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How to Grow and Care for Balsam

Impatiens, Balsamina

Growing Balsam is easy.

Balsam is a Victorian garden favorite. It is a quick growing summer annual flower, with gardenia-like blooms. Continuous blooms grow on top of a bushy plant with glossy leaves. You will get blooms in about 60-70 days. Balsam is a member of the Impatiens family. Colors include shades of white, pink, rose, violet, and red. Balsam are native to Asia, North America, and South Africa. There are annual and perennial varieties.

Balsam are often grown in containers on balconies and terraces. Use large pots to provide plenty of space for them. Balsam also is a good bedding or edging plant.

Plant Height: 14" - 20"

Flowers Bloom: Long flowering, from summer through fall.

Plant Propagation:

Balsam are grown from seed. They can be directly seeded into your flower garden, or seeded indoors in trays or flats for transplanting later. Sow indoor starts about 6 weeks before the last frost. Keep soil moist while germinating.

Sow seeds early in the season, and cover with 1/8" of soil. Water thoroughly. It is important to keep the soil moist during the germination period.

Balsam will begin to produce a continuous, profusion of flowers by early to mid-summer, and all the way to frost.

Days to Germination: 10 - 15

How to Grow Balsam:

Balsam likes full to partial sun. Shade the plants from afternoon sun, especially in hot regions.

They prefer a rich, well drained soil. Space plants 12-18 inches apart. Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week. Don't allow the roots to remain wet. Add a general purpose fertilizer regularly for optimum growth.

Once established, Balsam will grow well and bloom continuously well into fall. Annual varieties are susceptible to frost.

Insect and Disease:

If insect or disease problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.

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