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IMPATIENS balsamina 'Peppermint Stick'

Image of Impatiens balsamina 'Peppermint Stick'

Jesse Saylor



Botanical Name

IMPATIENS balsamina 'Peppermint Stick'

Plant Common Name

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Most commonly called tree impatiens or garden balsam, this old heirloom bedding plant was grown in Victorian gardens long before the popular Impatiens walleriana was discovered in Africa. Native to India and southeastern Asia, this tender ornamental is a true annual with a tall, upright habit and colorful flowers that peek out from beneath its long, lush leaves.

The soft, succulent, herbaceous stems of garden balsam are lined with light green, elliptical leaves with toothed edges. All season long it produces many cupped, five-petaled flowers, either singly or in small clusters, which are borne between the leaves. The blooms may be single or double flowers and come in shades of pink, rose, red, purple or white. Bicolored flowers are also common. The butterfly-pollinated blooms are sometimes spotted and have curved, rear spurs that hold nectar. They need not be deadheaded and are followed by bulbous, green, striated seed capsules that explode to spread their seeds when mature.

This bedding annual is easily grown from seed, in fact is self-sows vigorously. Pinch the young plants back for bushier growth. Full to partial shade is ideal for Impatiens, though they can withstand more sun where summers are cool. They grow and bloom to their fullest if grown in moist, humus-rich soil with good drainage and given a slow release fertilizer formulated for garden flowers. When weather conditions are dry, they need supplemental water. If given the right care, they are very easy to grow.

Garden balsam can be planted in any shaded spot where color is needed. It is also excellent for containers. In the north it is grown as a summer bedding annual, and in southern and western locations it is usually planted for winter color.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type


  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    6"-36" / 15.2cm - 91.4cm

  • Width

    8"-36" / 20.3cm - 91.4cm

  • Bloom Time


  • Native To

    World/Pandemic, Hybrid Origin, Southeastern Asia, India

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH


  • Soil Drainage


  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow, Red, Purple, Orange, Pink, Magenta, Rose, Salmon, Burgundy, Lavender, Orange Red

  • Fruit Color


  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green, Burgundy, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green, Burgundy, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green, Burgundy, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green, Burgundy, Bronze

  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Flower Petal Number


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Edging, Hanging Basket, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Attracts


  • Self-Sowing