Video: Balsams: Types And Cultivation
According to the horoscope, the sign Leo (23 July - 23 August) corresponds to plants: Ethiopian zantedeskia (feces); hybrid calceolaria; Japanese camellia; gardenia jasmine; bashful mimosa; Pelargonium (geranium) royal; Chinese rose; amaranthus tailed (squid); balsam (touchy).
In the last 5-6 years, the interest of flower growers in this room culture has again somewhat renewed. Experts note that in the middle of the last century, the balsam, lovingly called "fire", was so popular that there was no home where it would not adorn the table or windowsill.
Some experts call East India the homeland of most types of balsam, others - Africa, but now it is extremely widespread in the tropics and subtropics of the African and Asian continents.
Over a long period (from the 19th century), when representatives of this tropical species entered the culture, there is some confusion with their names and taxonomy. Until recently, there were about 600 species (the Balsaminaceae family), of which no more than 15 were used in indoor floriculture. And more recently, the preference was given to growing only traditional species.
Now two more groups are added to them: hybrids of the first generation (low compact plants with a large number of orange or purple flowers, often double) and New Guinea hybrids. A distinctive feature of the latter is variegated or bronze-tinted leaves, usually slightly narrower and oblong than the leaves of the usual (traditional) "lights".
The branches of the hybrids of this group, as well as of the first generation hybrid balsamines, can be of a wide variety of colors (both monochromatic and variegated). And now there is a huge number of varieties and hybrids that differ greatly from each other in many characteristics (in terms of plant height, color, size and degree of doubleness of flowers).
The name of the genus Impatiens comes from the Latin "impazienza" - "impatience", "cannot bear (cannot withstand) pressure". We are talking about that "impatience" in which at the slightest touch, ripe fruits open and sprinkle seeds.
In our country, balsam has been nicknamed "touchy". For the ability to bloom almost all year round, the British nicknamed the balsam "Busy Lizzi" - Busy Lizzi. Sometimes it is called by the name of the genus - "impatiens".
The best place for a pot of balsam will be a well-lit windowsill, but the leaves must be protected from direct sunlight (otherwise there will be burns). He does not like drafts and will not grow well and bloom wonderfully in the shade.
In addition, with a lack of lighting, it quickly loses its decorative effect. Throughout the year, the most favorable is the usual room temperature (18 ° C and slightly higher), but not lower than 13 ° C, otherwise it will not bloom.
Balsam does not tolerate sudden changes in temperature and drafts, to which it responds with drying of the leaves. And at temperatures above 23 ° C, it is required to humidify the air. For winter time it is better to move it to a very bright, well-ventilated room.
In summer, the soil in the pot should be constantly moist (watering every other day), but without stagnant water in the pan, since the earthen lump should not stay in the water for a long time. In extreme heat, the plant is sprayed, preventing water from getting on the flowers.
From May to September, combined with watering, every two weeks the balsam is fed with an aqueous solution of complex fertilizer or organic matter. In winter, water sparingly, allowing the ground to dry out a little from the surface; be especially careful if the room temperature does not exceed 15 ° C, otherwise the root system will rot.
If the plant is kept in a too dry room in winter, then it can shed leaves and buds. To restore attractiveness in the spring, all bare stems are cut off.
Types of balsam
Until recently advantageously cultured balsams Waller (I. walleriana) and sultanovidny (I. sultanii). The first one has been in culture since the end of the 19th century; among our growers it has also earned the nickname "Vanka wet" (the leaves emit drops of liquid, which, when dry, resemble whitish grains). Its bush grows up to 45 cm in height.
It has alternate petiolate wide oval leaves (light green or bronze shade) 10 cm long, and erect fleshy stems are slightly red in color. Flowers (up to 4 cm in size) are single or several (with a small spur), located in the terminal or axillary inflorescences on long peduncles.
Now in indoor floriculture hybrids of Waller's balsam are especially common. Their flowers can be of a wide variety of colors - white, pink and orange - or even have a combination of any two.
Sultanovid balsam (I. sultanii) has green leaves and stems reaching a height of 30-60 cm. Its flowers can be bicolor with white stripes or a white center.
