Torenia, more widely known by the common name, Wishbone flower, belongs to a genus of about 15 species, falling under the family Linderniaceae. Torenia flowers are native to Southeast Asia and Africa. Torenia gets its name from a Swedish botanist, Olaf Toren who was Swedish East India Company’s chaplain in the mid-1700s.
Torenia flowers or Bluewings are known for their charming appearance. They are versatile, annual flowers whose bloom time is from spring through fall. These flowers grow well in both shade and sun. Since they are extremely easy-to-grow, Torenia flowers are quite popular garden flowers. With their vivid colors and charming blooms, Torenia flowers are surely a valuable addition to any garden.
Wishbone flowers get their name from their stamens that are somewhat wishbone-shaped. The stamens unite at the anthers and form a structure that resembles the chicken wishbone closely. They also go by the name Clown flowers because the bright hues and the interesting patterns of these flowers resemble the makeup of a clown.
Wishbone flowers are heart-shaped or oval-shaped. They look like open-faced snapdragons. They are beautifully and vividly bright. The flowers can be found in shades of blue, purple, pink, white, and yellow. The trumpet-like flowers are two-lipped and have prominent markings on their petals.
With its vibrant and attractive colors, Wishbone flowers not only keep the hummingbirds happy but will also keep your garden feeling alive too. Torenia flowers are great for garden edging, beds, and containers.
Table of Contents
- Types of Torenia Flowers
- Growing Torenia Flowers
- Common Diseases in Torenia Flowers
Types of Torenia Flowers
The genus to which Torenia flowers belong has about 15 species in its umbrella. However, not all are common. Three species of Torenia are quite common, which are:
- Torenia fournieri
- Torenia Asiatica
- Torenia crustacean
1. Torenia fournieri
Torenia fournieri is a bushy, annual plant. It is a small plant that grows about 12 inches tall and 6 to 8 inches wide. Torenia fournieri is a valuable addition to gardens that do not receive full sun. These flowers perform well in part sun or shady areas. They fall in the USDA hardiness zones 2-11.
Torenia fournieri flowers are lilac-blue in color, having deep-purple colored lower lips, and a throat that is blotched with yellow color. Its cultivars are also available in numerous different colors, including white, rose, pink, and burgundy.
Torenia fournieri flowers bloom early in the season and continue to bloom through fall. These flowers do not require any additional maintenance. They are fairly easy-to-grow and maintain.
Growing Torenia fournieri
Torenia fournieri seeds should be planted in warm, moist soil 6 to 8 weeks before the expected last frost date. These plants do not transplant well. Therefore, seeds should be started in paper pots or peat. The seeds should not be covered in soil because the seeds cannot germinate without sunlight. The soil should be maintained at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit and should be reasonably moist. Once the seeds germinate, they can bear cooler temperatures.
If you wish for your Torenia fournieri plant to grow bushier, pinching the tip of the growing plant can help you achieve it. In areas that are frost-free, you can sow seeds into the outdoor soil directly. This should be done at least a week before the last frost is expected. The only thing that should be taken care of when growing this type of Torenia flower is that the soil should be well-fed and well-watered.
There is no need for deadheading the plants as they will continue to produce blooms throughout the season.
These types of Torenia flowers can grow in many locations as they are not very demanding. However, the conditions that promote the best growth include areas that receive morning sun and a bit of afternoon shade.
Torenia fournieri flowers do not require a particular soil pH for optimum growth. However, they do perform exceptionally well in slightly acidic soil, having pH in the range of 6.0 – 6.5. Rich, loamy, moist, but well-drained soil ensures that the plant grows to the best of its ability. A soil that is soggy can result in root rot. Adding compost improves the quality of the blooms.
Torenia fournieri flowers are an ideal addition to garden beds, garden borders, and containers for indoor plantation.
Varieties of Torenia fournieri Flowers
Catalina Gilded Grape
Catalina Gilded Grape has brightly yellow-colored flowers that have a purple-colored throat. It can grow to a height of about 1 to 2 feet and spreads to approximately 1 foot. They are low maintenance plants that grow well in moist, rich, well-drained soil. They prefer growing in the shade in regions where the days are long and hot, while they can perform well in full sun in regions where days are not too long or hot.
Catalina White Linen
Catalina White Linen is known for its pure-white flowers with a yellow-colored center. The plant is compact, having a strong mounding habit. It can grow to a height of up to 18 inches and can spread to about 8 to 10 inches. It is an annual plant that grows best in areas that receive partial shade.
Torenia Clown Mix
Torenia Clown Mix is a stunning variety of Torenia fournieri. It has a breathtakingly beautiful mix of colors. Torenia Clown Mix is one of the best types of Torenia flowers for baskets, garden borders, and garden beds. They add an element of excitement and brightness in any garden!
Kauai Rose is a compact type of Torenia. It produces beautiful pink-colored blooms. This variant of Torenia flowers grows to a height of about 8 inches with an approximately equal spread. They prefer growing in partial sun or full shade. They show superior performance in extremely hot and humid weather. If you wish to add something exotic to your garden, Kauai Roses are the best option to go with!
