Houseplants Published: September 16, 2012 Reprinted: Last edits:
I was already the happy owner of a large collection of home flowers, including exotic ones, when I got balsams. And, despite their outward simplicity, these flowers have become my favorites for a long time.
But what can I say, after the appearance of my first balsam, 5 years have passed, and his descendants still decorate my house with flowers and give cuttings for new bushes every year.
If you want to give someone a flowering plant, opt for balsam. There are a great many varieties of this flower. Some are grown exclusively outdoors - they are garden balsams, and some are houseplants.
Different subspecies of balsam differ from each other in the shape of flowers, leaves and even the structure of the plant. In nature, there are about 600 different types of balsams, but they all have common characteristics.
Firstly, the need for moisture. It is better to overmoisten balsams than to forget to water. For this they received the funny nickname "Wet Roly". However, stagnation of water in the roots is undesirable even for balsam.
Secondly, these plants flower best in small pots. If you plant a balsam in a large flowerpot, it will spend all its energy on growth and tillering, and you will have to wait a long time for flowering, and it is for the sake of flowers that you purchased the balsam.
Thirdly, balsams are easily propagated both by cuttings and seeds. Indoor species are generally easier and faster to grow from cuttings, though.
Well fourthly, balsams are very susceptible to various diseases and require special attention to the leaves, otherwise, due to one damaged shoot, which you did not see in time, the whole plant will die very quickly. And even if you manage to save the balsam, it can lose its decorative effect forever.
And now about the features of caring for balsam in more detail.
Caring for balsam at home
Moisture and partial shade - that's what balsam needs to feel good. He cheerfully tolerates the sun, but it is best to place this flower on windowsills facing east or southeast.
However, I have it blooming wonderfully on the windows that face the west, because the room is very light and large, and my family loves to spend evenings in it, which means that in the evenings it is always light too. In another room, on the southern windows, my balsams began to wither and dry in the summer from the sweltering heat.
Do not spare the water! Watering is the most important of the agrotechnical requirements for caring for balsams. At first I watered my first flower, like other plants - as the substrate dries up. But my balsam somehow quickly wilted, the leaves wither, and the flowers and buds crumbled. Fortunately, I quickly realized what was the reason, and began to water it more intensively. In the summer I water the indoor balsam every other day, in the winter once every 3 days or 2 times a week. In addition, I began to water it so abundantly that some of the water was poured into the pan. I didn’t pour water out of the tray, and the next day it wasn’t there! The eternally thirsty balsam drank during the night and what he could not drink during the day.
In my experience, the balsam flower is best planted in a pot that has a deep enough base. Water it abundantly so that some of the water ends up in the pan. And unlike other plants, I do not completely drain this water. On the second day, balsam already absorbs it from below.
If you have allowed the flower to wilt, try watering it abundantly. It happens that after a few hours the flower comes to life, and nevertheless such tests greatly weaken the plant. It is not necessary to allow the substrate to dry, the earthen lump should be moist. But the stagnation of excess water is dangerous because sciarids - tiny flying midges - will start in the ground.
Soil and top dressing
I use a regular lightweight flowering medium. Heavy soil, rich in minerals and nitrogenous compounds, will lead to the fact that there are many leaves, but few flowers, the plant may not bloom at all.
As for the filling of the flowerpot, there should not be a lot of soil, otherwise the plant will be late with flowering, "mastering the territory". Too large a pot of soil will cause the young homemade balsam to grow into a bush, and he will not have time for flowers. For full bloom, balsam needs a small pot and a moderate amount of soil. Its roots should fill the flowerpot. If I want to get a beautiful bouquet on the windowsill, then I plant 2 balsam cuttings with flowers of different colors in one wide flowerpot. They get along well.
For flowering, balsam needs feeding twice a month.
Balsams are recommended to be transplanted once a year - in the spring. After transplanting, the plant rejuvenates, gives new shoots, blooms better.
But I transplant balsam 2 times a year: in spring and autumn. At the end of summer, balsams often have shoots stretching out, losing leaves. And even after hot days, they are easily affected by diseases.
It is also obligatory to transplant balsam after purchase into a permanent pot.
If you love homemade balsams, you will probably want to multiply them. I propagate balsams by cuttings. I cut the healthiest and most beautiful shoots and put them in water, and the cutting must be deeply immersed in liquid, otherwise it will dry out.
I usually cut a few cuttings - just in case, so that at least one will take root, but, as a rule, they all take root well, and then I distribute the seedlings to friends. Once upon a time I enriched myself with several copies of balsam, carefully cutting cuttings from plants at a local agrobiostation and rooting them.
