Saturday, July 21, 2007

Impatiens balfourii... Poor Man's Orchid

My friend "Weeder" gave me seeds of Impatiens balfourii last year or the year before and I'm happy to see it reseeds prolifically in my front porch pots. It requires shade here in the Valley and in my experience, its water requirements are average. Now that I think about it, I. balfourii tolerates my erratic watering schedule rather well.

Annie's Annuals offers it in pots, but it's super easy from seed. If a friend doesn't have it, try seed swaps (GardenWeb, Dave's Garden) or online sources.

While I was taking a few pictures, Emily wanted to see what all the fuss was about. She clearly thinks the fuss should be all about her, not Impatiens friggin' balfourii.


  1. Anonymous8:04 PM

    That's it! THAT'S IT! That's the stuff that used to grow in my grandma's back yard, and I used to squeeze the little seed pods to make them pop!

    Now I know to look for to find the seed!

  2. How neat! Yes, you barely touch the seed pods and they explode!

  3. I don't know how these grow in Sacramento, but they were really popular in Oakland/Berkeley a few years ago--until people discovered that they reseeded everywhere. In the lawn. In pots. In sidewalk cracks. Luckily they're easy to pull from the places you don't want them.

  4. Anonymous5:46 AM

    I love it!! So pretty and it grows with no attention and even in the shade. It was difficult to identify. I got it at a garden club plant sale in central Wisconsin. The owner didn't know what it was but assured me it was lovely even though it wasn't blooming at the time. It has a very long bloom period and requires no care.