Old Fashioned Garden Balsam

Old Fashioned Garden Balsam
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Old Fashioned Garden BalsamGarden Balsam (Impatiens balsamina) is a native of India and is known for it's quick growth from seed to bloom. The annual blooms are slightly hidden by the dark green foliage, but both are pretty and charming. If given plenty of sun, rich soil and water it will spread out about 12 inches wide and it will grow to two foot tall.

Double Camellia Mix, which is easy to locate in seed catalogs, grows to about 10 inches tall and has a double bloom which is very pretty. The stems are thick and sturdy, so they won't need support.

You will find varieties in white, pink, rose, red, orange, lavender, purple as well as combinations of colors. Start your seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost if you'd like early blooms, but they can also be direct seeded in the soil when frost has passed.

Balsam transplants well, even when in bloom, which is a definite plus if you tend to plant too many and need to make room, as I have been known to do on occasion!

Though balsam has very short stemmed blooms that can't be used as traditional cut flowers, they can be cut and floated in glass bowls for a pretty summer accent. The blooms are similar to small open roses or camellias.

Though the bedding impatients, available in garden centers are far more popular, I think Garden Balsam is a lovely old fashioned plant that should be added to everyone's garden.

Image: Wikimedia.org


About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.


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