- Flowers: Tubular flowers with two lips. The lower lip is divided into three lobes, often with a bright, yellow dot in the center lobe.
- Leaves: Narrow, somewhat oval leaves are opposite. They tend to be a bit hairy or sticky.
Common Name(s):Wishbone Flower, Bluewings, Clown Flower
- Torenia fournieri - Has a shorter, upright habit with flowers in shades of lavender and rose and white, usually with a pale throat and a bright yellow dot in the center of the lower petal.
- Summer Wave® series - Blue, violet and amethyst Summer Wave Torenia from Proven Winner can handle the humidity better than other varieties.
- Torenia flava - The yellow wishbone flower has golden petal tips against a maroon throat. It trails nicely in baskets.
If planted in the boarder, use it along shady edges and be prepared to give it plenty of water when things heat up. Torenia can self seed, but not to the point of nuisance. The flowers last quite awhile when cut.
Soil:Torenia is not particular about soil pH, but it does need a loamy soil that will drain, but hold some moisture.
When to Plant: Start Torenia seeds about 6-8 weeks before the last frost date. Torenia does not transplant well, so seeds should be started in peat or paper pots. Don't cover the seeds with soil. Torenia is one of those plants that needs light to germinate. Keep the soil moist and relatively warm (70 degrees F.) until the seeds germinate. After that, they can handle cooler temperatures. Pinching when a couple of inches high will help to create a bushier plant.
In warm climates, Torenia can be direct seeded outdoors, about 1 week before your last expected frost date.
Torenia plants are also widely available in most garden centers.
Transplanting: Torenia don't like being transplanted, so it's best to plant them in the peat or paper pots in which they were grown. Always harden off the plants gradually, before placing outside.
Spacing: Give each broccoli plant about 18" in each direction.
Feeding: Since they are prolific bloomers, you'll want to give them a dose of flower food every two to three weeks. Foliage feeding, with a high potash food, seems to keep them happiest.