Balsam can also be propagated by seeds, which must be sown in moist soil and covered with a transparent film to create a greenhouse effect and retain the moisture needed by these flowers. Garden balsams are usually grown from seeds, or rather, they themselves miraculously multiply by self-sowing.
The name "balsam" (Impatiencs Balsamina) translates as "touchy", "cannot bear touch." This is due to the fact that balsam seed boxes burst even from a slight push.
And the balsam plant is also called "fire" for its bright flowers. They come in red, pink, purple and white.
Balsam is susceptible to the same diseases as most houseplants. But he is especially afraid of the spider mite, which appears due to too dry air. Conclusion: humidify the air and carry out a comprehensive treatment of the plant.
Due to excessive moisture in the soil, sciarids can start. In this case, it is better to transplant the plant and observe the watering regime more pedantic.
Often, balsams at home begin to dry, curl and fall off the leaves. This can be due to a lack of light or heat, or if the flower becomes cramped in an old pot. Then you need to eliminate the shortcomings of caring for homemade balsam or transplant it into a larger pot.
- Indoor Plants Information
Sections: Houseplants Beautiful flowering Plants on B Balsamic
This is what indoor balsam looks like — the photos were taken during the period of abundant flowering.
Annual representatives are grown in the open field. The care requirements will be the same.
Both types of plants can bloom as inflorescences and single flowers, the petals of which have a characteristic bright color: snow white, matte pink, scarlet, bright orange (fiery) and others.
The beauty of flowers in an unusual petal shape:
- freely located
- fused in pairs
- the presence of one petal elongated into the spur in the inflorescence
- multicolor color: pink-burgundy, yellow-purple, white-purple and other shades
- small white bud, opening with large, bright and rich petals.
The perennial species blooms profusely practically all year round. But only if the balsamic care at home was correct - the photo shows healthy plants from both subspecies. If an annual representative of the family is grown in a pot, then he will delight with large flowers in the summer. With good care, the flowering period is extended by 1-1.5.
Features of growing indoor balsam
Despite the large number of varieties of this plant, all varieties have similar cultivation characteristics.
1. "Vanka wet" loves moisture. Waterlogging is not as terrible for him as drought. Rare watering has a detrimental effect on the plant. Still, don't make a swamp in a flowerpot.
2. Balsam does not tolerate heavy soil and moisture stagnation at the roots. The presence of drainage holes reduces the risk of root rot.
3. Grow a flower in a cramped pot, otherwise it will use all the forces not to form roots. Flowering will have to wait for a long time.
4. Indoor balsam propagates well by cuttings. Rooting takes place quickly.
5. The plant is often affected by pests and diseases, requires careful examination. Diseases develop quickly and the flower may die.
Balsam (light): home care
When caring for balsam at home, you need to focus on the season of the year:
|Factor||Spring Summer||Autumn winter|
|Location / lighting||Flowers prefer partial shade, so they are placed on the east, south-east or west side of the house.||The daylight hours are increased by using fluorescent lamps.|
|Temperature||+ 18 ... + 22 ° С. At higher rates, air humidity is increased.||+ 10 ... + 16 ° С. The plant is moved away from the window to prevent it from freezing.|
|Humidity||Level 65-70%. Systematic spraying is carried out.||The level is 60-65%. Placed away from heating appliances and sprayed from a spray bottle.|
|Watering||Once every 2-3 days.||Twice a week.|
|Top dressing||Once every 14 days. Potassium-phosphorus agents are used.||Fertilizers are not used.|
Transferring to a new pot, soil for the fire
Balsam transplant is performed 1-2 times a year. The optimal time is spring.
The procedure is carried out 14 days after the purchase of the plant, or at any time when it was noticed that the root system is peeping through the drainage holes or pests are found. The pot is selected 1.5-2 cm larger than the old one.
A prerequisite for transplanting is considered to be the laying of a drainage layer consisting of stones, expanded clay and sand. Next, add 1.5-2 cm of earth.
The flower is placed in the center of a new pot, and the empty space is densely covered with soil. Water abundantly and leave in partial shade for 7-14 days.
The soil for transplanting is purchased in a store or made independently, for this, the following components are taken in the same amount:
- turf land
Twinkle is a flower that is propagated by seeds and cuttings.
The first variant of planting material is used all year round, the main thing is to adhere to the germination plan:
- The seeds are kept in a light solution of potassium permanganate for 10 minutes.
- The soil is mixed from perlite and peat in a 1: 2 ratio.
