Alphabetical Plant Listing

Impatiens balsamina (Garden Balsam)

Balsam, Balsam Top Knots, Garden Balsam, Rose Balsam, Spotted Snapweed, Touch-me-not


Widely cultivated as an ornamental for its attractive flowers, Impatiens balsamina (Garden Balsam) is a frost-tender annual with erect, succulent stems bearing light green, elliptical to lanceolate, serrate leaves, 3.5 in. long (8 cm). Blooming for months from late spring until frost, vibrant cup-shaped flowers, 2 in. across (5 cm), single or double, come in various shades of white, pink, red, and can be bicolor. Attractive to bees and other insects as well as nectar-feeding birds, the blossoms give way to explosively-dehiscent capsules. Seeds are dispersed when they are ejected from the capsule. Native to India and Myanmar, Garden Balsam prefers a moist environment and has a low tolerance for drought conditions. Pest and disease free, balsam plants are quite easy to grow and require little maintenance to keep them blooming all season long. The flowers and leaves are often used across Asia for dyeing women hair, nails, hands and feet. The stems, leaves and oil of the seeds are used in traditional Asian medicine for promoting blood circulation and for relieving pain and sore throats

  • Grows up to 6-30 in. tall (15-75 cm) and 6-12 in. wide (15-30 cm). Will self-seed in the garden in ideal growing conditions.
  • Performs best in full sun to part shade in organically rich, moist but well-drained soil. Protect from strong afternoon sun and keep the soil consistently moist throughout the growing season. Mulch around the plant to keep the roots cool and retain soil moisture.
  • Good candidate for beds and borders, cottage gardens, coastal gardens or containers.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • Pinch back the stems to create stronger and fuller growth.
  • Propagate by seed.
  • Native to India and Myanmar.
  • Garden Balsam spreads by seed and also vegetatively by stem fragments and can form dense colonies. It is thought to be invasive to many tropical and subtropical islands in Oceania and the Caribbean as well as Costa Rica, Peru, the Galapagos Islands, the Philippines and parts of India.

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Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 11
Heat Zones 1 – 11
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Annuals
Plant Family Impatiens
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 6" – 3' (15cm – 90cm)
Spread 6" – 1' (15cm – 30cm)
Spacing 6" – 12" (15cm – 30cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage

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Alohapatty, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 11
Heat Zones 1 – 11
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Annuals
Plant Family Impatiens
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 6" – 3' (15cm – 90cm)
Spread 6" – 1' (15cm – 30cm)
Spacing 6" – 12" (15cm – 30cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage

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