Impatiens Species, Balsam, Touch-Me-Not, Rose Balsam, Spotted Snapweed

Impatiens balsamina

Family: Balsaminaceae
Genus: Impatiens (im-PAY-shuns) (Info)
Species: balsamina (bal-SAM-in-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Balsamina angustifolia
Synonym:Impatiens coccinea
Synonym:Impatiens cornuta
Synonym:Impatiens eriocarpa
Synonym:Impatiens stapfiana
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:



12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone



Bloom Color:






Medium Purple

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Montevallo, Alabama

Blytheville, Arkansas

Burgkunstadt, Bayern

, British Columbia

Grass Valley, California

Menifee, California

Santa Barbara, California

Santa Cruz, California

Westbrook, Connecticut

Seaford, Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware

Bartow, Florida

Augusta, Georgia

Braselton, Georgia

Carrollton, Georgia

Mcdonough, Georgia

Rincon, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Villa Rica, Georgia


Anna, Illinois

Washington, Illinois

Brooklyn, Indiana

Scottsburg, Indiana

Solsberry, Indiana

Des Moines, Iowa

Wichita, Kansas

London, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana(2 reports)

Houma, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Zachary, Louisiana

Cumberland, Maryland

Valley Lee, Maryland

Arlington, Massachusetts

Springfield, Massachusetts

Dowagiac, Michigan

Madison, Mississippi

Saint Robert, Missouri

Blair, Nebraska

Browns Mills, New Jersey

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Garner, North Carolina

Greensboro, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio

Willard, Ohio

Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania

Columbia, South Carolina(2 reports)

Greenville, South Carolina

Black Hawk, South Dakota

Centerville, Tennessee

Jackson, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Mc Minnville, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Dayton, Texas

Granbury, Texas

New Caney, Texas

Tyler, Texas

Waco, Texas

Saint Albans, Vermont

Annandale, Virginia

Falls Church, Virginia

Manassas, Virginia

Lake Forest Park, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Charleston, West Virginia

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Washburn, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 30, 2015, KDiddy from Cleveland, OH wrote:

Super easy to grow here in Cleveland, Ohio. I had some of these grow last year in a wildflower mix. I did not know what they were, but they looked like these little stately palm trees. Imagine my surprise when the beautiful flowers came out of the stalks. I saved some of the seeds from the plants last year and added more seeds this year. My balsam are beautiful, just about two feet high and full of buds and blooms. These are planted in a location that gets morning sun, and I water every day unless it rains. They are doing so well this year that I may plant all balsam next year.


On Nov 20, 2014, littlewhootsie from Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I LOVE touch-me-nots. WISH I had the orangey-yellow "Jewel Weed" and would LOVE to trade someone something for seeds. I started out w/the pink variety and had scads of it growing where I used to live in the Central CA valley area. Now, I live in Santa Cruz (CA) and have the pink as well as the tall white w/huge stalks. Love them all. I also have different kinds of "rare" types of impatiens. They make my heart sing--they seem so "sweet" somehow.
YES they throw their seeds. They'll throw them if the wind is too strong or if you pass by them or touch them or anything, but I Love the plant. All you have to do is thin them out if you don't want them. They are very easy to just pull up.


On Jul 30, 2012, DonShirer from Westbrook, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:

I purchased Impatiens Balsamina seeds from J.L.Hudson (he lists it as Camillia-flowered Impatiens). It is doing well in a difficult position heavily shaded by ornamental grasses. We'll find out about the reseeding next year. The colorful flowers are carried in an unusual position near the top of the 16" stem but underneath the top bunch of leaves.


On Jul 12, 2012, mfrench37033 from Centerville, TN wrote:

Has anyone else had a cluster of little "roses" come out right at the top of the flowers? Mine have done incredibly this year, just splashes of color everywhere!


On Apr 6, 2012, wvplantlover from Weirton, WV wrote:

in wv we have these everywhere all colors, usually shade
where moist but have seen them full sun. most people consider them a weed. I a wildflower and useful herb (have never seen it fail for any poison ivy) external
I have never had it not self seed . have seen it in pittsburgh pa, and in oh as far as columbus
also have heard jewel weed (hold a leaf under water) and touch me not (exploding seed pods)
never a lady slipper that name as I know it is a terrrestial orchard unknown type

have a photo but do not know how to up load it or link it here


On Feb 20, 2012, puertorico from Raleigh, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Stokes Seeds carries these seeds. Love these plants and grow them every year, they do come up from seed but only in their own area but are not invasive.