- The planting material is buried by 7 cm and the soil is moistened, the container is covered with a film, creating conditions there at + 20 ... + 25 ° С.
- The first shoots appear in 8-10 days.
- The ground is occasionally ventilated.
- When the seedlings grow to 1.5-2 cm, they dive.
- After the emergence of one true leaf, the flowers are transplanted into separate pots.
This sequence must be fully respected, otherwise plant death can be provoked.
Cutting is considered a more popular breeding method, since the process is simpler, and all species characteristics are fully preserved.
The procedure is performed according to the following plan:
- In the warm season, cut off the top of the shoot 7 cm long.Each cuttings have 2-3 internodes. The lower foliage is removed.
- The shoot is placed in a container with water and the formation of the rhizome is awaited.
- The soil is taken the same as in the seed propagation method.
- After the roots appear, the cuttings are planted in different pots. Top them are covered with cans.
- After 14 days, rooting is observed, and after a few months the shrub begins to bloom.
Experienced growers plant balsam shoots directly into the soil, after pretreating the plants with means to accelerate the formation of the root system (Kornevin).
Indoor balsams are transplanted in the spring. The plant does not need frequent transplants, since in a pot that is too spacious, it seeks to first fill the entire space of the dish with roots. Young specimens can be replanted every year, and older ones every few years. A good drainage layer must be placed on the bottom of the dish.
The light is unpretentious to the composition of the soil. The soil for planting is selected nutritious, loose. A versatile potting mix or flowering substrate is ideal.
Balsams can be easily propagated by cutting and sowing seeds. Seeds are sown in nutritious soil in February-March. The seedlings are covered with foil or glass and kept in greenhouse conditions at a temperature of about 23-25 degrees.
Usually shoots appear in 3-4 weeks. When the seedlings get stronger, they are transplanted into separate pots.
Cuttings are harvested in spring or summer. For rooting, the upper parts of the branches 8-10 cm long are suitable. They are planted in a wet sandy soil mixture or water. After a few days, the twigs will begin to grow their own roots, and then they can be planted in flower pots.
Possible difficulties, diseases and pests
- If you find white mold on the balsam leaves, let the soil dry out and then move the pot to a warm room, the temperature in which will be above +13 C. Spray with fungicide, but no more than once.
- If the leaves become pale and the stems are lengthened, your flower urgently needs feeding or a transplant. Wait until spring and transplant it into fresh soil, fertilize once a week.
- If the leaves begin to dry, curl, or fall off, this is a sure sign that your balsam is hot and dry. Move it to a cooler, more humid place
- If the leaves turn pale and fall off, then he is most likely cold. Move the flower pot to a warm room, where the air temperature is about +18 C.
- If the leaves of Vanka wet become small, the flower attacks the aphid. Spray it every two weeks with insecticide until the pests are gone.
Reproduction and transplantation
It is customary to plant 2-3 plants in a pot. Then the bush will be lush, flowering will last for 6-8 months. The soil mixture is made up of equal parts of turf, humus, compost, perlite or sand. Reliable drainage is needed - moisture stagnation will stimulate the development of root rot.
It is easiest to propagate by cuttings. Therefore, the best time to increase the number of flowerpots is spring. After sanitary pruning, the twigs are placed in water until they take root. And only then they are planted in the prepared soil. After 4 months you can admire the flowers of a young plant.
For propagation of hybrid varieties, branches are cut off 6-8 cm long with 2-3 internodes. You can immediately treat it with growth stimulants and plant it in the ground, or use the usual method - wait for the cuttings to take root in the water. The lower leaves are cut off so that they do not start to rot.
It is more difficult to grow from seeds. Self-collected or purchased planting material is soaked for 10 minutes in a slightly pink solution of potassium permanganate.The soil is moistened, the grains are buried by 5 - 7 cm, lightly sprinkled with soil, without tamping. Tighten the surface of the container with a film. The optimum temperature for germination is 20 - 25 ° C. If drops appear on the polyethylene, it is necessary to periodically ventilate, the earth has dried out - to moisten.
It is better to transplant in the spring, but it is possible in the summer. This should be done every year. Better to wait until all the petals fly around. But if you do not plan to remove the earthen lump, then you can transfer it to a new soil. Rejuvenation is carried out not by transplanting, but by removing the overgrown part of the plant and replanting cuttings. An old flower, with stems cut off near the base, looks unaesthetic.
The plant itself gives a sign if it needs help. If it's too hot, the buds fall off, which means shading is required. Colored spots on the leaves without loss of turgor - you need to add light. Pale, elongated stems - it's time to feed, lush leaves without ovaries - too much fertilizer.