Moon Purple is another stunning type of Torenia fournieri that produces beautiful lavender-purple colored flowers with shiny green foliage. It grows to a height of 10 inches and can spread as wide as 16 inches. These types of Torenia flowers grow best in partial sun or full shade. They need soil that is consistently moist. The pH of the soil should be slightly acidic for optimum growth. Moon Purple holds immense value for garden borders and containers.
Moon Yellow is a type of Torenia that produces light-yellow flowers. The flowers are a stunning yellow with a purple-colored throat. These Torenia plants grow about 10 inches tall and 16 inches wide. They can perform well in full sun and part shade. The soil should be consistently moist for the best growth. The eye-catching flowers are what make Torenia Moon Yellow such a popular Torenia variety.
Other popular varieties include Summer Wave that has large flowers growing with a trailing habit. They are known for their large blue flowers. Some varieties of Summer Wave also have stunning Amethyst flowers.
2. Torenia Asiatica
Torenia Asiatica is a small variety of Torenia flowers. It produces pretty, violet-purple colored flowers with the throat in a darker shade. The plant has a trailing habit of growth. It thrives exceptionally well outdoors and shows the best growth in summers. Torenia Asiatica is a summer-loving plant that produces attractive blooms throughout the summer.
If you want your summer garden to look lively and fresh, the addition of Torenia Asiatica is a great option. The beautiful flowers will continue to add color to the garden all summer long.
3. Torenia crustacean
Torenia crustacean or Lindernia crustacean, more commonly known as the Malaysian False Pimpernel, is an herbaceous annual Torenia variety. It is native to Asia but is found in temperate and tropical areas all around the world.
Torenia crustacean is found in moist and open habitats, such as the banks of rivers and creeks, in fallow fields, lawns, and roadsides.
The flowers of Torenia crustacean are produced from the axils of upper leaves in cymes. The flowers are two-lipped and are blue-purple in color. The throat of the flowers is white and yellow. The mix of colors makes these types of Torenia flowers a breathtakingly beautiful addition to any garden.
Torenia crustacean grows best in well-drained, moist soil that is fairly rich. Like other types of Torenia flowers, Torenia crustacean also requires morning sun and after shade for optimum growth. Too little or too much sunlight can affect the quality of the plants.
Torenia crustacean is an ideal choice of flowering plants for garden edges, roadsides, and by the rivers and lakes. Their pretty, violet-blue colored flowers add specks of colors to even the most boring landscapes.
Growing Torenia Flowers
Torenia flowers are very easy to grow. Planting Torenia is hassle-free, and these plants are incredibly low-maintenance. To grow the best quality Torenia flowers, you just have to be mindful of certain factors which are most likely to affect the growth of Torenia flowers.
Planting and Propagating Torenia Flowers
Torenia flowers can be grown by seeds or by seedlings. Seeds are usually sown indoors before the expected last frost. They can also be sown outdoors directly when the temperature of the soil has turned fairly warm. If you wish to use seedlings for Torenia propagation, you can allow the seedlings to grow indoors and then transplant the seedlings carefully to the soil outside.
Germination of Torenia Seeds
Seeds of Torenia flowers require sunlight for germination. Therefore, when you sow the seeds in your garden, do not cover the seeds with soil so that the seeds remain exposed to sunlight.
Torenias require soil that is moist, well-drained, and fertile. Adding compost to the soil can also improve the growth and quality of the blooms. The pH of the soil should be slightly acidic – between 5.6 to 7.5. Adding a layer of mulch is also beneficial for Torenia growth.
Light is a very important factor in the growth of Torenia flowers. These plants require both sun and shade. If Torenia plants are grown in an area where there is only shade, Torenia flowers may not bloom at all. If the plant is grown in an area that receives full sun, the foliage may develop a faded-green color. Therefore, the ideal spot to plant Torenia is an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade.
Torenia requires moist soil to grow. If you plan on planting Torenia flowers, you will be required to water the plant regularly. However, make sure that you do not overwater because if the soil becomes soggy, the roots may rot and the Torenia plants may die.
Common Diseases in Torenia Flowers
Torenia flowers are affected by some common diseases which have been listed below:
A gray-colored mold forms on the Torenia plant in this disease. If your Torenia plant has been affected by Botrytis, simply remove the parts that have been affected and ensure that the air circulation around the plant is good enough.
Powdery mildew is a common fungal disease in plants in which the leaves appear powdery white. It can be controlled by pruning the affected parts and treating the plant with a suitable fungicide.
Aphids are tiny insects that feed on the plant’s leaves. They are usually present on the bottom of the leaves. You can use insecticidal soap to wash aphids off the plant.
Whiteflies are small, flying insects that rise in the form of a cloud when the plant is disturbed. You can control a whitefly infestation by using insecticidal soap or hot pepper wax.
Torenia flowers are not as common around the world as other flowering plant varieties. Among all the types of Torenia flowers, Torenia fournieri is the most common and the most popular type. A number of cultivars of Torenia fournieri are also available that make this type of Torenia flower one of the biggest groups of Torenia flowers. With different, vividly colored flowers and shiny green foliage, Torenia plants are, without a doubt, exotic and stunning addition to your garden.