How to Grow Torenia Plants

Guide to Growing Wishbone Flower and Blue Wings

Members of the Torenia genus are usually grown as half hardy annuals in gardens. They reach about 30 cm (12 inches) in height.

They bloom in summer and the early months of autumn. When they are in bloom they carry multicoloured tubular flowers.

Wishbone flower
Wishbone flower by Scott.zona

The flowers are often seen in the colors of white, blue, purple, pink, and yellow.

Torenia fournieri
Torenia fournieri by Carl E Lewis. Both photographs under creative commons licence.

Some common names for Torenia plants include Wishbone flower and Bluewings.

Commonly Grown Torenia Species Photographs and Plant Identification

Torenia fournieri

Torenia fournieri
Torenia fournieri (Wishbone flower / Bluewings / Ola'a beauty), photograph by 阿橋 HQ; CC.

Torenia asiatica

Torenia asiatica syn. Torenia glabra

Torenia asiatica
Torenia asiatica (Asiatic Wishbone Flower), photograph by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.

Torenia crustacea

Torenia crustacea syn. Lindernia crustacea syn.

Torenia crustacea
Torenia crustacea (Asiatic Wishbone Flower / Malaysian False Pimpernel), picture by Dinesh Valke; CC.

Torenia Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Wishbone Flower, Blue Wings.
Family: Linderniaceae.
Life Cycle: Half hardy annual.

Height: 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm).
Native: Africa, Asia.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10.

Flowers: Summer and autumn.
Flower Details: Blue, violet, purple, pink, yellow, white; usually many colours. Tubular. Trumpets.
Foliage: Opposite. Toothed. Deltoid to Rhomboid.

Sow Outside: Surface. A couple of weeks after the last frost. Spacing 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm).
Sow Inside: Use peat pots. Germination time: one week to one month. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors a couple of weeks after the last frost.
Requirements: Afternoon shade. Good drainage. Rich soil. Moist soil. Organic soil. Regular watering. Pinch tips. Propagate: cuttings.

How to Grow Wishbone Flower and other Torenia Plants in the Garden

If growing Wishbone flowers (Torenia plants) outdoors from seed then sow on the soil surface in spring, a week or so after the last chance of frost.

Wishbone flowers (and other Torenia species) should be spaced about 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 inches) apart. Grow them in a sunny area that is shaded in the afternoon.

Ideally the soil that Wishbone flowers grow in will have good drainage, be moist, and should be enriched with organic matter.

If planning to start off indoors, then sow Torenia seed about 8 weeks before due to be transplanted outdoors.

It should take from one to four weeks for the seeds to germinate at 20 to 23 degrees centigrade (68 to 73°F) in the light.

Once established transplant into the garden a couple of weeks after the last chance of a frost.

Caring for Torenia

Torenia Plants, such as wishbone flower and Blue wings, are pretty easy to look after.

Once they have been growing for a few weeks, and have reached an height of about 8 cm (2 1/2 inches), pinch them back. This will encourage branching, and result in a bush and a healthy looking plant.

As they like moist soil, it is necessary to water wishbone flowers on a regular basis.

If you require more plants then they can be sown from seed or cuttings took.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Torenia plants. You may also enjoy the following half hardy annual Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Impatiens, Bellis plant, Celmisia plant, and Hibiscus plants.