Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Speedy Impatiens

I grew impatiens (Super Elfin Mix) from seed this year, for the first time in my life. Definitely easy for beginners. Now, some of the plants have flower buds.

Super Elfin Mix is a great variety of impatien. I bought some as bedding plants last year and grew them in a large container in the shade. They don't need any pinching or special treatment, though they do seem to need well-draining soil, as some of the seedlings in pure peat got "wet feet" then wilted and died. I've potted them into bigger pots, using potting mix to which I've added an extra bag of perlite.

African Daisies: These Osteospermum sinuata "African Sun" (Dimorphotheca aurantiaca) are flourishing. I find it curious that Thompson & Morgan sells these seed to Canada and the US as Osteospermum sinuata and to Europe as Dimorphotheca aurantiaca (AND with the same picture). I read on another garden blog about these plants being renamed, with Dimorphotheca being the most recent designation -- and something T&M should fix for us keen North Americans.

A hybrid "Sweet Gold" cherry tomato: I go to sleep with visions of these tomatoes in a large container, surrounded by a lush collection of herbs. Stay tuned to see if dreams really do come true...

I found these at Dutch Growers in Saskatoon: clear orchid pots, which are ideal for monitoring root growth.

One of my orchids doesn't flower very often (Dendrobium nobile), but will vegetatively propagate itself at a rate that makes me give orchids away like unwanted zucchinis. If I underwatered and neglected this orchid more (at the appropriate time of year), it would probably flower more often for me. At any rate, I needed some proper pots for all the baby plants, so these are great.

Rosemary as a basement-grown herb. It grows well indoors and tasted fabulous on roast chicken and potatoes yesterday.


Amy said...

Your seeedlings look amazing! So healthy and big. I grew impatiens from seed once a few years ago and they were easy even for me :) I should try them again sometime.

easygardener said...

Your indoor lighting system is very impressive and you've obviously fine tuned it to cover every eventuality.
I think the plants will be sorry to leave such a cosy spot.

Hope the fritillarias succeed.

George Africa said...

I always have trouble getting into indoor seed planting but with so much snow on the ground and more on the way, I'm encouraged to change my thoughts. Your rosemary reminds me of 25 years ago when we grew over 50 herb varieties to sell at the local farmers market. Rosemary was always a top seller. We're moving our nursery to a more visible location in the next month and are getting back into the herb business as part of the move. We'll keep you posted.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener

Di DeCaire said...

Fantastic seedlings. You should have a great garden this year.

Clayton said...

What encouraging pictures! I have been busy this morning catching up on some of my "web" duties and have not even been down to my plant room. Some of the seeds I have planted are Viscaria oculata, Nemophila maculata, Aquilegia flabelata, A. variegata (both from Poland source) and also Malope and California Poppy.

As I write, the sky has grown cloudy and the snow has begun to fall!

Esther Montgomery said...


I am new to Blotanical and am wandering round the sites.

Basil. That's the herb for tomatoes! (Almost compulsory!)

Esther Montgomery

Breanne said...

wow - your plants look great...especially the impatiens and the tomato! I've been to Dutch Growers in Saskatoon, and it is a pretty awesome store...I always have a hard time finding the more specific gardening items I need in Feb/Mar since most of the nurseries aren't open yet here.

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