Waller's balsam plant

Waller’s balsam plant (Impatiens walleriana) is a representative of the Balsamin family. It is also called impatiens. In nature, balsams live in the African and Asian tropics. They came to European countries at the end of the 16th century..

Balsam is sometimes called “water fuchsia”. Another name for the flower – “Vanka wet” – is associated with its peculiarity to release droplets of juice during periods of high humidity – after watering or shortly before rain. Drying, the droplets turn into sugar-like crystals. This feature allows the balsam to protect the pollen from ants..

Description of Waller’s balsam

Description of Waller's balsam

Waller’s balsam is a perennial bush up to 60 cm in height. Its foliage has a deep green or slightly reddish color and jagged edges. All parts of the plant are quite delicate and fragile. During flowering, single flowers bloom on the bush, which can be simple or double. The palette of their colors includes many color shades, the only exceptions are blue and yellow..

After the flowers wither, fruits appear in their place in the form of bolls, which contain many tiny seeds. It is precisely with the quick opening of such boxes from touch that one of the official names of the plant is associated – “touchy”. The blooming period of Waller’s balsam usually begins in the spring and lasts until winter. At the same time, due to high growth rates, even plant seedlings can bloom in the current season..

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Brief rules for growing Waller balsam

The table shows brief rules for caring for Waller Balsamine at home.

Lighting level Lighting should be abundant or moderate, bushes should be protected from bright sun.
Content temperature In summer it can be roomy, within 21-25 degrees, in winter – 15-18 degrees.
Watering mode The soil is kept moist.
Air humidity It is desirable to create a high humidity for the flower up to 80%.
The soil The optimal soil is considered to be a fertile light substrate, including turf, humus, sand and peat, as well as a drainage layer.
Top dressing During the growth period, it is necessary to add mineral compositions in liquid form..
Transfer Transplants are carried out every spring.
Pruning Bushes need to be regularly pinched and pruned..
Bloom Flowering continues throughout the year.
Dormant period Usually the dormant period occurs in the winter months and lasts from the second half of autumn to February..
Reproduction Seed, cuttings.
Pests Thrips, spider mites, as well as aphids, false scale insects or whiteflies.
Diseases Diseases can occur due to improper plant care.

The plant is quite vulnerable to pests, and also does not tolerate a sharp change in temperature..

Caring for Waller’s balsam at home

Caring for Waller's balsam at home

Waller’s balm is one of the undemanding indoor flowers. But at the same time, it is necessary to adhere to the basic conditions of growing at home..


Waller’s balsam appreciates the sun, but the bushes should be sheltered from direct scorching rays. For a container with a plant, oriental window sills are optimal. In this case, in the morning the bush will be well lit, and in the afternoon, in the sun, it will be in partial shade. There are also more shade-loving varieties. In winter, some balsams may need additional lighting. Illumination is reduced only during the rest period of the plant..


A not too high temperature is best for balsam: within 21-25 degrees. In this case, the flower is recommended to be kept indoors, where drafts do not penetrate. In summer, the plant can be placed on a moderately lit balcony, and in winter – in a cool and not too bright room, where it keeps no more than 15-18 degrees.

If the flowers were grown in the open field, in order to preserve the plantings, cuttings should be cut from them in advance. Such bushes do not tolerate a transplant into a pot..

Watering mode

Waller's balsam

They try to constantly keep the soil lump moist. Drying out of the soil can lead to the fact that the bush will drop the formed buds or the edges of its foliage will begin to dry out. In winter, the amount of watering is slightly reduced, but overdrying is still being avoided..

Watering the plant is only necessary with soft water. In addition to settled water, you can use rain or melt water, preheating it to a slightly warm state.

Humidity level

The shrub prefers a high humidity level. It is possible to achieve the necessary indicators in the summer only with the help of constant spraying of its foliage. For balsam, soft, previously settled water is suitable. The spray bottle should be directed at the ground and foliage, being careful not to let the drops fall on the flowers..

