Why doesn’t anyone grow balsam?

by Patrick on August 20, 2013

Why doesn’t anyone grow balsam? Yes they’e old fashioned Victorian heirlooms. And yes, they’ve been upstaged by hybrid impatiens when it comes to color impact but we don’t need color carpeting in all our shade garden applications. Do we?  They are classified as Impatiens balsamina but my experience has been they perform better in part sun areas than walleriana. While the old fashioned mixed color selections can look quite pedestrian, the same can’t be said for ‘Blackberry Trifle’ which I sourced from Baker’s Creek (rareseeds.com).

Yes  the flowers of balsam appear near on the stems of the plant, so they can be covered in foliage. But viewed from the side ‘Blackberry Trifle’ comes alive in purple and white swirls and blotches unlike any other show, hybrid or not. With a height of up to 2′, could make an interesting ribbon backdrop for some  10″ ‘White Accent’ impatiens? Or a unique thriller in a shade container? At only $2 for 15 seeds can have nearly 100% germinations, it’s a better value than a 4-pack of color carpeting.

Great plant. Great name. Great Price.

Do you grow balsam? Why or why not, my learned friends?

Patrick's Garden

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