Impatiens balsamina: distinctive features and care

Irresistible balsam

If you like flowering plants, a somewhat lesser-known, but very beautiful, plant is Impatiens balsamina. ring a bell?

As well It has other names such as balsamina, joy or madama, and it is one of the plants that you can have in the garden and enjoy its color. But how is? What features does it have? Is it difficult to care? We talk about all that below.

How is the Impatiens balsamina

flowering plant pink flowers

The Impatiens balsamina plant is native to Southeast Asia. It is a herbaceous plant whose leaves are elliptical and ovate. Also, if you touch them, you will notice that they are somewhat waxy, especially on the beam. It does not grow more than 60 centimeters in height and the stems are very branched and straight.

But the most beautiful thing about this plant is not its leaves (which are already going to attract attention), but the flowers.

These come out in March and will easily last until June (you know it will also depend on the weather). It is very profuse in terms of flowers, that is, it will give you a lot (as long as you take good care of it, of course). The flowers can be of various colors; there are oranges, reds, violets (or bluish) and pinks. All of them have three sepals and a tubular spur. Although now you can find double or even triple flowers.

After the flowers, come the fruits. And you may not know it, but that is where its scientific name comes from, the Impatiens (which, yes, means "impatient"). The fruits generate what is called balochory that what it does is that, when these fruits are touched, as long as they are ripe, they end up exploding and dispersing the seeds. That is why it is called impatient, because it cannot wait for the fruits to be gathered and the seeds to be planted.

Impatiens balsamina care

flowering plant

Now that you know a little better about Impatiens balsamina, would you like to have it in the garden? It is not a difficult plant to find, although the most common way to obtain it is through seeds, which are cheap.

But buying it does not mean that it will outlive you. Because you need to know what the main care is. And we can help you with that.

Location and temperature

The first thing you should know is that Impatiens balsamina needs to be in full sun.. It loves sunlight and the more time it gets in the sun each day the better it will grow and flourish. Now, depending on where you live and where you have it, it is possible that a direct sun can burn it (for example, in the south of Spain). In these cases it is better to have it in a semi-shaded place (in the sense of having a lot of indirect light but only a few hours of direct sun when it is not too intense).

As for the temperature, its ideal would be between 15 and 25ºC. However, it can hold up to 5ºC. Lower than that, it is normal for its growth to stop. or even put your health at risk. On the other hand, when the temperature is higher than 30ºC, the plant will have problems moving forward and it is possible that you will see that the flowers fall off.


When planting Impatiens balsamina, keep in mind that it is a plant that does not like drought or waterlogging.

For this reason, our recommendation is that you make a mixture with a sandy soil that has a pH between 6 and 6,5, somewhat acidic; and with a drain. If possible, add some fertile soil so that it has enough nutrients.

The seeds of Impatiens balsamina are planted in spring, either in the ground or in a pot.


We are not going to tell you that this care is easy, because it is the most complicated that you will find. As we told you before, Impatiens balsamina is a plant that does not tolerate drought or waterlogging. And it also requires more water than other plants because the soil must always be moist or the plant will die.

Therefore, controlling this aspect is your priority.

One piece of advice that we can give you is that, in summer, you water it once every two days, first thing in the morning, so that it has enough moisture so that the sun does not dry it out. In the evening, you should check if it is okay (and add water if it is not). In spring and autumn it can withstand watering once every five days. Whereas, in winter, you could water it once a week or every ten days.

Now this is general data; You will have to adapt it according to the location and temperature where you have it.


peppermint variety

Being a plant that blooms abundantly, the subscriber is always welcome. It should only be fertilized in the spring and summer months, and always every two months.

Use a water-soluble one, although it also accepts a foliar one (In this case, after two hours, you should add water to remove excess fertilizer so that, with the sun, it does not end up burning the leaves).


When an Impatiens balsamina reaches 25 centimeters in height, and to encourage further development and growth, it is recommended to cut the buds of the upper branches.

However, as time goes by and branches get old and thick you may need to prune more to get new branches.

Another of the points to eliminate from the plant are withered flowers, to prevent pests from deteriorating the plant.

Plagues and diseases

The Impatiens balsamina is not a very "fighter" plant, but is easily affected by pests or diseases. For example, leaf beetles, spider mites, aphids, whiteflies or fungi They are the most common that the plant will have.

Regarding diseases, many will be caused by excess or lack of water and/or lighting.


Finally, if you want to propagate this plant you can do it through the seeds as well as with cuttings. These must be collected in spring, always with at least 10 centimeters in length. Put them in a pot with moist soil and indirect light until they start to sprout on their own.

Do you dare now to have an Impatiens balsamina in the garden?

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