18 years ago

Can jewelweed be grown and cared for in the same way as impatiens?

I know they come from the same family,but I don't understand about jewelweed and balsam. What's the difference between these ?

Comments (38)

  • kdjoergensen
    18 years ago

    Jewelweed, Balsam and Wallerana are all of the same Balsaminaceae family, and thus closely related, but they are quite different, too.

    Wallerana are the typical low growing, shade loving, bedding plants you buy at garden centers. Balsam are bigger plants but looks similar to Wallerana, except the flowers look a bit different.

    Now, Jewelweed looks significantly different from the other two. You may want to take a look at the below link.

    I have never grown Jewelweed, so I can't tell you if their habits are the same.

    Don't get confused about the use of the common names, however. I have seen Impatiens Wallerana sold as Balsam and Jewelweed, and while this is not correct to call the garden impatiens (Wallerana) for Balsam or Jewelweed that does not stop garden centers, etc.

    Here is a link that might be useful: jewelweed

  • joy4me
    18 years ago

    Where I am in zone 6 NY, Jewelweed grows wild up to 3'-4' in height and is VERY invasive.

    I would check ivasive plants for your area before planting outdoors in a garden. The flowers throw seeds quite a distance. You may be lucky in your area though.


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    How to extract juice and soap recipe found on -- Extracting jewelweed sap -- Difficulty: Moderately Easy Instructions Things You'll Need Large pot Water Blender or juicer Strainer/cheesecloth Crushing 1 Pick a handful of leaves and stems off the jewelweed plant. 2 Crush the leaves between your fingers until a small amount of juice results. 3 Spread the juice over your skin and rub in. Repeat. Boiling 1 Place water in a large pot -- roughly one part jewelweed and five or more parts water is needed. Base the potency of your product on the severity of the rash. 2 Place jewelweed leaves, flowers and stems in the pot and bring to a boil. 3 Let it boil/simmer for 15-30 minutes. 4 Strain the liquid into a container using a mesh filter or cheesecloth. Place in a refrigerator or freezer if not used immediately. Blending 1 Cut the jewelweed at its base and remove the entire plant from its roots in the ground. 2 Liquefy the jewelweed using a blender, food processor or juicer. 3 Strain it through a mesh filter or cheesecloth and apply to your skin or refrigerate immediately. Recipe for jewelweed soap -- Difficulty: Easy Instructions Things You'll Need Blooming jewelweed plants Glycerin soap base Orange soap coloring Orange essential oil Soap mold Cooking oil spray 1 Gather flowers, leaves and stems from blooming jewelweed plants. Coarsely chop 1 cup of the plant material and add to 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the water turns dark. 2 Strain the infusion through a coffee filter into a heat-proof jar or bowl. Reserve the liquid and add the plant material to your compost heap. 3 Melt 2 cups glycerin soap base in a double boiler. Remove the pan from the heat, and add � cup jewelweed infusion. Stir well to blend thoroughly. Allow the mixture to cool for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 4 Add two drops of orange soap coloring and seven drops of orange essential oil. Stir very well. 5 Coat your soap mold with a very light layer of cooking oil spray. Pour the liquid into the mold and cool it at room temperature. Remove your jewelweed soap from the mold and enjoy it. Here is a link that might be useful: jewelweed info
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    You can certainly find Impatiens--whether it's balsaminaceae or ecalcarata, I wouldn't know. I've found jewelweed throughout Grays Harbor county (I'm sure it has a wide dustribution, but GHC is the locale I'm most familiar with), though not in an abundance that would suggest it was nonnative. Friends Landing and Lake Sylvia in Montesano, WA host the plant. I've seen it growing streamside at a few places around Aberdeen, WA. I'd also take any scientific reports of balsaminaceae introduction (vs native) with a grain of salt unless they're based on DNA evidence using more than a couple genetic markers. Not saying to throw caution to the wind, but there's usually a heated debate and fine line btwn what constitutes native or nonnative.
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    Hi, I have a large patch of wild, orange jewelweed that I harvested some seeds from earlier this season. I will try to put a picture up in my idea book. Are you wanting to trade or send sase? Pm me details if interested.
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  • springcherry
    18 years ago

    I may well live to regret this, but Ive wintersowed some jewelweed and hope to be able to tuck it into a back part of my front yard. This back part is currently nothing but ivy and some weedy unblooming shrubs. Its off on the long leg of an L from the rest of the garden and its in only slightly dappled shade. This area may not be as moist or sunny or cool as jewelweed likes, which Im thinking might be a good thing. Either the jewelweed will not live at all or if it does, it will not bloom and so it will die off, but if it both lives and blooms, it may do them in a more modest fashion than its usual wont.

