Garden balsam is a perennial, easy to grow from seed. It is also invasive and resistant to common garden pests. Its blooming period is late summer to early fall. This perennial is an attractive, low maintenance plant that will bring year-round beauty to your yard. This plant is very popular with many gardeners and makes a great addition to your perennial border.
Easy to grow from seed
The first step to grow garden balsam from seed is to select a seed variety. These plants can grow up to 18 inches tall and have double, bi-color flowers. They bloom for about six weeks before frost kills them. The seeds are easy to germinate and grow true to form, which means the plants will produce descendants that look like their parents. Many garden centers also sell generic garden balsam mixes, which are easily recognizable by their basic growth habit, flower shape and color. For example, the ‘Bush Mix’ cultivar is known for its compact growth habit and is a good choice for container gardens and borders.
Balsam seedlings should be planted outdoors when the soil is warm and no frost is forecast. They should be spaced 1 foot apart. They can also be transplanted to other locations. Pinching the seed heads after germination will cause them to spread their seedpods.
Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is a large annual plant native to the Himalayas. Although it was originally introduced to the Northern Hemisphere by humans, it is now considered an invasive plant in many areas. One way to control its spread is to cut or uproot it.
The invasive nature of garden balsam stems from its ability to rapidly spread and self-seed. The plant produces up to 800 seeds per plant and spreads quickly. It also replaces other plants, causing soil erosion. This is why it is important to keep garden balsam under control.
Balsam plants need consistent moisture throughout their growing season. If the weather is too dry, they will stop blooming. Water them when the top inch of soil feels dry, but don’t let them become waterlogged.
Intolerant of common garden pests
Garden pests can have a big impact on the overall health of your garden. It is crucial to protect your plants from harmful insects. Some common pests you can easily control include snails and slugs. They live in your soil and can damage your plants in large numbers. Slugs are soft-bodied pests that have coiled shells and gnaw large holes in stems and foliage. They can be especially damaging to seedlings. Slugs and snails can be easily controlled by securing plants with stone mulch and laying copper flashing at the edges of your garden bed.
Regardless of your growing season, there are a variety of insecticides that can be applied to your plants. However, you should avoid unnecessary application of insecticides, which disrupts natural control. You can also use a garden hose to spray your plants. Water spray is a powerful insecticide that can dislodge isolated populations of aphids and spider mites. Spider mites can damage most garden vegetables, especially tomato, cucumber, beans, and eggplant.
The blooming time of Garden Balsam depends on the season. It usually flowers in the summer or early fall. This perennial is easy to grow from seed. Seeds can be purchased or collected and will sprout in about four days when kept in moist soil at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The best time to plant them is six to eight weeks before the last frost date. Plant the seeds about a half inch deep in moist soil. Don’t completely cover them with soil because light will hasten germination.
Garden Balsam prefers to grow in a well-drained soil with a good drainage. Fertilize the plant every two weeks with a balanced flower fertilizer. The plant also requires watering and a thick layer of mulch to keep it moist.
Garden balsam care requires a little bit of attention, but it’s not impossible. It thrives in a wide variety of environments and tolerates a wide range of soils. However, it can still be attacked by a variety of insects and diseases. You should be aware of the common pests that can infect this plant, and learn how to control them.
Garden balsam care requirements include fertilization and pruning. It’s best to prune the plant when it reaches about 25 cm in height. Pinching is an effective pruning technique that removes the top buds and promotes re-germination of new branches. Thinning out too-dense branches on a regular basis also promotes even growth and better nutrient accumulation. After pruning, disinfect the wounds by spraying a solution of potassium permanganate. This prevents the plant from becoming infected with dirt from wounds.