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Balsam is one of the most common indoor plants; it is also called an asterisk, a light, Vanka-vstanka, wet Vanka, ever-flowering. This flower is known for a huge variety of species, is distinguished by abundant flowering, sometimes even in winter, and unpretentious care.
It blooms with bright simple or double flowers of a wide variety of colors, sometimes has two-color petals. Balsam fell in love not only as a home flower, but also widely established itself as a garden plant, and is often used for growing outdoors, decorating parks, gardens and flower beds with its large flowers. Subject to all the requirements for care and feeding, you can admire its flowering for a long time.
How to water properly?
Balsam requires ample watering. In the spring and summer period, the houseplant should be watered every other day, preventing the soil from drying out. A deep pot base will help provide better and longer soil moisture. With insufficient watering, the succulent stems of the flower can lose their elasticity. In winter, water should be done once every three days or twice a week as the soil dries up.
The overflow of the plant should not be allowed, with stagnant moisture, small sciarid midges may appear. Water for irrigation is used both boiled and tap water, but first you must let it settle for several days. Spray a home flower only if the room temperature exceeds 20-22 ° C, in other cases it will be enough just to make sure that the soil in the pots does not dry out.
If the balsam grows in the open field, then watering is done daily along with spraying. The advantage of such a system is the ability to prevent the appearance of pests, especially spider mites. Water the ground in time to avoid drying out the soil and dropping flower buds. Pouring is also undesirable: roots can rot. Watering is best done in the evening, after sunset. On a cool night, moisture does not evaporate and remains well in the soil.
When and what to feed?
From May to September, when the balsam is actively growing and flowering begins, additional feeding is desirable for the full development of the flower. With the beginning of autumn, feeding is suspended. Also, do not fertilize diseased plants, and those that have recently been transplanted. In the case of transplantation, fertilizers are applied no earlier than 3 weeks later (read here how to transplant balsam and take care of it after planting in another pot).
IMPORTANT! If the balsam decided to bloom in winter, it also needs to be fed after the buds appear. For this purpose, use a mineral solution of low concentration, adding it to the soil after watering.
How and how to fertilize?
Once every 10 days, you need to feed the balsam with a full mineral fertilizer. Do not feed in sunny weather, otherwise you cannot avoid burning the roots. Before feeding, the flower is watered with plain water, and then with fertilizer, in which nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are necessarily present.
You can fertilize Vanka not only under the root, but also by spraying the leaves (foliar feeding), especially for young cuttings. To do this, the fertilizer is diluted according to the instructions in soft, settled water, which is 2-3 ° above room temperature and sprayed over the surface of the entire foliage. The stomata on the leaves of the plant absorb nutrients, which are processed faster through photosynthesis.
Try alternating nitrogen and phosphate fertilization.
There are quite a lot of all kinds of fertilizers on the modern market, so there will be no problems with choosing and buying the right top dressing for your "touchy". However, among all this variety, it is better to pay attention to complex fertilizers for decorative flowering plants. Fertika-lux, uniflor-bud, agriculture for flowering, Merry Flower Girl for geraniums and balcony flowers, or Merry Flower Girl for violets and begonias (flowering) are well suited.
What fertilizers should be applied at home?
To ensure abundant flowering of balsam, during a set of buds and flowering, you should not use nitrogen fertilizers, this can inhibit the formation of flowers. At this time, it is worth giving preference to phosphorus-potassium fertilizers. If the soil is rich in nitrogen, then, most likely, balsam leaves will become more, but there will be few flowers. When spraying with water, avoid getting it on the flowers - shield them with paper.
Frequent mistakes when watering and feeding
IMPORTANT! Balsam does not tolerate organic fertilizers (for example, manure), the fragrance of the flower will be replaced by drooping leaves and shedding of buds.
Watering and feeding rules in caring for Vanka-wet:
- when limescale appears due to the use of hard water;
- it is necessary to replace part of the soil;
- do not allow liquid to get on the root collar of the plant by watering along the edge of the flowerpot;
- water the plant every other day in summer, twice a week in winter;
- drying out the earth in a pot for "touchy" is unacceptable;
- periodically drain the water from the sump;
- the soil should always be moist, not wet;
- balsam likes everyday spraying, especially if the room temperature is above 20-22 ° C;
- you can only feed healthy plants (you can find out about what balsam diseases are and how to treat them here).
- after transplantation and in winter, balsam is not fertilized;
- an excess of nutrients is dangerous for the plant and leads to its death;
- the frequency of feeding during the growing season is 1 time in 10 days.
If, nevertheless, you selected the wrong fertilizer, or violated the instructions for its preparation, you should immediately stop feeding by any means. Take a break for a month, and then continue as usual, only with a more careful choice of feeding. If you follow these simple rules for caring for balsam, this beautiful plant will delight the eye both at home on the windowsill and in your garden.