About Spotted Touch-me-not: The first written record of this native American species comes from Dr. Nicolaas Meerburgh's rare mid-eighteenth century botanical work Pictures of Rare Plants, in which he described and illustrated then little-known species of plants. The genus name "Impatiens" comes from the plant's "impatient" habit of forcibly expelling its seeds from their pods. The species name "capensis" comes from the mistaken idea that this plant originated near the southernmost tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope. Because of its legendary healing qualities, this plant has a prominent place in folk medicine as a treatment for poison ivy, bug bites, rashes, and other skin complaints.
Spotted Touch-me-not Germination: To break its dormancy this seed needs a period of cold moisture, a period of warm moisture, followed by another period of cold moisture. Mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 40-60 days, then move it to a 70-75 degrees F location for 40-60 days, followed by another 40-60 day period in the refrigerator before planting. To accomplish this naturally, simply plant the seed in late fall and wait until the second spring after planting for germination. In late fall or early spring, direct sow the treated seed on the surface of the soil and 18-24" apart in rich, moist soil. This seed needs light to germinate, and grows best in consistently moist soil and dappled shade.
Growing Spotted Touch-me-not Seeds: Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. While the seedlings are still developing, remove competing weeds. This plant self-sows and often forms large colonies in the wild.
Harvesting Spotted Touch-me-not: These blossoms do not perform well as cut flowers, and are best enjoyed in the garden.
Saving Spotted Touch-me-not Seeds: Because these ripe seed pods explode when touched, the seeds can be challenging to collect. Bagging the pods with small circles of fabric before they ripen can be an effective way to catch the seed. Alternatively, the entire plant can be repeatedly shaken over a container to cause the ripe pods to release the seeds. Clean the seeds as well as possible, then store them in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Spotted Touch-me-not Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Spotted Touch-me-not, Spotted Jewelweed, Wild Balsam, Wild-Touch-Me-Not, Wild Lady's Slipper, Snapweed Duration: Annual Bloom Time: Summer - Early Fall Height: 36-48 inches Spacing: 18-24 inches Light: Full Sun to Woodland Soil Moisture: Wet to Medium USDA Zone: 3a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 4,000 Produces a plant with serrated oval green leaves and 3/4" yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers heavily spotted with orange.