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08/10/2012 at 14:36

Himalayan Balsam - to plant or not to plant? An invasive pest or a pretty flower? Discuss.

08/10/2012 at 14:44
I think this says it all...
08/10/2012 at 15:09

Well not quite. I read somewhere a while ago that it should not be grown at all, such as in one's garden. A friend finally dug hers up and disposed of it. When my wife and I visited Monet's garden in Giverny a couple of weeks ago, we saw lots of it there. I actually like the look of it and intend to grow it in my garden but bearing in mind it MAY try to get out of control.


08/10/2012 at 15:18
Well it seems the best way to NOT let it get out of control is to cut it down before it flowers, which sort of defeats the point of growing it as an ornamental. And if you DO let it flower, it is highly likely that the seeds would be catapulted onto neighbour's gardens, thus giving them the problem of keeping it under control as well.
08/10/2012 at 15:40

I thought Himalyan Balsam was an absolute pest and teams of people pull it out of river bank as it's so invasive. There was something on the forum not long ago about it as someone had some growing in his garden and didn't know what it was. Paul N above says he saw it in Monet's garden. On the other thread I said I'd seen it in France, but I've since discovered it's Kashmir Balsam or Impatiens Balfourii.The French use it as an old fashioned cottage garden plant. It is smaller and prettier, but it also seeds itself like mad. However, it's quite easy to pull up.

08/10/2012 at 15:46

Well, I think it goes in the same category as Russian Vine.  

There are some plants it is just idiotic to encourage.  It will get out of control.

08/10/2012 at 18:40

If you want a quick and easy way to fall out with your neighbours grow Himalayan Balsam - it worked for our neighbours 

08/10/2012 at 18:44

And if it strays into your neighbours garden, they can take civil action against you apparently.

08/10/2012 at 21:07

Thanks for the replies, even the slightly hysterical ones. I will look into Kashmir Balsam as I may have wrongly identified the plants I saw at Giverny.

08/10/2012 at 21:21


I have now Googled Kashmir Balsam and feel sure this is the plant I saw in Giverny. More importantly it is nowhere near as as invasive as the Himalayan. Excellent thanks! Visually the appearance of the Kashmir Balsam is that it has pink and white petals whilst Himalayan Balsam has a single pink colour.


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