The best varieties of New Guinea Balsam, breeding tips

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Balsam New Guinea is one of the universal plants that can be grown on the windowsill, on the loggia, as well as in the garden in a warm climate. This culture several times a year pleases with beautiful bright flowering, for which it is appreciated by many lovers of indoor flowers. The features of its breeding will be discussed in this article.

Description

Balsam New Guinea is a hybrid obtained by crossing several varieties. It is a lush spherical shrub with many smooth, branching, reddish stems. Its height is from 20 cm to 1 m. The root system grows rapidly, so frequent transplantation is required. Leaf plates are oval, with teeth along the edge, dense, with pronounced veins. Their color varies from dark green to burgundy. The length of the leaves is 12 – 15 cm.

In the axils of the leaves, flowers are formed with a diameter of 5 – 6 cm with petals that have a velvety surface. Their color can be varied, but orange, pink, fuchsia, red shades predominate. Some varieties combine two colors. At the end of flowering, fruits remain on the plant – boxes with seeds that easily crack after any touch to them.

Below is a photo of an indoor flower – New Guinea balsam, where you can see its distinctive features and show how it looks in the interior of the room:

Varieties

To date, there are a large number of varieties of New Guinea balsam, which gives gardeners a wide choice. Often, several varieties are grown on window sills and flower beds at the same time. Among them there are undersized and medium-sized varieties. The description of the most popular of them is given below.

‘Divaro’ is a lush, globular shrub densely covered with rich green foliage and bright red flowers.

“Spreading White” – a variety with snow-white flowers and light green foliage with a dark green border.

“Harmony” – one of the most beautiful varieties, which is a dense bush 30 – 40 cm high. Salmon color flowers. Leaf plates have a red or golden tint.

“Java” – characterized by large inflorescences and bright foliage with a bronze tint.

“Macarena” is an expressive variety that is covered with orange inflorescences during flowering. The leaves are bright green with brown veins.

“Jangle Rain” – different pastel color buds.

“Rainforest Exotic” – the color of the buds is varied. Flowers can be painted in one tone or combine two shades. The leaves are smooth, dark green, with pronounced veins.

“SunPatiens Spreading White” is an interesting looking variety with snow-white buds and variegated foliage.

“Java” – expressiveness of this variety is given by piercing pink flowers and green leaves with a brown tint.

“Devine Mix” is a well-known New Guinean balsam, which is a small dense bush about 20 cm high. The flowers are white, fuchsia, pale pink in color. The leaves are rich green with a bronze sheen.

“Mini Gini” is a miniature plant with flowers 2–3 cm in diameter. During the flowering period, many inflorescences are formed that densely cover the bush.

“Paradise Rococo” – a hybrid variety with large double flowers, reaching 10 – 12 cm in diameter. The leaves are uniform, dark green.

“Odyssey” – has two-tone inflorescences of bright colors.

Cultivation

This culture retains its decorative effect for 3 years. After this period, you will have to update the flower. The most effective ways to obtain a new plant is cuttings and sowing seeds. As experienced flower growers note, propagation of New Guinea balsam by cuttings guarantees an excellent result.

With the seed method, plants often do not repeat parental traits, in addition, the germination of seeds in New Guinean balsam is quite low. However, many practice the cultivation of this flower using seed.

For sowing seeds for seedlings, shallow wooden or plastic containers are taken, filled with a substrate consisting of garden soil, peat, humus and coarse sand. The components are mixed in equal volumes. Seeds are kept first in a weak solution of manganese, then in a growth stimulator.

Spread evenly over the surface of the soil, slightly deepening. Plantings are moistened with a sprayer so as not to wash the seeds out of the ground. From above, a shelter is made of cellophane or glass. Cleaned in a room with good lighting, aired daily and periodically watered.

Sprouts hatch after 7 – 9 days, at the same time the shelter is removed. They dive after the formation of a pair of leaf plates in the seedlings. After the plants stretch a little, they are pinched for the splendor of the bushes.

cuttings

Cuttings quickly root in a light substrate, or in a container of water. New plants receive all parental traits.

For planting material, the tops of adult healthy specimens with two or three internodes are taken. Leaves are removed from the bottom of the cutting. Planting material is placed in water or soil, consisting of equal parts of peat and coarse sand. The soil mixture is disinfected with a fungicide solution.

The lower part of the cutting is treated in a solution that stimulates root formation. After that, the lower edge is slightly buried in the substrate, covered with polyethylene or a jar to create greenhouse conditions. After 3 – 4 days, treatment is carried out with a Zircon solution, which stimulates root growth. Caring for the cuttings includes daily airing and watering.

Care

Balsam New Guinea is demanding for care after planting, on which its health will largely depend, and, therefore, its decorative effect. Any negative factor will lead to stretching of the stems and poor flowering. For this reason, having decided to breed this culture at home, you need to be prepared for regular care for it and following all the recommendations described below.

  • Location. The flower is photophilous, with a lack of light it loses its decorative effect. However, direct rays depress him. The optimal location of the plant in a room with bright diffused light. An east and west window will do. On the south window, shading will be required at noon. In the cold season, when daylight hours are shortened, artificial lighting should be used so that the plant is illuminated for 13 to 14 hours a day.
  • Air temperature. The comfortable temperature range is between 20 and 24 degrees. The plant does not like strong heat, as well as coolness. At temperatures below 12 degrees, the flower freezes, the root system dies. This culture grows well in the fresh air, therefore, starting from warm spring days and ending with the last days of August, it is recommended to keep it on a balcony, veranda or in the garden. It is important to remember that drafts and temperature changes negatively affect the well-being of the plant.
  • Air humidity. Moderate air humidity in the range of 40 – 60% is suitable for keeping a flower. If the percentage of humidity is lower or higher than the specified norm, it begins to hurt and lose its decorative effect. Balsam New Guinea during the heating season in winter and in summer, daily spraying of foliage with soft settled water at room temperature is recommended.
  • Watering. For successful growth and flowering, properly adjusted watering is important. It is worth remembering that the flower is moisture-loving, so you need to moisten the substrate often, as its top layer dries. Do not use cold or chlorinated water. Drying out of the soil causes stress in the plant, which negatively affects its well-being. After watering, pour excess water from the pan to prevent rotting of the root system.
  • The soil. For growing New Guinea balsam, a slightly acidic, loose substrate that allows oxygen to pass through and is saturated with nutrients is suitable. You can purchase a ready-made potting mix for flowering houseplants, adding a little vermiculite to improve its properties, or you can make your own from equal parts of leafy soil, sod, peat, sand, and humus.
  • Topdressing. Since this culture forms buds throughout the year, regular enrichment of the soil will be required at intervals of 1 time in 2 weeks. For this, mineral complexes with a potassium content are suitable.
  • Transfer. New Guinea balsam, with quality care at home, is characterized by rapid growth and intensive bud formation, so an annual renewal of the substrate will be required. Transplantation is carried out in spring and summer. Moisten the soil before removing the plant from the pot. The new container should be slightly larger than the old one. A drainage layer in the form of pebbles or expanded clay is laid at the bottom of the pot. The prepared substrate is poured on top, but only 1/3 of the volume of the pot. Damaged roots are removed. A plant is installed in the center of the container, straightening the root system. The root neck should remain on the surface of the earth. The remaining soil is poured into the pot, but not to the very top, but leaving 2 cm from the edge. The substrate is compacted, watered.
  • Pruning. For the splendor of the bushes, pinch the tops of young plants. To maintain decorativeness, dry damaged parts of the plant, faded inflorescences are removed in a timely manner.

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