Balsam Tom Thumb Mixed - Seeds
Garden balsam is normally quite a low maintenance plant and is normally very easy to grow - great for beginner gardeners!
Very shade-tolerant, balsam brings the tropics to the annual garden with brightly colored flowers borne closely along the upright, bright green stem of the plant.
Common name: Touch-Me-Not, Garden Balsam, Rose Balsam
Color: red orange yellow violet white pink.
Bloom time: Summer to frost, about 60 days from seed to bloom.
Height: 12-24 inches
Difficulty level: Easy
Planting & Care
Propagate by seed - Balsam is a prolific self-sower. After one season of growth, it generally reappears from self sown seeds the next year. After frost has passed, scatter seeds where desired, or sow seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost.
Do not cover the seeds with soil, as they need light to germinate. Until the seeds germinate, cover the seed trays with clear plastic to maintain high humidity. Water from below to prevent damping off.
Germination temperature: 65 F to 70 F
Days to emergence: 7 to 14
Sunlight: Balsam plants grow well in both sun and shade. The best site offers some protection from afternoon sun, which may cause some browning of the foliage.
Soil: Moist and well drained means exactly what it sounds like. Soil is moist without being soggy because the texture of the soil allows excess moisture to drain away.
Water: Most plants like about 1 inch of water per week. Amending your soil with compost will help improve texture and water holding or draining capacity. A 3 inch layer of mulch will help to maintain soil moisture and studies have shown that mulched plants grow faster than non-mulched plants.
Fertilizer: Annuals and perennials may be fertilized using:
1.water-soluble, quick release fertilizers
2. temperature controlled slow-release fertilizers
3. organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion.
Water soluble fertilizers are generally used every two weeks during the growing season or per label instructions.
Controlled, slow-release fertilizers are worked into the soil usually only once during the growing season or per label directions.
For organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion, follow label directions as they may vary per product.
- Up to 5 cm camellia-flowered double blooms of scarlet, carmine, purple-rose, salmon, shell pink and white.
- More top flowering than previous strains, with good drought tolerance, suitable for containers.
- Tom Thumb is a more vigorous and robust relative of the Busy Lizzie.
- Can reach up to 40 cm in height; for bushy plants pinch out the growing point when about 10 cm tall! Sow the balsam flower seeds spring about 0.
- 5 cm deep in good seed compost.
- Germination usually 7-12 days at 16-22 Celsius.
- For large single flower spikes, do not stop, merely remove side shoots and first formed flowers.
- For neater compact bushes pinch out the growing point when 7-10 cm tall.
- Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 days before planting out after all risk of frost has passed, 40-50 cm apart, in full sun or part shade, in a warm, sheltered spot.
- May be a weedy nuisance due to its self seeding habits.
- Keep soil moist but not soggy.
Discovered in South East Asia, Balsam is an old-fashioned annual that produces single or double flowers in the leaf axils along the main stem of the plant from summer to early autumn. A great bedding annual the plant grows up to 12 inches in height.
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