The Torenia (Torenia Fourniri) is an excellent option for bringing color and life to a shady part of the garden. Unlike many other annuals, these compact plants don’t mind growing in partial shade. Its trumpet-shaped flowers come in several colors, in this article we will see how to plant, cultivate the Torenia and its care.
- Botanical name: Torenia Fournieri
- Common names: Torenia, Wishing Flower, Blue Wings, Clown Flower
- Family: Linderniaceae
- Plant type: Annual
- adult size: 15-30 cm high, 15-25 cm wide
- Sun exposure: partial shade
- Soil type: Clay, well drained
- Soil pH: acid, neutral
- Flowering period: spring summer
- Flower color: Two-tone light purple and dark purple, yellow and dark purple, dark purple and white, pink and white
How to Propagate a Torenia
Propagate by cuttings (stems)
The best times of year to take torenia cuttings are fall if you are doing it indoors or spring if you are doing it outdoors.
To propagate a torenia, take stem cuttings at least 6 inches tall. Try to get a knot (raised bump) at the bottom of the stem, which is likely to root.
Remove the leaves from the lower half of the cutting and put it in water. Once the roots start to grow, plant the cutting in a peat or paper pot filled with quality potting soil and keep the soil moist.
Then take the plant outside for progressively longer periods of time, for about a week, to acclimatize outdoors before planting it in your garden or outdoor container.
Sow torenia seeds
If you want to grow torenias from seed, start them six to eight weeks before the last expected frost date in your area.
Keep in mind that torenias don’t tolerate transplants very well, so start in peat or paper pots that you can plant without having to remove the plant from the pot.
In frost-free climates, torenias can be sown directly into the desired outdoor planting location about a week before the last expected frost date.
Do not cover the seeds with soil as they need light to germinate. Keep the soil moist and relatively warm, around 20 degrees C, until the seeds germinate. Thereafter, they will be able to withstand slightly lower temperatures.
If you want to resow the torenia next season, you need to let a few flowers form seed buds, let the flower dry completely on the plant, and wait for the flower to turn completely brown and dry.
Once the flower is dry, remove the seeds and store them in an airtight container that does not receive light or moisture.
Along with keeping the plants adequately watered and nourished, low maintenance is required.
Removing faded flowers is not essential, although it can help encourage growth and flowering. Also, if a plant looks ragged, you can cut it down to half its height.
The ideal location for thorn flowers is where they receive morning sun and afternoon shade.
If you live in a climate with hot summers, choose a well-shaded spot for your plants. It will not thrive in full sun.
It prefers organic, loamy soil with a pH between slightly acidic and neutral. Excellent soil drainage is essential to prevent root rot.
To improve the quality of the soil, consider adding compost at the time of planting.
It requires moderate but constant humidity. Keep the soil moist, but make sure the plants are not in soggy soil.
temperature and humidity
Torenia grows best at temperatures of 20-25 degrees C during the day and 15-20 degrees C at night.
It can tolerate cooler temperatures, although it will not survive frost or snow. They also don’t like excessive heat or humidity and can benefit from laying down a layer of mulch in hot weather to keep their roots cool.
To keep torenias healthy and thriving, provide a balanced general purpose fertilizer about every few weeks during the growing season (spring through fall).
You can use a liquid fertilizer or a slow-release granular fertilizer, following the directions on the label.
Growing Torenia in pots
Torenias have an upright or hanging habit. The varieties you choose will depend on the type of pot you need.
The erect varieties grow in mounds of 15 to 30 cm. They are ideal as central flowers in large pots with other vertical flowers.
Use trailing varieties in hanging baskets, planters or cascading over the edges of standing planters.
Next, consider pot selection and placement. Container-grown Torenias can tolerate direct light, but prefer protection from strong afternoon sun.
They do best in a nutrient-rich medium with a consistent level of humidity. A large, light-colored plastic pot with plenty of drainage holes makes the ideal home.
Finally, try to fertilize or work with a slow-release fertilizer every three to four months.
Due to their long and prolific flowering season, torenias tend to feed heavily. When the nutrients in the pot are depleted, flower growth and vitality fade.
Cutting the ends of the stems when they reach a few centimeters in height will result in a bushier plant.
If the plant looks scruffy, feel free to shape it however you like. You can prune this plant up to half its height without it suffering.
spend the winter
Torenias are annual plants that will be destroyed by the first frosts. You cannot overwinter these plants.
You can try taking them inside the house and placing them in a place where they get plenty of light, but it is still difficult for them to survive.
Plagues and diseases
Torenias do not have major problems with pests or disease. But they can be susceptible to fungal diseases, such as powdery mildew, which can discolor and damage their leaves and stems.
Optimal growing conditions and good air circulation for the plants should help avoid most problems.
Also, some common garden pests, such as aphids and whiteflies, attack torenias.
In the case of aphids, you may notice a sticky residue that these insects leave when they feed on plants. Look: 5 recipes to fight aphids naturally.
And in the case of whiteflies, the little flying insects are often seen rising up into clouds when the plant is disturbed. You can control these problems with insecticidal soap. Look: Home methods to control plant whitefly.
How to make torenias bloom
These flowers easily produce profusions of blooms if the conditions are right.
The main culprit for non-flowering is humidity: this plant does not like being in soggy soil and may not flower if the soil is too wet.
It may also be interesting to read: How to propagate, grow Portulaca and its care.
Torenia should be grown in an area with moderate temperature and humidity, as anything too hot or humid will stunt its growth.
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