) [15 Seeds]

$3.95

Germination Information: I have to be honest: If you can get your hands on a couple of young seedlings from someone already growing this plant, that’s by far the easiest way to go. Though it will readily self-sow, spotted touch-me-not can be challenging to start from seed, and I recommend these for only for experienced seed-starters.

The simplest approach is to sow them outdoors in fall or winter and look for seedlings the second spring. Or, you could try to speed up the process with an artificial cold-warm-cold cycle: sow in a pot of moist potting soil and put it in a plastic bag, then refrigerate it for 2 to 3 months, move it to a warm spot out of direct sun for 2 to 3 months, refrigerate it for another 2 to 3 months, and then move it back to warmth and light.

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Description

Spotted touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis), also known as jewelweed, offers an intriguing option for gardeners who appreciate the value of native plants. This annual can grow anywhere from 2 to 5 feet tall (evenly moist, nutrient-rich soil encourages the best growth), with brittle, juicy stems; small, light green to bluish green leaves; and intricate orange flowers marked with darker red spots. The blooms appear for months, from midsummer to frost, much to the delight of bees and hummingbirds.

The flowers develop into plump, shiny green seedpods that pop open at the slightest touch, or when fully mature, flinging the seeds a good distance away (and making them challenging to collect, by the way!). The plants can form good-sized patches over time this way, but it’s easy to pull out unwanted seedlings. Native to much of eastern North America. A site with partial to full shade and moist to wet soil is ideal. Annual.

Harvested in September and October 2020. Provenance is Milford Township, Bucks County, PA. At least 15 seeds.

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