Capacity selection

In order for the Waller balsam bush to regularly delight with its flowers, it should be grown in a moderately cramped pot. For an adult bush, the size of the container is about 17 cm. In such conditions, the forces of the plant will be directed to bud formation, and not to root growth. A small pot will also help protect the roots of the flower from waterlogging: the soil in them will dry out faster..

The soil

Waller's balsam is undemanding to the composition of the soil

Waller’s balsam is undemanding to the composition of the soil, the bush can grow well in a universal soil. At the same time, a slightly acidic substrate is considered ideal for flower development, including turf, sand and three parts of leafy soil. At the bottom of the container, drainage from expanded clay with the addition of charcoal up to 5 cm thick must be laid.

Top dressing

For Waller’s balsam, liquid mineral formulations including potassium and phosphorus are suitable. Top dressing is applied during the growing season of the bush about three times a month, along with watering or foliar method. Organic compounds should not be used, they can lead to decay of the plant’s rhizomes. It is worth refraining from fertilizing only if the bush is dormant or sick.

At the same time, an excess of mineral fertilizers will not benefit the plant. To avoid this, it is worth using a dosage 2 times less than the recommended one..


Waller balsam transplant

Waller’s balsam is transplanted as needed, when the roots of the flower no longer fit in the pot. They are carried out in the spring before flowering. If the budding period has already begun, you should not disturb the plant: the balsam can throw off all the buds and slow down the pace of development.

The bush is moved to a new place, carefully rolling it over. The voids in the pot are filled with fresh soil. The root collar should not be buried during transplantation. If the roots are damaged, the cuts should be sprinkled with ash or crushed coal. The transplanted plant is watered and placed in a shady place. You can return it to its usual place after about three days..


Together with the transplant, you can also prune Waller’s balsam. This will help make the bush look more neat by giving it a spherical shape. In addition, the procedure helps to stimulate plant growth and bud formation. The resulting cuttings can be used to propagate balsam.

During the entire period of growth of the bush, knocked out or bare branches should be pinched. Each shoot should have about 3 buds.


Blossom of Waller's balsam

Subject to all the conditions for growing Waller’s balsam, the bush will bloom almost all year. The buds begin to appear on it already in the first spring months, and the plant fades away only by December. The size and color of the flowers may vary. On average, the diameter of each flower is about 5 cm. Most often they are located one by one, but they can form inflorescences in the leaf axils. Sometimes the flowers have spurs or noticeable long pedicels. In addition to indoor cultivation, this plant is often planted in open ground. In this case, the bushes are cultivated as annuals..

Sometimes balsams are used as ampelous plants and are grown in hanging containers or tall flowerpots..

Dormant period

The presence of a dormant period depends on the climate of the region where Waller’s balsam is grown. In warm areas, it can bloom for a whole year without a break, but in other cases, with the onset of cold weather, the plant stops forming buds and goes to rest. Usually this period occurs in the winter months and lasts from the second half of autumn to February. At this time, it is recommended to keep the bush in a moderately shady place at a temperature not exceeding 18 degrees. The plant should be watered a little less often. Top dressing and spraying is not carried out at all.

Waller’s balsam propagation methods

Waller's balsam propagation methods

Growing from seeds

Waller’s balsam seeds are arranged in capsules that crack easily after ripening. Seed germination is maintained for a long time – up to 8 years.

Before sowing, the soil should be disinfected and sieved. For balsam, a mixture of sand with peat or garden soil is suitable. The best time to sow is mid-spring, but some hybrid varieties can be sown as early as January. In order for the plants to bloom by summer, sowing is carried out in the first days of March. Flowering occurs approximately 2.5 months after sowing.

The seeds must first be soaked in a solution of potassium permanganate for about 10 minutes, and then rinsed with lukewarm water. The soil substrate is placed in a medium-sized container. In order not to erode the ground, it is not watered, but lightly sprayed. The seeds are spread over the surface of the substrate, slightly pressing and maintaining a distance of at least 3 cm between them. You can not fill the crops on top, or use a thin layer of sand or sifted soil. After this, the seedlings create greenhouse conditions by covering the containers with a bag or glass..

Seedlings should appear within 1-2 weeks. When a pair of true leaves forms on the seedlings, they dive. As the seedlings develop, you can pinch.

