Balsam New Guinea is a very recent acquisition of flower growers. However, the noble beauty of the flower and the variety of colors made it extremely popular very quickly. Plants are especially effective in front flower gardens and patios, in pots and hanging baskets. In garden centers, the price of a 15 cm pot with blooming balsams exceeds 200 rubles. So producers should pay special attention to this crop - its cultivation promises considerable economic effect.
New Guinea balsam obtained from crossing between a tropical species Impatiens hawkeri and other types of balsams. It differs from the usual Waller's balsam in more powerful stems 30–60 cm high, colored with anthocyanin. In addition, the flowers of New Guinea balsam are very large (5–8 cm), white, pink, lilac, orange, red and burgundy, monochromatic and two-colored, beautifully shaped. Since it is of hybrid origin, at first varieties of the most varied in color were obtained, capable of retaining their characteristics only when cuttings.
The modern assortment of New Guinea balsam is huge; its varieties differ both in the shape and height of the bush and in the size of the flower. In addition, there are heterotic seed hybrids in production that are more resistant to the weather conditions of central Russia than plants from cuttings.
New Guinea Balsamic Groups
All New Guinea balsams are conventionally divided into three groups according to the shape of the bush:
- The first group is distinguished by a compact bush with shortened internodes and a medium-sized flower. Its varieties are recommended for sale in 12-15 cm pots and hanging baskets. They take up less space in the greenhouse and are quicker to sell. If the cultivation technology is followed, then the use of growth regulators is not required.
- The second group has medium-sized flowers and a sprawling bush-shaped bush. These plants are higher than those belonging to the first group. They are suitable for baskets and large patio pots, but they can also be grown in 12-15 cm pots, providing more space between the plants.
- The third group includes high varieties with a powerful erect bush and very large flowers. Bushes grow more vertically than in other groups, and can reach 90 cm. It is better to grow them only in flower beds - they are not decorative in baskets, since they are not decorative. the lower part of the stems is visible. Plants are planted in larger pots, but, despite this, they are ready for sale faster than balsams of other groups.
Popular series of balsams
- SunPatiens Compact - the height of the plants in the container is up to 45 cm, in the ground - up to 60 cm. They belong to the first group, grow well in open ground and tolerate a lower soil temperature (13 ° C) compared to other balsams, due to which they bloom longer. Supplied to the Russian market in the form of rooted cuttings, includes 7 colors.
- SunPatiens Spreading White - balsams with a very spectacular variegated leaf and white flower, belonging to the second group. Supplied as rooted cuttings. Due to faster and more powerful growth, they can reach a height of 60 cm in containers and baskets, and in open ground they are even higher.
- Harmony - fairly compact balsams with an average-sized flower, represented by 14 colors (it is difficult to unambiguously assign them to any group). Manufacturers recommend them in the form of rooted cuttings mainly for pot production. In the open field, these balsams should only be placed in sheltered places (such as patios), because these plants are more thermophilic than the above balsams.
- Divaro - compact, well-branching plants with medium-sized flowers, 6 colors. The series is supplied to the Russian market in the form of seedlings, and is intended for use in flower gardens.
New Guinea balsam has juicy stems and leaves, so it tolerates less transportation than, for example, petunias. High humidity and low temperatures lead to rapid damage to leaves and stems with gray mold. Therefore, when receiving planting material, cassettes with cuttings or seedlings must first of all be removed from the boxes and carefully inspected, paying attention to the condition of the leaves and the moisture content of the substrate. The entire batch on the day of delivery should be treated for fungal diseases, whether detected or not.
When the leaves dry out after antifungal treatment, it is advisable to spray the plants with growth substances - Epin or Zircon. As a last resort, this should be done the next day to help the cuttings get out of the stress of transportation. Dried cassettes must be spilled, preferably from below so that moisture does not get on the leaves, cassettes with excessive moisture should be placed in a bright or ventilated place.
