Maintaining Impatiens Seed Quality

in HortScience
Authors: David Cross1 and Roger Styer1
View More View Less
  • 1 Pan American Seed Co., 728 Town Rd., West Chicago, IL 60185

Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana Hook.f.) flower seeds are believed to be sensitive to storage temperature and humidity conditions. A study was conducted to evaluate seed quality changes occurring during a 1-year period of storage under various temperature and humidity combinations. Four seed lots of `Super Elfin Red' and `Super Elfin White' impatiens were studied. Constant humidity treatments were obtained using saturated salt solutions; 15% relative humidity (RH) with LiCI, 25% RH with KAc, 33% RH with MgCl2, and 43% RH with K2CO3. Constant temperature treatments were 5, 15, and 22C. At 3-month intervals, replicate samples were sown in plug flats in the greenhouse. Seed quality was evaluated as the percentage of usable seedlings 21 days from sowing. Rapid deterioration of seed quality was seen under high temperature and high humidity storage conditions. Seeds became less sensitive to humidity at 5C. Conditions of 20% to 25% RH and 5C are recommended for impatiens seed storage.