Impatiens bicornuta (Horned Balsam) – Flowering plants
Impatiens bicornuta (Horned Balsam) is a rare and unique decorative robust plant that grows up to 24 inches tall. It has robust, succulent, glabrous, branched stems. The leaves are narrow elliptic coarsely and regularly rounded-toothed and with a tail-like tip. It produces pinkish-mauve flowers with an orange-yellow and purple-dotted throat, and with a broad cylindrical lower sepal abruptly narrowed to a slender curved spur. The wings have slender horn-like appendages, drawn-out along the inner margin, and short rounded side-lobes, upper petal with a narrow point, bracts, and sepals with long gland-tipped awns. The fruit capsule is long slender and cylindrical.
Species: I. bicornuta
Scientific Name: Impatiens bicornuta
Synonyms: Impatiens cristigera
Common Name: Horned Balsam
How to grow and care for Impatiens bicornuta
It thrives best in bright light to partial shade for healthy growth. In an area with very hot summers, plant them in partial shade, or shade them from the afternoon sun. An excessive amount of sun may cause browning of foliage, though a lot of shade may make the balsam plant leggy and flowerless.
It grows well in an evenly moist, organically rich, well-drained, peat moss-based potting mix.
Water regularly, Keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. Flowering plants are thirsty, and they dry out quickly in containers, so check them often. Impatiens will quickly wilt if they are allowed to dry out.
It prefers average room temperatures 60°F – 75°F / 16°C – 24°C. In winter do not let the temperature fall below 13°C (55°F).
Fertilize every two weeks from spring through fall with a high-potassium liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
Impatiens bicornuta can be easily propagated by seed or stem cuttings. Sow impatiens seeds in spring or early summer. Germination takes 10 to 20 days at 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Take 10 cm stem tip cuttings in spring or summer. They’ll root easily in water or moist soil.
Pests and Diseases:
Impatiens are susceptible to Spider mites, flower thrips, root-knot nematode, whiteflies, and aphids, especially under glass. Caterpillars outdoors. Gray mold, impatiens necrotic spot virus, fungal leaf spots, Rhizoctonia stem rot, Pseudomonas leaf spot, and Verticillium Wilt. If insect or disease problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.