Asia and Africa, but growing in almost every corner of the world. In the genus of several hundred species there are annual and perennial, two-meter and very small plants.
With all the differences in appearance and habitat, balsamines, as in the photo, bloom beautifully, therefore, as ornamental plants are grown in gardens and on home window sills.
However, only a few have been able to become truly popular among domesticated species in Russia. This is a balsam garden, Waller balsam, suitable for indoor and garden cultivation, as well as gaining all new fans New Guinea balsams with unusually large colors of bright colors.
Garden Balsam( Impatiens balsamina)
This type of balsam can be considered the oldest cultivated. Descriptions and first small-sized images, from 25 to 70 cm in height, of annual plants literally plastered with simple or double flowers, appeared as early as the 17th century.
Travelers who visited the mysterious China, India and other countries of the region far from Europe could not get past the specimens with white, pink, red or purple flowers. Therefore, soon garden, especially terry balsamine appeared in the flower beds and greenhouses in France, Italy, Holland and Great Britain.
One-year-old culture is easy to recognize:
- is strong, with distinct nodes of succulent stems;
- on lanceolate, with serrate edges of petiolate leaves, densely covering shoots;
- irregular ornamental flowers located in the leaf axils.
Stems garden balsam, as in the photo, branch, which allows to obtain a dense crown, from June to September, strewn with flowers of various colors and shades.
After completion of flowering, juicy boxes with brown rounded seeds appear on the plants. Like many other types of balsamines in the touch of the garden, the contents of the box instantly flutters a few meters around, you just touch the fruit, or the plants come in contact with a gust of wind.
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In the conditions of subtropics, in the homeland of the culture, this feature helps the balsam to quickly settle. But in the middle lane, the thermophilic plant does not tolerate cold, so the balsams of this type are planted in the garden only after the end of the frost pores. Garden impatiens will decorate the room as well, but additional humidification of air is likely to be required here.
Garden balsam varieties are not so numerous, and most of them are of European origin and obtained quite a long time ago. Breeders bred plants with flowers of different colors, in shape and structure resembling garden roses, camellias and carnations.
When choosing a variety for planting a curb or flower bed, it should be noted that the garden can have a height of up to 70 different heights. For example, plants from the Camellia Flowered group are rather tall, and the main number of flowers is concentrated in the upper part of the shoots.
To get an original color spot or a border of posad it is better to choose dwarf subspecies. An example is the popular balsam Tom Thumb pictured in the photo.
Balsam Tom Thumbus plants do not exceed 25 cm, they are rich in color and long flowering. Terry flowers, replacing each other, open from June to mid-autumn, as long as the air temperature allows.
Balsam Waller( Impatiens walleriana)
Balsam Waller, the most common on Russian windows, as well as used for seasonal street gardening, has many names. Since the discovery of the plant in the middle of the XIX century, it was called Impatiens sultanii in honor of the ruler of Zanzibar, the homeland of this decorative culture.
For many years, Russian flower growers are well acquainted with this species under the slightly familiar name of the balsam Vanka Wet or under the popular name “light” for the brightness of flowers that are burning in a bush. Because of the love of water and the multicolor balsam, they also call it “water fuchsia”.
In contrast to the garden brother, Walser's Balsam is a perennial plant of a very small size. In room conditions, the culture gives a compact branching bush up to 30–40 cm high. Under room conditions, the plants are higher than in the garden, and with regular nipping, they bush well and do not lose decorativeness for several years.
In the garden, Waller's balsams are somewhat lower, they can grow and bloom only in the summer months in the absence of devastating frosts. In the ground culture is planted in seedlings, and flowering begins 50–70 days after transplanting to a permanent place.
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This species is distinguished by single flowers that have a flattened shape and a lot of colors. Plants prefer the places closed from drafts in a penumbra. The sun makes the flower color more dull, and the wind can easily break fragile shoots at the nodes.
Caught in the hands of breeders, the culture gave a lot of spectacular, as a photo, popular varieties of balsam. The gamma and variety of flowers brought out is simply amazing, but with all the zeal the botanists cannot get plants with flowers of yellow and blue. The varieties and hybrids of Waller's balsam are combined into groups of closely-shaped corolla, flowering periods, and other external signs of plants. This is done for ease of classification and gardeners convenience.
For example, the extensive group of hybrid balsams Impreza is 15–20 cm tall plants with strong stems, short internodes and excellent ability to form side shoots. The series includes plants with crimson, purple and carmine, simple flowers. As well as specimens with original white or slightly pink crowns, decorated with a bright red spot in the center.
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Today, the most popular varieties of balsamines with lush terry flowers. Large corollas make the plant more decorative and attractive.
In addition to the varieties with upright shoots, flower growers are offered ampelous impatiens balsams, which grow well in hanging baskets and pots, suitable for decorating not only interiors, but also open terraces in a country house.
In the open air, Waller's balsams bloom during the summer season; indoors, bud formation continues all the time, but only when maintaining a relatively low temperature within 16–19 ° C.
Balsam Hockey( Impatiens hawkeri)
This species of balsamine in the wild grows in New Guinea and in the Solomon Islands. According to external signs, it is very similar to Waller's balsam, but the flowers in this case are larger, richer in color, and the plants themselves are more enduring.
Wild species found in 1884 were not widely used as ornamental plants in Europe or other countries, but became the basis for large-scale breeding work.
Impatiens Neuguinea Balsam(
) In 1972 the world of florists was introduced to a group of hybrid balsamines, named after the native land of their wild ancestors. New Guinea balsams were bred by interspecific crossing, one hundred allowed to achieve:
- high resistance of plants to drought;
- larger colors;
- color gamut extensions;
- receiving variegated varieties.
Like Waller's Balsam, new hybrid plants in room conditions are decorative perennials. They are distinguished by a dense, well-branching crown, large, up to 6 cm in diameter, continuously formed flowers and unpretentious care. In open ground, the culture does not tolerate the winter, so it is grown as an annual.
New Guinea balsams are the leaders among related species by corolla size, but form mainly simple or semi-double flowers. Terry balsamines are rare in this case.
Video about the unusual plant balsamine