Impatiens pallida, commonly known as yellow jewelweed or wild balsam, is a species of flowering plant belonging to the Balsaminaceae family. Its old common name alludes to the Latin family name for the species, BALSAMINACEAE. This plant is prized for its uniquely attractive blooms. It is a leafy annual that produces yellow pendant flowers decorated with red specks, resembling delicate earrings. They bloom from early summer until the frost, adding one final touch of color to gardens. These flowers are also called Touch-Me-Nots, due to the seed pods which burst at the slightest touch, shooting a long distance.
How To Plant
Yellow jewelry weed is suitable for both indoor and outdoor potting. The plants can be trained to be bushier if grown indoors. A light, fertile, and well-drained soil mix is recommended for potting. Yellow jewelry weed prefers warm temperatures, such as when started indoors or grown in sheltered or enclosed locations. It requires bright light, never full shade and should be kept moist during the active growth phase in the summer and autumn months. The plants need regular watering and fertilizing as well.
Yellow jewelry weed does best in soil with a pH of 6.00 or higher. For outdoor production, start seeds in flats filled with potting soil in late April or early May when the soil has warmed to 60 F. When the plants have two to three leaves and the soil is warm, they can be transplanted into the terrace or garden.
In pots, they can be grown in large containers in a light, well-drained soil mix. However, if the soil mix is too dense, the roots will suffocate. Yellow jewelry weed is best grown as an annual and should not be overwintered.
Meaning and Symbolism
The name Impatiens is derived from the Latin word impatiens meaning ‘impatient’. It refers to the characteristic of the seed to explode from the dry seed head. The species name pallida refers to “pale,” the color of the corolla. The alternate old common name “Wild Balsam” is derived from the Latin family name for the species, BALSAMINACEAE.
The flower is used to symbolize endless love, patience and strength. The bloom is also said to symbolize resilience. In some cultures, it is seen as a sign of good luck. The bright colors are said to signify the joy of life.
History, Mythology, and Religious Significance
Yellow Jewelweed has been long used in medicine for centuries. In traditional Chinese medicine, the plant was used as a poultice for wounds and swellings. The plant is also said to have been valued for its ability to treat snake bites. In Greek mythology, Demeter, the goddess of grain, used the plant as a remedy for infertility. In Hindu mythology, the plant is said to be the source of nectar from Lord Vishnu.
The Catholic Church uses the flower during weddings and ceremonies as a symbol of faith and love. In Mexico, the flower is also used in religious celebrations such as Easter, as they believe it has mystical properties.
Flower Varieties and Their Defining Characteristics
Impatiens pallida is a species of flowering plant native to Europe and parts of Asia, and is often referred to as yellow jewelweed. It is an annual, biennial, or perennial plant and comes in varieties with white, yellow, orange, or red flowers. The flowers tend to be pendant in shape, and the shape and color of the sepals and petals vary from variety to variety. The plant can grow up to a meter in height, and prefers areas of high humidity and moisture.
There are multiple varieties of Impatiens pallida, each with their own unique characteristics and appearance. ‘Fusciata’ has pink sepals with deep veins of purple. ‘Albiflora’ has white sepals and petals, and a very deep yellow center. ‘Albopurpurica’ has white petals and pale purple sepals. ‘Violeta’ has deep purple sepals and petals and a white center. ‘Lilacina’ has pale lilac flowers.
How to Pot and Repot
It is important to use the right container while potting and repotting your yellow jewelry weed. The pot should be at least 10 inches deep, and provide enough space for the roots to spread. The container should also have several drainage holes at the base to help the plant drain excess water. The potting mix should be slightly acidic with a pH of 6.0-7.5. It should also be loose enough to allow for proper drainage.
When potting, it is important to always use a quality potting soil mixture. The mixture should have a good balance between nutrients and moisture. Use a balanced slow-release fertilizer every 4-6 weeks, and special attention should be given to maintaining the desired soil pH level. After potting, the soil should be evenly moist by watering the plant thoroughly. Proper watering will help keep the soil loose enough for the roots to spread properly.
When repotting, it is important to carefully remove the plant from its previous pot. Use care when removing the root ball, as the roots can easily be damaged if done incorrectly. Always water the plant before and immediately after repotting it. Depending on how large the pot is, repotting can be done every two years or so.
How to Prune
It is important to properly prune your yellow jewelry weed. Pruning should be done during the spring season, when the growth of the plants is at its peak. Cutting at the right time ensures that the plants will continue to bloom in its optimum color throughout the season. It is also important to properly sterilize the pruning tools before and after use, to prevent any spread of disease.
Pruning should be done delicately, starting from the bottom of the plant and working up. Make cuts parallel to the main stem, about 1-2 inches above the ground. To shape the plant, thin out the stems and reduce their length. Make sure to remove any old or dead flowers, as this can help prevent fungal growth. Pruning not only helps maintain the shape of the plant but also encourages growth in that season. Always ensure that no dead or diseased branches are left on the plant while pruning.
How to Propagate
Yellow Jewelweed can be propagated using seeds. Since seeds can be difficult to find, it is recommended to purchase them from local nurseries or online stores. You can also collect the seeds from existing potted plants. Make sure to plant them immediately as the seeds have a short shelf life. The best time to sow the seeds is in late spring.
You can start the seeds indoors, in well-draining soil, in containers. Once the seedlings have grown two to three sets of leaves, they can be transferred to individual pots. When the soil temperature is at least 60°F (15°C), the seedlings can be transplanted outdoors. Make sure to provide the plants with plenty of water and sunlight.
Yellow Jewelweed can also be propagated using cuttings. Cut a few 5-6 inch long pieces from the mother plants, making sure each has two to three nodes. Plant them in potting soil and keep the soil moist at all times. Cover the pot with a plastic sheet and make sure it gets plenty of light. After a few weeks, the cuttings should have rooted and can be transferred outdoors.
Common Pests and Diseases
Yellow Jewelweed can be prone to pests and diseases. Common pests include aphids, thrips and spider mites. All of these pests can be treated with insecticides or Horticultural oil.
Common diseases include downy mildew, leaf spot, powdery mildew and root rot. These diseases can be prevented by sowing the seeds in well-draining soil, providing adequate moisture and sunlight, and using fungicides or neem oil. It is also important to remove all dead or diseased leaves and stems to prevent the spread of disease.
Three Frequently Asked Questions About Impatiens Pallida
Q: How tall do Yellow Jewelweed plants grow?
A: Yellow Jewelweed can grow up to 1 meter in height.
Q: How often should I water my Yellow Jewelweed?
A: Yellow Jewelweed should be kept moist during the active growth period in summer and autumn. The plants need regular watering and fertilizing as well.
Q: How much light does Yellow Jewelweed need?
A: Yellow Jewelweed requires bright light, but should never be in full shade.
Table Fact Sheet
Below is a table containing data about Yellow Jewelweed and Impatiens Pallida:
|Yellow Jewelweed||Impatiens Pallida|
|Plant Type||Annual, Biennial, or Perennial|
|Mature Size||Up to 1 meter in height|
|Sun Exposure||Bright light, never full shade|
|Soil Type||Light and well-drained|
|Soil pH||6.00 or higher|
|Bloom Time||Early Summer to Frost|
|Flower Color||White, yellow, orange, or red|
|Hardiness Zones||3 – 8|
|Native Area||Europe, parts of Asia|
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