    I love it. It grows wild all over New England and its bright orangy flowers and good height make it a beautiful (to my eyes) plant.


  • Maryanne531
    18 years ago

    I have never been successful at transplanting jewelweed seedlings, but when tossing the seed where I want it to grow, it sure does grow (and spread). I would toss the wintersown seeds, medium and all, into a corner where you want it to grow.

  • sarahbn
    18 years ago

    I was told it was okay to dig a plant up in the wild because it reseeds so easily. I dug a plant up near my house by a creek (I would never do that with any other wildflower) Anyway I see sprouts in a few places in my garden two in the shade and three in the sun The ones in the shade are near some native azaleas Don't they need a more alkaline soil?Should I put bonemeal in their soil? Thanks for any help in advance. Sarah

  • Judy_z5
    17 years ago

    Sorry Guys - I can't help laughing! I live in NW Pa, 1/2 hr. South of Erie. Here Jewel Weed is the bane of my gardening! Not only do the seeds fly everywhere- the birds carry it hither and yon! One single wild plant can manage to invade every nook in a two acre spot in one wet year! Yes it pulls out easily - but I spent an hour yesterday trying to get it out of some sedium and hosta (where it had all been removed twice already this season) and didn't make a dent - and this is in a spot about 3 ft long and 1 ft wide! It grows in the sun, in gravel, in the shade, in the woods - so far it is staying out of my fertile beds! There is no way to contain it that I know of! I wish you could take all of mine. I have a raised deck, which is dark and moist under it, solid carpet of jewel weed- if it stayed there it would be no problem- but it won't!

  • cindip
    17 years ago

    Judy, I wish I had some of yours. I have tried to grow jewelweed from seed and can't it to germinate anywhere. I have tried wintersowing it, throwing it in a flower bed and starting it in seed starting mix and it just won't sprout. I am beginning to think I have some bad seeds.

  • penny1947
    17 years ago

    I have all three varieties of impatiens in my flower beds. The bedding impatiens I buy in the spring as I have never had good luck growing them from seed and I usually just put a few in hanging baskets. The Balsam I either winter sow or sow the seeds in the spring in an area that is part sun/shade and moist soil. The transplant very easily and grow 3-4 ft and bloom until the frost kills them here in western NY. WIld jewelweed must be sown right after the seeds are collected in the fall and left to overwinter or they will not germinate. Seedlings do not transplant well unless you do it before they get their first set of true leaves. They need to be grown in shade and moist soil or if in part sun they need lots and lots of moisture. They don't need any special fertilizer. I grow mine where my DH used to throw all the weeds that he pulled. I cleaned it all up and through the seeds out and voila tons of plants in the spring. They reseed very easily because the minute a ripe pod is touched the pod explodes and the seeds scatter. This is not a plant for a formal garden but it is great for the cottage garden. The roots are more to the surface than growing deep so unwanted stragglers are easily removed. Below are pictures of both balsam and a picture I just took of my jewelweed which is not yet blooming. THe leaves on the Garden Balsam are more elongated and swordlike while the leaves of the wild jewelweed really are more like the bedding plant impatiens.

    I have a huge old maple tree in my back yard so it makes a very nice shaded area for jewelweed, hostas, bleeding hearts and lily of the valley. The Garden Balsam can take more sun than jewelweed.

    Garden Balsam (summer/2003) 3-4 ft. tall

    Wild Jewelweed (June 2004) already 3ft.tall


  • cindip
    17 years ago

    thanks Penny.