Planting in pots and containers
Planting cuttings and seedlings of balsamines should be started as soon as possible, while all dry cells found should be shed before planting. The diameter of the pot, - 9-15 cm, - depending on the group to which the variety belongs, and the period of sale of the product. Alternatively, the plants can be planted directly in containers or hanging baskets. The pots are filled with a loose, breathable, moisture-absorbing substrate with a pH of 5.8–6.2, while slowly dissolving fertilizers are added to the hanging baskets and containers.
If the plants are planted in 11–12 cm pots, they are placed on racks - 25–30 pcs / m². The density of placement depends on the season, variety and purpose of growing, but in any case the plants should not be placed too close, because they can stretch out (especially when there is a lack of lighting).
Series cuttings Harmony and Divaro grown at an average daily temperature of 20 ° C, and the daytime can be 20 ... 24 ° C, and the nighttime - 15 ... 18 ° C. This temperature regime allows you to get blooming at the optimal time, while maintaining the size of the flower. An increase in the average daily temperature speeds up the flowering time, but with a simultaneous lack of lighting, the plants will be more elongated, and the flower will be smaller.
Since the balsam series SunPatiens are more adapted to temperature fluctuations; when growing, they observe a slightly different technology. Immediately after planting in pots, a temperature of 18 ... 21 ° C is maintained in the root zone in order to accelerate their regrowth. As soon as the roots begin to braid a lump, the temperature is lowered to 13 ... 16 ° C in order to preserve the compactness of the plants. For the same purpose, immediately after dawn for 2 hours, the temperature is reduced by 2 ... SunPatiens especially large flowers.
An important factor in obtaining high-quality seedlings is the correct irrigation regime. Freshly planted cuttings and seedlings are watered moderately, and only after carefully drying the substrate. Moreover, leaves should not be allowed to wither - this will damage the leaf edge and reduce decorativeness.
When the balsam series Harmony and Divaro will grow and they will begin to lay buds, watering is carried out more often - so that the substrate in the pots is constantly wet. Lack of water during this period leads first to yellowing and dropping of the lower leaves, and then to the dropping of buds and flowers. The relative humidity of the air should be 40-60% and be accompanied by good ventilation.
Unlike other balsams, balsams of the series SunPatiens at the beginning of rooting, they are more sensitive to an excess of moisture in the substrate, so they are watered less often, even allowing the plants to wither a little - they tolerate slight drying better than waterlogging. Keeping the substrate constantly moist results in tall, elongated plants with weak, sometimes drooping, stems and death of buds, especially when there is a lack of light.
Balsams are neutral to the length of the day; at the same time, supplementary lighting in early spring up to 2 pm enhances flowering. To obtain compact, abundantly flowering plants, good lighting is required - 38,000–54,000 lux. The denser the plants stand, the higher the level of illumination should be - with a lack of light, they stretch out; Balsam series are especially sensitive to lack of lighting SunPatiens... For example, if hanging baskets are placed over balsams, they bloom later, and they have less flowers. In case of excessive lighting, it is necessary to increase the number of waterings to avoid wilting.
They begin to feed the plants no earlier than 7-10 days after transplanting, when the roots have grown enough. Balsams do not need high doses; they are first fed with complex fertilizers with a predominance of potassium at a concentration of 175–225 ppm in nitrogen at each irrigation. Excess nitrogen, especially ammonium, results in large leaves and poor flowering.
After the appearance of buds, feeding is given less often, every third watering is carried out only with clean water - this mode accelerates the blooming of flowers. Plants series SunPatiens less demanding on fertilizers, and they are fed with lower doses of 65–100 ppm in nitrogen, using fertilizers with calcium and magnesium in the ratio of 15: 5: 15 and 17: 5: 15.
If growing conditions are favorable, it is usually not necessary to pinch the plants. But balsam series Harmony pinching is recommended to get a more rounded bush shape.
Commercial plants in 12 cm pots per series SunPatiens received in 6-8 weeks, Harmon - 8 weeks, Divaro - 9-10 weeks. Balsams in hanging baskets and containers measuring 25-35 cm are ready 3-4 weeks later.
Magazine "Real owner" No. 03 2013