Balsamine belongs to the balsamic family. Today, this culture has fans around the world. A variety of varieties allows you to pick up grassy plants for open ground and to decorate the terraces of houses or window sills in apartments. In the apartment balsam can be a perennial thanks to lovers of floriculture and care at home.
In appearance, this grassy culture looks like a shrub. The plant grows to a height of 70 cm, and can reach 45 cm in diameter. The balsam has a straight stalk, densely covered with oblong and narrow fleshy leaves.
At the base of the leaves, in the axils, flowers grow. The natural palette of their color is pink-violet. However, hybrids can have shades of flowers of various tones - red, burgundy, lilac-purple. And there are plants both with single flowers, and collected in inflorescences. In open garden areas, flowering begins in May and ends with the first autumn frosts.
Seeds ripen in a box that has a light edge. An indicator of seed maturity is the fragility of the box. It cracks from a light touch, and the seeds are “fired” at a distance of up to 2 m, hence the Russian name is touchy.
On the edges of the leaves of balsam may be released droplets of liquid. Because of this interesting feature, the plant is popularly called “Roly wet”.
In determining the type of plant, they are repelled by the shape of the leaf and the flower, the height of the stem (dwarf - up to 25 cm, medium - up to 40 cm, tall - up to 75 cm).
Garden Balsam - the most common annual. On open ground flowering lasts from late May to October. Under room conditions, the plant blooms for a longer period. Because of the different forms of simple or double flowers, this species is subdivided into varieties: camel-shaped, rosy-like, clove-color. Most often planted varieties "Camelia Flowered", "Baby Bush", "Tom Thumb".
Garden balsam "Tom Thumb" is distinguished by thick branches that grow up to 25 cm. The plant has lanceolate leaves and flowers of various colors - white and pink, reddish, purple.
Walther's balsam is a shrub that stands out for a large variety of flowers (in shape and color). Dense inflorescences are often so abundant that they can cover all the leaves and this makes it look like a bouquet of flowers. In the open ground, the plant begins to bloom from June to the first autumn frosts. Semishrubs have a spherical shape and grow no higher than 30 cm, and dwarf varieties do not exceed 15 cm at all. On the basis of this variety, breeders have deduced quite a lot of hybrids: "Stardust", "Frosty", "Symphony".
Hybrid "Symphony" stands out miniature size bush - up to 20 cm. It is an annual plant. Due to the different and bright colors of flowers is very popular when decorating borders.
Balsam Novogvineysky - a hybrid that has short and tall varieties (from 50 to 90 cm). The plant has a strong trunk, on which are located dense leaves with a colorful pattern (the surface can have shades from rich green to bronze or purple). The plant looks great in the home greenhouse, so on the terrace of the house (you can not leave the flowerpots in drafts).
Planting and care
When choosing the location of these plantings, one should remember that these heat-loving plants react negatively to low temperatures and drafts or strong winds.
In order to fully develop the bushes, the plots in the garden are chosen sufficiently lit, but having some shade in the bright afternoon.
The main requirements for the soil: fertile, drained, neutral acidity. Irrigation mode is desirable to establish a regular, but moderate. If we provide periodic weeding and regular loosening, then the balsam flower will appreciate the attention. In gratitude, the plant will bloom more abundantly and brighter.
When fertilizing plantings, the following nuances are taken into account:
- an excess of mineral salts can cause yellowing and abscission of foliage, therefore it is better to apply half the rate recommended by fertilizer producers;
- balsamines prefer foliar dressing, which can be done twice a month throughout the entire period of plant growth;
- increased nitrogen-containing supplementation will increase foliage / stem growth and reduce flower set.
To breed and grow garden balsam, does not require special technology and techniques. If faded inflorescences immediately cut, the intensity and duration of flowering will increase. Propagated by seed or cuttings plant.
Growing from seed
The positive qualities of seeds are a long shelf life (about 8 years), fast germination (literally on the seventh day after sowing).
To seedlings for open ground was ready by the beginning of May, the seeds are sown at the end of February. The basic rules that must be followed when planting to get a strong seedling:
- the land is pretreated with a fungicide;
- for consistent germination of seeds, constant humidity is maintained (therefore, the boxes are covered with a film) at a temperature of 23-25 ° C;
- after seedling germination, the temperature is reduced by about 6 ° C and artificial lighting is used;
- after the appearance of the first true leaves, you can dive the seedlings into separate pots and grow there before planting in the ground;
- moisten the ground in tanks before planting in the garden. In order for additional roots to appear, the main root is shortened to 1/3 of the total length.
With this method of breeding the bushes begin to bloom from the beginning of June. Seeds can be stocked at the end of summer. It is better to break the boxes unripe, as this will prevent the spreading of seeds.
Reproduction by cuttings
In this method of cultivation, the top of the plant is cut off and buried in the sand or immersed in a container of water. As a rule, after 7-8 days, the roots appear. After that, you can plant a cutting in open ground or a separate pot with soil. Cuttings can be cut throughout the growing season.
A little trick will simplify this procedure. It lies in the fact that the plants before cutting are put in a darkened room. This causes increased growth of shoots. Stretched shoots are easier to cut. Before immersing them in water, remove the lower leaves that may touch the liquid.
Diseases and pests
When growing and breeding plants, one should take into account the possibility of manifestation of certain diseases, as well as know how to deal with pests:
- spider mite sucks the juice of the plant when leafing. To get rid of it, you can spray the bush with soapy water. If the improvement does not come, then you need to apply special chemical compounds;
- rot affects bushes after intensive watering, especially in cool weather. It is possible to get rid of rot by drainage of the soil;
- viral mosaic damages the leaves - they curl and yellow spots appear on the surface. Spreading the disease aphid, which is better to fight chemicals.
Since this shrub is one-year, after the end of flowering the remains of the plant are removed. This point can also be considered a preventive measure to combat diseases and pests.
Decorative use of balsamines
The plant is an active participant in the creation of bright and elegant landscape compositions or design paths and borders in parks and squares. Bushes are planted in separate separate groups, selecting harmonious combinations of plants with different shades of flowers.
Also, balsam garden can effectively be combined with begonia, violet. Bushes look very picturesque on the alpine hills. At the same time, it is important to select such plants in the general ensemble that will become just a background for a balsam.
Annual varieties placed in pots will always exquisitely decorate balconies or verandas. And you can place the plants around the perimeter of the parapet or put in separate pot.
Growing and caring for balsams does not take much time, and constantly flowering plants will always give the room or the garden an elegant and picturesque look.