  • ginny12
    17 years ago

    Jewelweed is the most pervasive and noxious weed in my garden. I literally have thousands and cannot get rid of them by any means. They are one of the most common wildflowers in New England but enough is enough! Their root systems are only an inch or two deep so they seed in the crowns of every perennial. I clear my beds and borders and turn around and there are hundreds more. Their only good point is that they pull out very easily. I really loathe them. I border wetlands where they grow joyfully so I will never be rid of them. It is ironic that I have so often read that a plant I struggle to grow is a weed problem for someone else. Now it is my turn. The grass is always greener....

  • firevicar
    17 years ago

    A minority report. I purposely grow as many species impatiens as I can, none of which are the low annual bedding plants found at garden centers. I love my swamp full of hanging jewels which seem to levitate among the chrysalis green foliage. My children love to pop the seed pods. Yes they seed everywhere, but the roots are 1" deep and they are easy to pull and contain. I've got seven species growing now. Looking for more!

  • Enid
    17 years ago

    I AM CAPTIVATED BY THIS DISCUSSION. wHERE CAN i GET JEWELWEED SEED? My yard is aready a "weedy" mess because the tredescantia (sp?) went wild. I swear the more I mow it over the more it spreads. Any pointers at to were to get it? Email me at if you can point me in the rght drection. TIA

  • linda_6
    17 years ago

    I have jewelweed growing on the sides of my property. Some are orange and some are yellow. Even though it's invasive, it's also very pretty in the wild. I'll try to save some seeds for anyone wanting any this fall. I just have to try to stop my 5 year old granddaughter from popping them.

  • UllisGarden
    17 years ago

    impatient glandulifera

    Here is a link that might be useful: my garden

  • Ernie_zone_4
    17 years ago

    HI ALL...i am looking for seeds to grow the Glandulifera plant, orange and yellow. AKA jewelweed plant. Does anyone have seeds they can mail me, i will be glad to pay your postage. Also any help you can give me to get the seeds to grow as it sounds like they can be hard to start.
    please e-mail me direct at

  • ginny12
    17 years ago

    Ernie--You emailed me and I am responding here. I do not collect seeds of this plant. As I posted above, it is a terrible weed where I live and collecting its seeds is the last thing on earth I would want to do! I only wish I could eradicate it.

    It grows here in moist, fertile, very acid soil and takes a lot of shade. It does not like dry soil, or hot, dry conditions. I think you might want to check the botanical name. I am not at all sure that it is Impatiens glandulifera but as I am busy putting up Christmas decorations, I can't go check--maybe later. I wish you good luck in finding seeds.

  • design321
    17 years ago

    In the Catskills jewelweed is everywhere. Very invasive in my garden, I use it in my compost. I'd suggest getting seeds of Balsam from
    I grew it easily from seed last year and the plants were magnificent -- to me they are showy and outstanding, but some people may like the laid back look of jewelweed. Balsam stands about 18' high with lime colored leaves. Each plant flowered in a different color -- white, pink, magenta, purple and they smelled heavenly. Also the bugs that devour my garden each year stayed away from them. I've put a link up to my garden and titled the images that have balsam in them. They are the 2nd page in my gallery. Does anyone know if the seeds of Balsam will self sow easily? I am assuming they will, but I want them coming back!

    Here is a link that might be useful:

  • zakk_attakk
    11 years ago

    DOes anyone know where to get the Impatiens capensis seeds?? They are supposed to be the best in Poison Ivy treatments, which is why I want them becasue me and my grandmother are bothe VERY allergic to poison Ivy!


  • mariastephens00
    10 years ago

    does jewelweed grown in zone 9? and if it does do any of you have any seeds you could share with me if i send you a SASE?

  • ohitsallama
    9 years ago

    I tried growing jewelweed for the first time this year with great success. I dug some up from my wife's school that was growing in the path of a wooded trail and would have Shorely been trampled by students. It is not my habit to dig up wild plants under any circumstances but given the location of the plants and the fact that they were so numerous I thought I could make an exception in this case.

    They were very easy to transplant and as long as I gave them plenty of water they bloomed very nicely. They loved the shade with Morning sun. The hummingbirds absolutely love them. Again, like previous posters have mentioned jewelweed is a native plant thus not technically an invasive one. But it does self sow readily... though I consider that a bonus. Native plants are the best for local wildlife and are always welcome in my yard.

  • ginny12
    9 years ago

    A jewelweed update--It turns out deer love it. The only good thing about the herd of deer decimating my garden these last years has been that they have almost--almost--eliminated my jewelweed problem.

