Torenia, Bluewings or Wishbone Flower - Garden Basics - Flower - Annual
ong the few summer annuals that grow equally well in sun or semi-shade. Plants make a compact, upright bush of eight to twelve inches in height. The pale violet flowers have deep purple blotches on the lower petals with yellow inside. The cool colors are a welcome relief during the heat of summer. Flowers bloom throughout the summer and autumn, and make good companions for hostas, ferns and impatiens.
Torenia needs a warm climate and well-drained, compost-enriched soil. Because the seeds are very tiny and slow-growing, it's best to start them indoors ten weeks before the last expected frost. Cover the seeds lightly with soil and water from the bottom to avoid dislodging the seeds. Transplant the seedlings outdoors at six to eight inch intervals when they are large enough to handle.
Keep the plants well watered, especially in hot, windy weather, but be careful not leave the plants standing in water. Apply soluble plant food regularly to help maintain growth throughout the long flowering period. Watch for slugs. Deadheading is not necessary, and the seedheads are quite attractive. Plants will sometimes self-seed, so watch for the tiny, fragile seedlings in the spring.
full sun or Semi-shade
summer and autumn
well drained, compost enriched
does poorly in cold climates
edging, rock gardens, border, pots