Saturday, May 9, 2009

How to Propagate Impatiens Using Cuttings

I love impatiens and buy them every year to put into my garden. I start off with only a few of my favourite coloured ones, and then I propagate them all throughout the growing season. By the end of the growing season, I have a huge area covered with blooming impatiens, and it's beautiful! You can do this too. Here's how:
I waited about a week for my newly-planted impatiens to adjust to their new surroundings first. They are looking pretty settled now, so I searched for long side shoots to use.
Snip the long shoot off at the base, just below a node (where more leaves can grow from).
Keep your cuttings fresh in water so that they don't wilt while you collect more.
Once you have gathered all your impatien stem cuttings, gather your supplies. You will need some planting trays or small pots, potting soil, clear plastic bags, elastic bands or twist ties, and a small shovel or spoon. If desired, you can use rooting powder, but it is not necessary (I didn't end up using any).
Fill your planting trays with potting soil right to the top.Press down the soil lightly with your small shovel or spoon.
Make a hole with the back of the spoon or a pencil. I left room for two cuttings here, but you can plant more or less.
Take a stem cutting, and pinch off all the lower leaves. Also pinch off any flower buds. You want the plant to focus on growing roots instead of supporting flowers.
Place your cutting into the hole.
Use the back of the spoon or a pencil to push some soil towards the stem so that it is well-buried.
Add more cuttings to your tray until you have used up all your cuttings.
Water generously with low water pressure so that the soil is soaked thoroughly. Try not to splash the soil out of the container or to accidentally uproot your cuttings.
Leave trays to drain well.
Unlike the geraniums, don't put your impatiens into a plastic bag and seal it (to create the mini-greenhouse). I did that this morning, and they now look like this:
Aagghh! They're wilted!!! I think my mistake was putting them into a semi-sunny spot. The makeshift greenhouse heated up and the bags coated with moisture and collapsed onto the plants. It think the impatiens must hate the super wet and hot environment in the bag. So... don't put them into bags.

Luckily, I discovered this after only a few hours. I have now opened up the bags so the plants can breathe freely and it seems like they will recover.

If the impatien cuttings survive, they will be ready to transplant in 2 to 4 weeks.

You can also propagate impatien cuttings by planting them directly into the garden. Just make sure to water well every day so that the cuttings don't dry out. I have been able to successfully propagate most of my impatiens that way.

Impatien Propagation - Week Two
Impatien Propagation - Week Three
Happy Gardening!
How To Propagate Plants


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Sycamore Moon Studios said...

So happy that you posted this. We do impatiens every year and when they get leggy, we can now propogate them! (Just not in a bag!)

WindandHoney said...

Thanks for this helpful information. If the rain ever lets up I'll be able to get out in the garden and play. This will be good to know.

Anonymous said...

thanks for this it was the only thing i could find that could help with my bio project that didnt involve buying 374756465486 diff things and making chemical experiments to propogate these plants said...

Hi candycrazed1212!

Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you found this tutorial helpful.

It's really quite easy to propagate impatiens so I think you'll have no problem at all. I've been doing it all year and now my garden is covered with them! I'm so proud! Lol...

Anonymous said...

Hi. Your articles are really good. Like a good book unable to be put down. I am wondering if rooting hormone helps at all and if so where can you get it? said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for the compliment! :)

I found rooting hormone at Home Depot in the plants section. You can propagate Impatiens easily without rooting hormone though. You just need to keep them in a shady spot and water them well each day.

Good luck!

Crest said...

Hi, i tried using your method but my cuttings are wilting. I did one over the water that is doing well but the one on the soil is wilting? Why is that?