A week after the pick, the seedlings can be fed.

Propagation by cuttings

Propagation of Waller's balsam by cuttings

Cutting allows you to get the finished plant the fastest. To obtain cuttings, use the remaining parts of the stems from pruning. The size of the cutting should be about 7-10 cm. Most often, cuttings are carried out from late spring to late summer, but in principle this can be done almost all year round. Sometimes, for convenience, a healthy plant is placed in the shade for a while. When the bush forms a pair of elongated shoots, they are cut off and placed in the water for the development of roots..

The resulting seedlings are placed in individual containers filled with slightly acidic soil. If rooting was carried out in the summer, such specimens can continue to bloom even during the winter months..

When cutting balsam in autumn or winter, it is worth considering that young seedlings will need a lot of light for full development. In this case, to get a beautiful bush, you will have to use the backlight..

Waller’s balsam – spring pruning, rooting cuttingsWaller's balsam - spring pruning, rooting cuttings

Diseases and pests

Some of the most common problems with growing Waller’s balsam include:

  • Withering and falling foliage. May be caused by infrequent watering or excessively low (less than +10) temperature, as well as an unsuitable location for the plant.
  • Foliage curling and falling. Lack of nutrients or excessive soil moisture. Overflow is dangerous by the development of rot. At the first symptoms, the bush must be pulled out of the ground, removed the affected areas and transplanted into fresh, drained soil. If the roots of the plant are already too affected, you can save the flower by cutting cuttings from healthy stems..
  • Spots on leaf blades. Appear due to fungal diseases.
  • Light bloom on the leaves. So mealy growth may appear, the bush must be treated with colloidal sulfur or special preparations.
  • Pale foliage. The bush has stood in a shady place for too long or the plant has been attacked by pests.
  • Pulling the stems. Caused by a lack of light.
  • Lack of flowering or few buds. Balsam lacks trace elements necessary for flowering. Excess nitrogen supplements that stimulate foliage growth may also be the reason..
  • Falling buds. This can be caused by hot weather, dry air or dry soil..

Thrips, spider mites, as well as aphids, false scale insects or whiteflies can harm the bushes. You can fight them with folk remedies or special drugs..

Varieties and hybrids of Waller’s balsam with photos and names

Balsam Waller (Waller) served as the basis for the creation of a large number of hybrid forms. It is the Impatiens walleriana hybrids that are often used to decorate gardens and apartments. Such bushes can be grown as ordinary or ampelous plants. They bloom profusely and for a long time, form 5-petal axillary inflorescences and have leaves no more than 12 cm long.

Waller’s balsam (Impatiens walleriana)

Waller's balsam (Impatiens walleriana)

Among the most popular varieties of such a plant:

  • Accent F1 – low (up to 20 cm) bushes. The flowers are large in size and a wide palette of colors..
  • Tempo F1 Hybrid – the height of the bush reaches 25 cm. The growing season begins early enough. The predominant colors of flowers are pink and orange..
  • Stardust f mixed – The flowers of this series are distinguished by a very spectacular color. A bright red, coral or deep pink border runs along the edges of the petals..
  • Bruno F1 – the series has a doubled set of chromosomes. Such bushes are more resistant to sudden changes in temperature and have larger flowers (up to 6 cm in diameter). Seeds are distinguished by early germination.
  • Firefly – forms compact, medium-sized bushes, completely covered with flowers. The series includes 10 varieties. The color of their flowers includes tones of purple, red and peach flowers..
  • Fiesta F1 – bushes are strongly branched. Double flowers resemble miniature roses, they can be monochromatic or bicolor.

New Guinea Balsam (Impatiens New Guinea)

New Guinea Balsam

Hybrid form of Waller’s balsam. Bushes grow up to 30 cm in height. The flowers of such balsam are especially large – up to 8 cm – and have spurs.

Among the well-known series of varieties:

  • Java – forms bright flowers of saturated colors, which stand out beautifully against the background of lush green foliage.
  • Jangle rain – differs in flowers of more delicate shades.
  • Rainforest exotic – the foliage of the bushes has a dark green color, the flower petals combine two shades at once.