  • Roberta Kratochwil
    6 years ago

    I would love some jewelweed seeds, especially the Impatiens capensis. I have a large parcel of land and I would not cry one bit if I had a lot of jewelweed growing. Right now it's all weeds of unknown origin plus poison ivy. I am allergic to poison ivy and I know this 'weed' is a balm for that, wish I had had it the last time I got poison ivy, I ended up needing steroids to get it under control...don't want to do that ever again. If anyone wishes to send me any variety of jewelweed seeds I would be so grateful. I find it amusing that they self sow in fall and need to be overwintered to grow and yet a lot of online sites only sell them in the spring. Now is the best time since they are beginning to self sow and so I am asking for any help. Please contact me and I will make arrangements for a SASE or package. Thanks all.

  • dbarron
    6 years ago

    Well Robert, I hope you managed to get seeds. I fear it's too late in the year for me to forage any...though they'll be up by the millions in spring.

    I also wanted to state that they root from cuttings quite easily. I had several years of war with jewelweed, finally won...but every time I just dropped the stem pieces or whole small plants on the soil, they rerooted.

    I admire them, but will never introduce them to a planned planting again. In the wild areas...yes, please.

  • pontyrogof
    5 years ago

    I just received capensis seeds from Prairie Moon Nursery. The germination instructions are intimidating me: Cold moist to warm moist to cold moist stratification, best planted outdoors in the fall. I guess I will be learning about seeds in the refrigerator because broadcasting them outside now would be feeding the cardinals very expensive seed? So some will go in frige baggies and some will go on the ground....

  • dbarron
    5 years ago

    Well, all I can say is it doesn't LOOK like anything eats them in nature (based on germination of self-sown). Good luck!

  • Sharon Kinard
    5 years ago

    According to scholarly research articles on experimenting with jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), fresh seeds should be refrigerated until sown in the fall, or stored for 120 days in water in a shallow dish (ie. cold stratified) in the fridge before sowing in spring. I have no idea where Prairie Moon gets their information but apparently it is incorrect.

  • sam_md
    4 years ago

    What a great plant. Impatiens capensis, orange jewelweed is sometimes called Lady's Earring. It is at its peak bloom right now in Maryland. Do you know what is fighting over it? Scores of hummingbirds, they are making their way south now and the timing of jewelweed bloom is perfect. I have never put out a hummingbird feeder.

    I have lots of jewelweed, when I walk through it there is a lot of popping sounds. The little seed capsules pop open and spit out the seed, see pic below. It is native here and I welcome jewelweed as a great filler for low lying, shady places.

  • cindip
    4 years ago

    Wow, you do have a lot of it. I hope next year I have more than I did this year. I had several plants come up but then we stopped getting rain and the plants did not do so well, so I started watering them just so I would have a few that would throw some seeds for next year

  • dbarron
    4 years ago

    Cindip, from my experience you would have had plants next year's virtually unstoppable. It does like a lot of water though.

  • cindip
    4 years ago

    Good to know. Thanks so much

  • cindip63
    6 months ago

    Well my jewelweed did stop and now I am searching for some jewelweed plants to purchase next spring. Does anyone know where the plants can be purchased, I can find seeds but not plants.


  • HU-659273525
    2 months ago

    Cindip63, I bought some from Naturescapes of Beaufort, SC.

    They are not shipped in pots, but the roots are encased in a fist-full of hard mud. I planted the plants just as they were, encased in a ball of hard mud, into soil filled pots, and they grew successfully ...all except one, on which I tried to soften and remove the hard mud with water before planting and it died immediately.

    I grew them outside in USDA zone 8a, in the shade, in plastic pots, sitting on a soil filled tray to catch the seed. They never bloomed but they produce seed without blooming. That type of seed tends to fall straight down instead of being propelled further away.

    This type of bloomless seeding happens nearly invisibly. The only reason I noticed is because throughout the summer I frequently picked up the pots and examined the plants very closely, and eventually saw the seed pods under the leaves. The pods were the same color as the leaves and were held on the stem horizontally just like the leaves, and the pod was so close to the underside of a leaf that it took me a long time to notice the seed pods even though I had been looking at them every time I examined a plant. Of course my mind was fixated on blooms, not seed pods.

