Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Answer is Balsam ....... or Touch Me Not ....or Rose Balsam, take your pick or pop!!

Balsam (Balsminaceae impatiens) is a wonderful flowering annual, that fills my garden with delicate little blooms, just when it needs a lift. I am not sure when I originally planted the seeds, I am betting they were in some kind of wildflower seed packet to attract butterflies.  That was many years ago, and since then I have these happy little flowers pop up everywhere mid to late summer.

Balsam requires 60 to 70 warm days from sowing to produce flowers, so if starting from seed start early and be patient. I am way beyond that scenario, I have continuously blooming plants all season long since the plants after blooming produce seed pods that pop open at the slightest touch. In fact that is the common name, Touch Me Not.  My grand babies love to play with pods, thus resulting n more spreading of the flower.

Another name given this flower is  Rose Balsam, since the flowers resemble mini-roses or camellias. The colors range from white to pink to rose to deep red. The blossoms are tucked under the whorls of leaves.

I have not had any problem growing these cuties any where. But supposedly they like well drained, nicely composed soil in partial shade.  These guys spread easily but pull out just as easily.

I hope you will try this old fashion annual that my mother loved. Just a word to the wise, once you have them they will start popping up all over.

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