Torenia - Wishbone Flower
DESCRIPTION: This group of annuals and perennials are originally found in tropical Asia and Africa. Though some are perennials, they are usually grown as annuals. These bushy plants will grow up to a foot high. The ovate leaves are toothed and grow up to 2 inches long. They produce an abundance of pretty pouched flowers, which grow up to an inch across and may be colored white, pink, blue, mauve, lilac, or purple, with a yellow mark.
POTTING: Torenias will flourish in moist soil that is enriched with organic material. They should be placed 8 to 9 inches apart. They will bloom well in partial shade. These plants may be grown in 5- or 6-inch pots in a greenhouse. When the plants are established in these final pots, the tips of the shoots and side shoots should be pinched. They need plenty of sun (only shade from the harshest rays) to prevent them from becoming spindly. When they are about to bloom, weekly doses of dilute liquid fertilizer should be given. These plants look beautiful in hanging baskets. The baskets are lined with moss and filled with rich soil. Insert small plants around the sides of the basket and a few in the top. Water the soil well, hang in a shady place and sprits them once in a while until they've become established.
PROPAGATION: Seeds may be started indoors, 8 to 12 weeks before it's safe to plant outside. The temperature should be 70 degrees. They can be sown in small pots or flats of finely sifted soil consisting of equal parts of peat, loam, leaf mold and sand. In the South, seeds may be sown directly outside where they are to grow.
VARIETIES: T. Fournieri; T. flava (Baillonii)
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