    The seeds did not fall into the parent's pot, but into the soil filled tray under the pots.

    The parent plants died over the winter outside, but when I saw new leaves emerging from the soil filled tray in February, I moved the pots out of the soil filled tray and put the pots on the ground.

    When the parent plants died, they simply vanished. In March, one of the pots that contained a parent plant was sitting on the ground and I noticed a seedling growing out of the pot's drainage hole which was located at the bottom of the pot but on the side of the pot. It looked like the top of it's roots were exposed, so I'm guessing the seed fell beside the pot, yet germinated and rooted in the drainage hole. I guess I'll have to cut the pot open down the side in order to save the seedling.

    It appears that even though my plants never bloomed, they reproduced by seed as many plants as I originally bought. This year I will put these seedlings in a little more sun to see if they will bloom, because the only reason I want to grow this plant is for hummingbird nectar.

  • cindip63
    last month
    last modified: last month


    Thank you so much for this detailed information. I will check them out and order some if they have some in stock. Hummingbirds are the reason I want to grow some too. I have tried seeds for years with no luck and of course I am trying them again this year. Well I started them last fall and put them in the fridge, took them out and put them back in. It is almost a year long thing. haha

    Thank you again and I hope yours bloom for you this year. I would think if you put them in more sun that they will.

    When I get mine, I will let you know how well they do.


  • HU-659273525
    13 days ago

    cindip63, a couple of my seedlings have died. Their leaves wilted prior to the entire plant collapsing, but no other symptoms such as rust or downy mildew were apparent.

    One of the dead was sharing a pot with a sibling that remains healthy looking. The other dead seedling rooted in it's parent's pot, and had never been transplanted. Maybe their deaths were not due to disease or transplanting.

    Among the survivors is the oldest seedling which grew out of the parent pot's drainage hole, and was transplanted. It likes to have the top of it's roots exposed like they were when I found it because I have repeatedly covered those roots with a bit of soil and mulch and it repeatedly exposes them. It has a huge gnarly looking stem and it is already many times larger than the parent plants. Being the most robust seedling, it's pot was moved into semi-sun, but then it's leaves wilt, so it gets moved back into the shade and quickly recovers. This has been done several times.

    A few more seedlings came up that rooted in the ground, beyond the edge of last year's soil filled tray that caught most of the seeds. They appear to be healthy.

  • cindip63
    13 days ago

    Thank you for the update.

    I purchased 2 of the jewelweed from them. And I did like you said, I planted the whole mud pod.

    Thank you for that tip.

    I put one in a pot in part shade. It is doing good.

    The other one, I put in a flower bed, that is in full sun. Full sun is about all I have here where I live so I am trying it. I did put a cage around it and row cover on top to give it a bit of shade. The one in the ground is not doing as well. I am hoping it makes it, I was wanting seeds to scatter in that bed.

    I try to water it each day because I know they like damp soil or I think they do.

    It sounds like the one that grew in the parent pot's drainage hole is doing great.

    Please keep me updated.

    Enjoy your day,


  • HU-659273525
    6 days ago

    Cindi, in case you haven't seen this, there are some very specific jewelweed seed germination instructions in this link:

    My seedlings that germinated in the ground have developed tiny brown spots looks like they were sprayed on the top of the leaves but it's not on the back of the leaves. I thought it might be rust but there's no residue on my fingers when I rub a leaf. Other than the spots, those seedlings look healthy.

    One reason why I'm growing jewelweed in pots is because a year or two ago I found information on the internet about impatiens capensis being susceptible to a deadly disease known to the folks who grow non-native impatiens in the ground. This is from my sketchy memory because I cannot find that link in my bookmarks. That disease had no symptoms ...the plant looks healthy then will suddenly collapse and die the next day.

  • cindip63
    6 days ago

    Thank you for the link. I have tried some in the fridge for 30 days, then out for 30 days, then back in for 30 more days. Those did not germinate. I have some in the fridge now that is in it's 2nd time in the fridge. I am leaving those in for 60 days. I am so thankful you gave me the name of someone that sells them.

    One of mine is doing very good, the other not so much.

    I wonder what the brown spots could be.


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