The Wishbone Flower (Torenia fournieri)

The Wishbone Flower (Torenia fournieri)
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The Wishbone FlowerWishbone Flower (Torenia fournieri) is a dainty and delightful little flower that can take heat, humidity and shade. There are not many annuals that can accomplish that! You can usually find torenia available as a bedding plant, but you can also start from seed inside.

You'll need to do this in the winter, 10-12 weeks before the last frost. If you are in a mild climate you can grow torenia year round as long as it doesn't get below about 28-30 degrees.

One torenia can cover a 12" square area if planted in the garden, but you can plant them closer in containers. They make great plants for windowboxes, pots and hanging baskets as long as you don't allow them to dry out between waterings. Moisture and shade in very hot climates are a must for torenia. Given this they will bloom constantly from early summer until frost if deadheaded.

When you water torenia, the soil should be moist to the touch, but not soaked. Fertilize every 2 weeks or so, especially in containers. When the plants are small pinch shoots off gently to encourage them to bush out. Plant them in groups for a charming display.

Torenias are described many ways, but I personally think they are a little like small, short snapdragons in lovely contrasting colors. They only grow to about 12 inches tall, and some new varieties are trailing as well.

If you live in a climate with frost, be sure to dig up at least one of the torenia plants 6-8 weeks beforehand and bring it indoors. They can also be grown indoors as a houseplant!



About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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