On Jul 16, 2011, bhymer from Brooklyn, IN wrote:

I love these plants. A good friend of mine gave me some starts and they just took off. I didn't keep any seeds thinking that I could find them again and have not been successful. I have been trying to find them for three years now with no prevail. If anyone could send me some seeds I would absolutely love them. This time I will definately save the seeds! My e-mail is [email protected] if anyone decides to share, thank you!


On May 23, 2011, MandyRose from Carrollton, TX wrote:

When I was a kid living near Pittsburgh, PA, my mom grew balsaminas in a big yard planter. We both moved since then, and whatever seeds we had saved got lost in the shuffle. We never knew the real name (her mother always called them "Lady Slippers" but knew that wasn't the real name). I happened to find out what they were by searching for "exploding seed pods" and was lucky enough to find a photo of the plants I remembered from my childhood.

We had purple, dark pink, and white flowers yearly. Sometimes we'd get interesting hybrids or unique colors, including a very pale pink and once, brilliant salmon colored flowers.

I do remember that we never had to go out and plant new seeds in the spring. There were so many seeds from the exploding seed pods that the... read more


On Jun 4, 2010, Darmananda from New Iberia, LA wrote:

Grew up with these in Northern Burma. They were normally planted together with marigolds (also the tall versions) on time to have them bloom before the Nepali holidays (religious celebrations requiring a lot of flowers). I never knew what they were called in English but always knew that they were relatives to impatience. They tend to seed themselves on the ground over winter (birds will very likely get most of them) but my family always harvested the seeds to grow them next year. They were loyal flowers that gave colors every year. Today, they have become part of my childhood memories. Also easy to grow in our northern Burmese clay soil (they are goat and cow resistant too if you happened to be a farmer, although they won't stand a stampede of mating oxen/cows) made it these easy annual ch... read more


On Jan 26, 2010, muskymama from Washburn, WI wrote:

love this flower, and goes in zones 3/4. and in hot sun and drought. the seeds are hard to find. i can only find them at pinetree garden seeds. i wonder if they can be grown in planters from seed to maturity. i just moved to an apartment and don't have any garden as i did at my farm. glad to see other people love them too.


On Jul 1, 2009, sillybug5 from Hyannis, MA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Fabulously easy to grow and prosper! Beautiful colors, long lasting. I was sent some seeds from a friend in Iowa and planted them early spring and WOW! an explosion of bloom. Highly recommend this plant. I grow in full sun.


On Oct 13, 2008, Sunflower1888 from Manassas, VA wrote:

I have loved these beauties since childhood. They are colorful and easy to grow.
Years ago I found a ten cent package of Touch Me Not seeds. I now have two yogurt cups full of seeds :) I harvest the seeds every fall and when I need a filler in my flowerbeds the next spring I toss down a handful and wait for the show. They are reliable performers and all that they ask in return is regular watering.


On Dec 27, 2007, gray_53 from Mcdonough, GA wrote:

The flowers are beautiful and unpredictable in color, but the real fun is in the seed pods. Around early fall the pods start to form, and they are ripe near late fall. When they are at their ripest, a gentle squeeze will cause the pod to explode with surprising force! In my zone, they do self seed, but grow best when sown. Anywhere that has partial shade is suitable, but unless you want to water them every day, make sure there is a close overhang such as a couple shrubs. Keeping the soil moist is CRUCIAL.


On Apr 3, 2007, timrann from Other,
Mauritius wrote:

Balsams are the easiest plant to grow as far as watered regularly.Just throw seeds on the grown and here it goes after a week or even in some days for some. The plant's pic i've post , i was asking if it would flower but when it did it was quite a surprise. Quite big for a balsam ( at least for this variegated colour ).Don't even know how the seeds got there.Pity balsam plants does not last long but have many seeds on the inflorescences.


On Sep 1, 2006, IndoorGardner from Falls Church, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I love to grow plants indoors. My friends say I have started an indoor jungle. This was my first little baby. She is growing fine and is about 4 inches now.

