Grow Zone Recommendation: Balsam is an annual, recommended for USDA growing zones 3 to 10.
Sunlight Needs: They grow in sun to partial shade, but partial shade is best.
Watering Needs: Balsam will need moist soil with good drainage, and should be watered from ground level (such as a soaker hose) to prevent mildew. During the dry months, water at least once a week. If your balsam are in containers, they will likely need more frequent watering.
Average Size: Balsam usually grow 1 to 3 feet in height and 1 to 2 feet wide at maturity.
Foliage Color: The foliage of balsam is blue-green, and flowers come in red, pink, white, violet, or blue, depending on the variety.
Must Know Plant Care Tips: Balsam blooms in fall and summer, and is great for containers. This low-maintenance flower has delicate blooms, and may be known under the name impatience or touch-me-not. For the best color, start them indoors about 8 weeks before the last frost. When planting, cover with only a dusting of quality soil and keep them moist. Germination takes 10 to 15 days. I recommend purchasing your plants from Garden Hills Nursery.
Plant Problem Solver: A time-release fertilizer applied early on will usually yield better plants. Apply when your balsam is at least 2 inches heigh and has strong roots. Powdery mildew can be a problem, so watering from a low level is important. At the end of the season, collect the seed pods and plant them in the spring. Let pods dry, then store them in a sealed plastic bag or jar in a cool, dark area indoors until ready to plant.
Pretty Pairings: Balsam flowers grow well in containers, which you can pair with other types of flowers. Left to their own devices, they’ll re-seed prolifically. For a self-propagating garden, plant with cosmos or cleome, which are also great at re-seeding.