Balsams of Holst (I.holstii), Peters (I.petersiana), Hawker (I.hawkeri) and linear-leaved (I.linearifolia) are somewhat less common in the collections of amateurs. Balsam Canvas 50-55 cm high with green or brown leaves, reddish stems and large flowers (up to 5 cm in diameter) is used as a tapeworm.
Peters' balsam is interesting for its red-colored foliage (up to a purple-bronze color), reddish stems (50-60 cm high) and luxurious somewhat elongated red flowers on very long petioles. It grows up to 1 m in height. By pruning its bush, you can give any shape. Keep homes for indoor gardening as a tapeworm.
Especially rare in indoor floriculture niamniam balsam (I.niamniamensis). On long (up to 1 m) succulent stems, not only oblong leaves are formed, but also thinner shoots with a drooping flower in each leaf axil.
The flowers are of various colors (red, rose-red and yellow). Its greenish yellow or whitish petals are unattractive compared to the enlarged sepals, which form a kind of tube, ending in a spur of nectar.
In the retail network, there are numerous cultivars with flowers of the most exotic colors, but the purchased plant should not be with yellow foliage and with only a few flowers.
They choose a healthy bush - compact, with glossy (clean and fresh) leaves and an abundance of colorful flowers, or better - with a predominance of buds. With good care, such a plant can bloom continuously.
I also note that many of the sold (especially imported) varieties and species are very small (literally dwarf) in size: their height sometimes does not exceed 10 cm. It is quite possible that they are treated with special drugs - inhibitors that inhibit the development and growth of plants.
Reproduction of balsam
From April to October, balsam is easily propagated by cuttings (8-10 cm long) taken from a side branch. The lower leaves are removed, placed in water, peat or other soil substrate. This procedure is best performed at high humidity (at 18 … 20 ° C). Then the roots are formed after a few days, after which the cuttings are transplanted into separate pots (10-12 cm in diameter) in a soil mixture of fertile soil and peat, kept for 1-2 weeks in partial shade until they finally take root in a new place.
After rooting, the tops must be removed to stimulate branching. In the first year of keeping, the young plant is transplanted twice. Then it is advisable to reload it annually (at any time of the year, but preferably in early spring). Balsam cuttings can be planted in several pieces in one pot - for splendor. It blooms already in the year of rooting of cuttings.
Although it is a perennial plant, in regions with a temperate climate, many growers grow it as an annual, preferring to constantly renew - one- and two-year-old bushes look best.
Old large plants that have lost their decorative effect must be severely cut in the fall, otherwise, due to their active growth, it will become ugly, or be replaced with young ones. The cuts are used just for rooting and replacing old plants.
Sometimes adult balsam plants - Hawker and Valera - are left to winter in the room, but in early spring they are cuttings to get a young plant. It is impractical to propagate balsam seeds with seeds, since they do not always convey varietal characteristics (seeds are sown in January, necessarily providing additional lighting).
Diseases and pests of balsam
Balsam is very sensitive to pests. For this reason, it is necessary to regularly carry out preventive inspection of plants. Whitefly (a small white insect resembling a butterfly), if there is not much of it, is destroyed mechanically. With a high number of pests, the plant is treated with actellik (2 ml / l), adding soap to the solution for better adhesion.
Aphids usually settle in points of growth or on young leaves of the plant. If there are few of them, they can be removed with your fingers. If you do not fight this pest, it multiplies in large numbers and the shoots of the plant are deformed. With a high number of aphids, they are washed off with soapy water (20 g of liquid soap / l), adding actellic for better efficiency.
Gray rot (botrytis) is more often noted when the plant freezes or is mechanically damaged. As a rule, this fungus first infects the dead parts of the plant, and then goes on to living tissues, covering them with fluffy gray mycelium.
Experts recommend removing the affected parts, sprinkling the plant itself with a concentrated infusion of garlic (250 g of chopped garlic / l of water is kept for 5-6 days), diluted immediately before use in 1 liter of water. If this treatment does not help, then repeat 2-3 more times (after 7-8 days) or treat it with a suspension of the foundation.