Now here comes the weird part. Today I noticed a Balsam has sprung up in the pot with my Sweet Pea Plant. (yes i know not a plant for indoors) Is this possible? It has not flowered. There is no way I slipped a seed into the other pot by accident. Wondering how it happened is killing me.


On Aug 7, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Touch-Me-Nots are very easy to please and add a nice splash of color. If given enough room, they get very bushy. They self-seed themselves very thick, so need to be thinned to prevent them from becoming spindly.

I had a lady tell me once that in her native country they used it to color their fingernails. Can't remember the country (Oriental, I believe) or the process though. She was delighted to see them here.


On Jun 6, 2006, Robbooks from New Orleans, LA wrote:

i collected the seeds from a local park here in new orleans so i could try them. they grew beautifully in the spring. a huge bed of them in a semi shade sun area. i just spread on top of soil and kept watered every day. they got very tall and when a heavy rain came they all fell over on each other. i staked them but they never looked as good. i tried cutting back but that didnt help. i was wondering if i collected the seeds from spring plants, could i dry them and plant a few weeks later for a new batch of flowers? has anyone tried this with this plant?


On Aug 18, 2004, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I would definitely recommend these to anyone who loves Impatiens but can't grow the sometimes shade-loving, water- guzzling Impatiens walleriana. I grew mine in full sun beside my asphalt driveway. They will also grow in shade. Only had to lightly water every few days if no rain vs. almost every day for my "shade" impatiens. My granny grew these and they are a perfect no fuss heirloom. They do re-seed but I like the cottage garden look. You can always pull or transplant the extras. They do replant well if kept watered for a few days. Very attractive to bees.

Lady Slipper, Balsamine, Jumping Betty and Touch-Me-Not, all old names for a long-loved flower. Touch-Me-Not refers to the spring-loaded seedpods that split apart when touched and launch the seeds. Rich and varied colo... read more


On Oct 4, 2003, chelseatwo wrote:

I bought my original seeds in Italy. I collect seeds every year and have had great results for three years running.

Collect when seed pod becomes slightly translucent, but before the seeds burst on their own. Seem to have a variety with light green stems and one with dark stems with hues of red streaks. We live in northern Virginia (U.S.) and have given seeds to my mother on Long Island, New York where they are also thriving.


On Sep 16, 2003, penpen from North Tonawanda, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Quickly and easily grown from seed. Planted in area of morning sun. Grew to over 4 ft. Even the foilage is striking. Comes in many different colors and really brightens up a shady or semi shady area in late summer through fall. A good plant to attract hummingbirds. Will self sow.


On Aug 8, 2003, CDauphinet from New Iberia, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Seeds sprouted from my mother plant, but once the seedlings grew up to about two inches, the stems rotted. I love this plant and I don't want to lose them :(


On Jul 15, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

It was one of the first plants I tried, and it's a great plant for beginning gardeners. It grows fast, produces many seeds, and almost every seed will give you a new plant. I remember I had purple, pink, red and white flowers, and tried to cross them to see what would come next, but I ended up planting something else on that bed.

It has sugar glands all over the stem and petioles that attract ants. The flowers produce a very sweet nectar that will attract bees and butterflies.


On Feb 2, 2003, Crimson from Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

Once you grab a ripe seedpod, you'll understand why it's called "touch-me-not"! The ripe pods burst explosively in your fingers spraying seeds everywhere. When my child realized this, it was all I could do to keep him from bursting every one! I found that single flowered has a darker green leaf than the pale green leaves of the double flowered. The bugs sure liked these, they went after them and left almost everything else untouched.


On Aug 28, 2002, Azalea from Jonesboro, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Prolific re-seeder, loves full sun and is drought tolerant. Very attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.


On Sep 10, 2001, JanetR from Ottawa, ON (Zone 4a) wrote:

The original single flower has orchid-like blossoms.

It can grow considerably taller than 18 inches if the conditions are to its liking and the occasional specimen will become very bushy. It frequently reseeds itself.

Subject to mildew and other fungal infections.


On Mar 10, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

The camellia-flowered form was developed in the early 19th century. Attractive, bright green leaves and camellia-type blossoms in bright mixed colours hug the entire length of the stem. This plant is a delightful old-fashioned addition to the garden. Provide shade in hottest climates.

Downside: it reseeds VIGOROUSLY!