One of the oldest and invariably popular indoor plants, balsam, is not by chance considered easy to grow. According to popular rumor, indoor balsam is unpretentious, hardy enough and suffers only from serious care mistakes. Even children can grow it. True, it would be a big mistake to consider him such a simpleton. Balsam has basic care requirements that it is best not to deviate from. After all, serious mistakes with watering, feeding and pruning are catastrophic for this plant.
5 mistakes in caring for indoor balsam
Balsamin is a representative of the Balsaminov family, a medium-sized herbaceous perennial prone to rapid degeneration. Therefore, it is often grown as an annual. Balsams develop quickly, grow sprawling, shed their lower leaves and easily grow up to 60 cm without control.
Abundant flowering of balsam is its main “trump card”. Indoor balsams can bloom from mid-spring to late autumn, and with perfect care, they can bloom all year round. The choice of varieties – simple or double, variegated or bright-leaved, with white, pink or red flowers – allows anyone to find their favorite.
Vanka wet, Ogonyok, or Impatiens (Impatiens) – indoor and garden plant. And very simple, but with surprises. He is a true Tropican, and his containment requirements clearly betray his ancestry. Indeed, in the room for balsams, you will have to recreate the subtropics and tropics of Asia and Africa. It grows rapidly, also quickly “loses its shape” and requires attention and some control. Due to the speed of development, balsam recovers perfectly, but not after all the problems and only if you react to signals very quickly.
There are not many requirements for balsams:
- good lighting;
- warm room from spring to autumn and coolness in winter;
- cramped pot;
- loose air-permeable soil mixture;
- good drainage layer.
Consider the most common mistakes that can be made in caring for balsam and how to correct them.
1. Lack of protection from direct sun
Balsam blooms well only in bright light, some varieties adapt to partial shade, but still, most often, balsams are placed on windowsills. However, if in spring and autumn flowering balsams feel good on the brightest windowsills, then from mid-May to September such lighting needs to be adjusted.
The hot summer sun is dangerous for balsams. Both leaves and flowers of the plant suffer from direct rays. And if the care does not include the installation of a scattering screen or other precautionary methods (moving to the far rows on the windowsill, moving away from the window, rearranging to a new place, a tall plant-neighbor), problems cannot be avoided.
2. Underestimation or overestimation of the moisture content of balsams
Sensitive to droughts and insufficient soil moisture, balsam reacts quickly even to a slight drying out of the substrate. He literally withers before our eyes, turns yellow, sheds leaves and flowers. The bushes “come to life” by the morning, but the drought will not pass without leaving a trace for the leaves of the plant. The main goal of watering this plant was and remains one – to keep the bushes fresh constantly. But in the pursuit of maintaining a stable high soil moisture, over-watering is one of the most serious mistakes.
The status of a moisture-loving plant in balsam does not at all mean that it tolerates dampness, even if this plant gets rid of excess water, releasing its drops along the edges of the leaves and on the stems. Roly wet, indeed, has an increased need for watering. But they should not violate the air permeability of the soil, lead to its waterlogging or stagnation of water. This invariably turns into decay and the spread of diseases. 5 minutes after watering, the excess water must be drained from the pallets.
But this alone is not enough for proper watering of balsams:
- Watering for balsams should be frequent, with control of soil drying. In the summer it is only allowed to dry a little on top, in the winter the upper 2-3 cm is dried.
- Watering balsam with small portions of water, dividing watering by 2-3 times, you can achieve the most uniform and high-quality moisturizing without extremes.
3. Lack of spraying
Maintaining a stable and sufficiently high soil moisture is often regarded as the only thing this plant needs. But the moisture content of the substrate does not in any way diminish the love of balsams and moist air. Of course, there is no need to install special humidifiers for indoor balsams. But they react to spraying so positively that it is not worth excluding them from care.
Balsams are sprayed only with warm water, if the plant blooms – carefully and only over the leaves. Care must be taken to ensure that no water drops fall on the buds and petals. Balsams will not refuse from periodic warm souls, especially at the stage of active growth before the start of flowering or during the heat.
4. Insufficient ventilation
Ideally, even indoor balsam in the warm season is better to be taken out into fresh air. The abundance of flowering and the beauty of the greenery of the bushes placed on balconies or in the garden is incomparable with indoor counterparts. True, in the open air it is better to regard balsam as a shade-loving plant.
If in the summer there is simply nowhere to take out balsams, they are placed where the window is constantly or often ajar, so that they enjoy a constant flow of fresh air.
During purely room maintenance, regardless of the season, balsam will not grow normally without ventilation. Even in the cool, they are still carried out regularly, protecting the bushes from drafts. Balsams must be grown with fresh air. The more the air stagnates in the room, the more the balsams will be exposed, the more actively they will shed their leaves and age.
It is worth paying attention to the fact that air circulation around the bushes for balsams is as important as for roses. These crumbs are not placed in close quarters with other plants, but so that the air moves freely from all sides.
Read also our article Growing balsam from seeds.
5. Refusal to form
Delicate shoots of balsams do not require any complicated pruning techniques and themselves suggest how best to keep them in shape. Simple pinching of shoots is a measure that is often abandoned, pinching the tops only for seedlings and young cuttings.
In order for balsams to remain compact for a long time, tirelessly bush, which means they also bloom tirelessly, you need to pinch every new shoot on the plant, even side branches. The central shoot is limited in growth by pruning. Formation is carried out throughout the entire period of active growing season.
If the balsam is deformed or begins to bloom poorly, and you do not have the right conditions for wintering, it is better to propagate the bushes and grow a replacement from cuttings. Balsam multiplies surprisingly easily. Cuttings can be rooted simply in water. In such a simple way, all year round, you can replace any balsam affected by improper care with new bushes, planting them in a small group.