Last updated on May 20th, 2023 at 05:55 pm

The balsam flower is an annual flowering plant with bright, vibrant colors. It also goes by the names garden balsam, rose balsam, spotted snapweed, and at times, touch-me-not (owing to the explosive discharge of seeds from the ripened pods). The botanical name of this plant is Impatiens balsamina, a native of India and Myanmar.

Belonging to the Balsaminaceae family, this plant is widely distributed outside its native place and ranges from Europe to Asia, North America, and Africa as an ornamental. 

The balsam flowers resemble mini roses or camellias and are irregularly shaped, arising from the axils of the leaves. They bloom late in the spring and persist till frost in the fall.

These flowers have both male and female organs, with pollination done by insects. Even at the slightest touch, the capsules burst open and spread the seeds inadvertently, at a distance from the plant. Owing to this, the collection of seeds takes a lot of work.

These plants prefer the common sun to partial shade preferences, with a moist setting, and have a low drought tolerance.

What does the Balsam flower symbolize?

The balsam flowers symbolize ardent love. In the language of flowers, it implies impatience or impatient for love. This gives the balsam flower meaning of impatience, quite literally, from its botanical name.

The balsam flower also represents healing, with different parts of the plant used traditionally as a remedy for diseases and skin afflictions. The leaves make juice for treating warts and snakebites, while the flowers are applied to burns. Technically, the balsam flower is an aromatic oil used for healing purposes.

All in all, the balsam flowers symbolic meanings are:

  • impatience
  • ardent love
  • ill temper

Meaning of the Balsam flower colors

Pink color 

One of the more common colors of the balsam flower, the pink balsam flower, is one of the reasons that this flower is also called rose balsam. This color is associated with kindness, love, friendship, affection, and inner peace.

Red color 

The red balsam flower symbolizes courage, anger, love, and life. One of the reasons the balsam is also called rose balsam is because of its red variety that represents red roses.

Orange color 

One of the hues of the Sun, the orange balsam flower, is symbolic of joy, warmth, and sunshine. It also represents encouragement, creativity, and happiness.

Purple color 

The purple or lavender balsam flowers represent wisdom, bravery, and spirituality. The purple color is also symbolic of enlightenment and encouragement.

White color 

This balsam flower variety is an aquaculture plant with irregular flowers with five purple, pink, or white petals resembling an English policeman’s helmet. 

Interesting facts about the Balsam flower

  • The botanical name of the balsam flower means ‘impatient’ and implies the readiness for dispersing the plant’s seeds.
  • The self-seeding tendencies imply the balsam flower, meaning of possibilities of weedy spreading.
  • In Victorian times, the garden balsam was the flower of choice that superseded them. The garden balsams would be planted widely in cottage gardens during the warm weather and made for semi-formal and casual displays.
  • The classic Victorian variety, the Pink Perfection or Pink Lady’s Slipper, is occasionally available today and has soft pink blooms that carry a pleasant perfume.
  • In Korea, crushed balsam flowers are mixed with alum to produce an orange dye used for dyeing fingernails. This is a semi-permanent dye, with traces of color getting removed with the dyed nails growing off over time.
  • The Himalayan Balsam flower is an Indian native semi-aquatic variety. This plant infests native vegetation and displaces it, thus causing a reduction in habitat for wildlife and native plants. The variety is listed as prohibited species per the Weed Control Act and also prohibited under the Fisheries (Alberta) Act. Selling, importing, transporting, or possessing this prohibited species is illegal.

How to grow Balsam flowers

The plant has thick, upright succulent stems that grow up to 75 cm (30 inches) tall. Typically, the light green leaves have pronounced veins and serrated edges and are alternately arranged on the stem. Often, the upper leaves grow in a whorl (with three or more leaves growing in a circle from the stem).

The flowers have double petals and grow in various colors: purple, orange, pink, and red. They remain partially hidden between the large leaves and have five petals with fused lateral pairs. These colorful flowers could grow as cup-shaped single blossoms or double blossoms. 

  1. Plant the balsam purchased in nursery pots in spring.
  2. Place the balsam flowers in the shade or part shade spot. New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri) can tolerate the sun.
  3. Contain the soil with a lot of hummus.
  4. Plant 8 to 10 specimens in a square yard (1 m²) to create an amazing ground cover. Mix your soil with flower plant soil mix and water generously to encourage new flowers to sprout.

How to care for Balsam flowers

  1. Water the balsam regularly in case of a heat wave.
  2. Add flower plant fertilizer to enhance the blooming, though flowers will still bloom gradually if you don’t fertilize.
  3. There’s no need for pruning.
  4. Remove wilted flowers regularly to amplify the aesthetic appeal in pots or garden boxes and stimulate the budding of new flowers.
  5. Place the plants indoors during the coldest months because they fear the cold and might not grow back from one year to the next. 
  6. They’ll survive winter only where winters are mild. Reduce the watering to only once a month during the dormant winter phase.

Best time to gift Balsam flowers

A bouquet of the different colors of balsam flowers makes an ideal gift for the anniversaries or birthdays of loved ones. Alternatively, a bouquet of balsam flowers mixed in with other more expressive flowers could be gifted on special occasions. 

However, this isn’t a commonly gifted flower. Rather, a balsam flowering plant would make a great gift for a gardening lover.


The balsam flower is among the cute spring and summer blooms. Caring for it is effortless, and the blooming of flowers stays abundant even if diseases might slow down the growth and blooming a bit.

Everyone can plant or give balsam flowers as a gift. A garden with bright and colorful balsams is a beautiful sight and can surely bring a smile to anyone.

If you want to know and learn more about flowers, we at PansyMaiden can help you. Check out our fun, easy-to-read, and informative flower-related content that you will surely enjoy!