How to Plant Busy Lizzy Seeds Outside

Updated April 17, 2017

Busy Lizzy is another name for impatiens, a popular, prolifically blooming annual. Direct-seeded into the garden, it grows into a compact, bushy plant that remains in bloom throughout the growing season.

Prepare the soil in the flower bed by adding compost or manure, and rake the surface until is even and smooth. Break up any large clumps to leave a fine-textured medium in which to plant the tiny seeds.

Pour the seeds into the salt shaker, the add enough sand to fill the shaker about two-thirds full. Cover the top of the shaker with your hand, and shake it until the seeds and sand are thoroughly mixed.

Sprinkle the sand and seeds over the prepared flower bed, covering the area in which you wish the flowers to grow. With your hand, gently press the seeds into the soil, leaving a lightly compacted surface.

Water the seeded area using a fine mist setting on a garden hose nozzle, or a watering can with a rosette attachment. Take care to avoid allowing the water to puddle or wash the seeds away.

Monitor the seeded area to ensure that the soil remains moist. If weeds emerge, cut them off at the soil line to avoid disturbing the germinating seeds. The seedlings should emerge in about two weeks. Thin the plants so that they are 12 inches apart.

After the seedlings have developed more than six true leaves (those that emerge after the first two seed leaves) , pinch them back to produce stocky seedlings. Continue to pinch them back until buds form.


Impatiens seeds need warm weather to germinate. Wait until after the last frost of the spring to plant them.


Impatiens are prone to root rot, so avoid over-watering the seedlings.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake or trowel
  • Busy Lizzie seeds (impatiens)
  • Fine sand
  • Empty salt shaker
  • Watering can with rosette attachment or hose with nozzle
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About the Author

Gretchen Maron has written content for journals, websites, newspapers, radio news and newsletters, ranging from the International Horn Society journal "Horn Call" and the Air America Radio website, to non-profit organization websites. A librarian for over 30 years and a professional writer since 1996, she's an experienced, knowledgeable researcher.