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How to care for Torenia flower

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wishborn flower care

Who doesn’t want to cover their shady spot with bright attractive Torenia flowers that flourish their mood? Well, I want and in my opinion, you should also consider the Torenia flower as one of those shiny plants.

Why? Well, you will get the answer as you complete reading this post.

In this post, I have covered how to care for Torenia flowers everything you need to know before creating a beautiful section of Torenia flowers in your garden.

So, let’s know more about this wonderful plant species.

Different Flower’s Colors of Torenia 

This plant blooms generously and has a bright shade. Torenia has adorable bi-color or tri-color tube-shaped flowers. The plant’s blooms contrasting colors give them many fancy names.

The Bluewing, Clown flower, and Wishbone flower are some common names that indicate their beauty in one word.

how to care for torenia flower

Despite being an attention-grabbing flower, Bluewing is also long-lasting and doesn’t need much care to thrive. The famous name Bluewing refers to its purple-blue shade on the petals. 

Torenia is an annual blooming flower that starts flowering in early the summer and with minimal deadheading keeps up blooming till fall.

With that, this is a deer-resistant plant but, a source of attraction for hummingbirds. No doubt, they are good choices for boarders.


Historically, Torenia is native to Africa and Asia. The name “the wishbone flower” refers to the shape of their stamens that grows on the opposite sides of the flower and meet in the middle. Aside, when you gently squeeze the flower petals wide, you’ll be able to see stamens.

They curve together to form a shape of Wise born. The plant grows about 10-12 inches tall and spreads around 6-8 inches wide.

They have blue wing-shaped petals that are why it’s called Bluewing. However, sometimes “Bluewing” is also found in different colors like pink, yellow, purple, and white.

Quick Growing Guide

Common NameWishbone flower, Bluewing, Clown flower
Scientific Name“Torenia fournieri”
Life span2 years
Mature Size10-12 inches tall 
Sun Exposurefull-sunlight and light shade
Soil TypeAverage and well-drained
Soil pH6.0 to 6.5
Bloom Timelate spring to late summer
Flower ColorYellow, white, purple, and pink
Hardiness Zones2 to 11 USDA
Native AreaAfrica and Asia

Where to plant

To be clear, Torenia can adapt to any location. But for proper growth, you should plant them in an area, where they get morning sunlight as well as afternoon shade.  

Because the plant relatively required heat around “70 degrees Fahrenheit” till the seeds germinated. After that, they’ll be able to handle cooler temperatures but, if you plant them in a very hot area.

Especially in the summer, then they might die. To avoid this yield, plant them in the partial shadier area and water them at regular intervals.

When to plant

Wishbone flowers bloom in late spring. It is better to plant them in the early spring season, just after the winter. Planting in this time gives them sufficient time to get settled so that they can produce bloom later.

How to grow Torenia flower

torenia wishbone flower propagation

Growing Torenia is not difficult. Though, they take a bit longer to germinate as compared to other plants.

You can start seeding Torenia 8-9 weeks before the last frost date. As they do not transplant well, it’s better if you plant them in peat or paper pots.

Sow seeds in rich compost soil and cover the seed lightly with soil, as the seeds need sunlight to germinate. Keep the soil moist and do not bother the roots at the start.

After a few weeks, when you see the plant has grown at least 3 inches tall, then pinch the growing tip of the young plant to encourage bushier plants. 

Related post: Best annual plants to grow in the house

How to Propagate torenia from stem cutting

You can grow multiple new wishbone flowers from stem cutting. 

You have to first grow in water then plant in the soil. This will ensure the growth of the plant. Here is what to do:

  • Cut 5-6 inches long stem from the parent Torenia plant. The parent plant should be at least one year old or bloom to one season.
  • taking stem cutting from a immature plant will not result in new plant’s growth.
  • Clear all flowers and leaves from the bottom half of the plant to make space to grow new roots
  • Take a small-sized pot a dn fill it with potting mix soil. make sure the pot has adquate drainage wholes. You can also mix sand or organic matter into soil to improve its drainage.
  • Water the soil to make its moist. torenia need water to grow, you have to water it regularly. but, don’t overwater.
  • Place the container where it receives indirect sunlight like a windowsill or beside the door.
  • Cover the pot with platic bag to retain moist. Do not forget to make holes in the plastic to give plant air.
  • After two weeks you will notice that roots have started growing from the bottom of the stem cutting.

Now it’s time to plant them in the soil,

  • Take a medium-sized pot that has adequate drainage holes.
  • Fill half of the pot with soil and add organic compost like tea bags and banana pills.
  • Add some more soil and make holes in the soil using your fingers or if you do not have gardening gloves you can use a pencil.
  • Insert the roots of the stem cuttings in the holes and cover them with soil. Put them deep enough so that they can stand.
  • You can plant 2-3 stem cutting in one medium-sized pot.
  • Spray water to keep the soil moist, remember do not let the soil get dry.
  • Place the pot in a sunnier spot, if the sunlight is intense keep them in the shade.

How to plant torenia from seeds

Propagation from seeds

Plants grow naturally from seeds through pollination. You can grow Torenia indoor from seeds as well. 

Growing from seeds would take more days to get the plant established. Start growing wishbone flowers in the last frost.

So that it gets mature and produces bloom in the spring and summer season.

Steps to grow from seeds:

  • Take a fresh pair of seeds. Do not use dry or old seeds they might not germinate.
  • Use a medium-sized pot that has sufficient drainage holes.
  • Fill the pot with potting mix soil.
  • Press the seeds against the soil, do not press deeply.
  • Spray water to make the soil moist.
  • Keep the pot in a sunnier spot as the seeds need sunlight to germinate.
  • You can assume it will take around 14 days to germinate seeds.
  • Once seedling starts growing, water regularly to keep the soil moist.

How to care for Torenia flower

Taking care of the Torenia plant is not difficult, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Let’s see them.


Generally, this plant doesn’t require a specific soil pH. However, they prefer slightly acidic soil that has a pH level between 6.0 to 6.5. The hardiness in USDA zones is 10-11.

Torenia fournieri, the Wishbone Flower (11651199446)

by Dick Culbert

As I earlier mentioned that they do best in loamy, rich compost, and well-drained soil.

But to improve the quality, while planting dig 2-3 inches deep of compost. With that, keep the soil moist but not soggy as the plant is in danger to root rot.

How to often water  

Water is essential for the growth of the wishbone flower, you should try to keep the soil moist and do not let the soil dry. 

You can add a few inches of mulch on the surface of the soil to keep the soil moist. But, do not overwater so that soil gets soggy. Overwatering can cause problems like root rot.

The best practice is to add a cup of water every day to the pot. If you have planted in a larger container or garden you can increase the quantity.

You should pour water directly into the base and do not wet the upper part of the plant. Wet foliage and stem are not good for plants, it may attract fungal disease.

Temperature and humidity

Wishbone flowers grow best around the temperature 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit at the night.

They can survive in cooler seasons, but get killed in the frost. Torenia does not like extreme heat or humid climates. So, a layer of mulch is advised to keep on its base to cool its roots.


To keep bluewings flowers prolific and blooming, you can apply fertilizer once or twice a month

Use a fertilizer that has a high amount of phosphorus. If you’re applying with liquid fertilizer, then aim for a 10-10-10 balance or a 20-20-20 balance.

With that, be sure to water the plant properly before and after fertilizer to avoid root burn. Apply fertilizer in the ratio of one spoon of fertilizer concentrate with a gallon of water.

How to deadhead Torenia

It’s not necessary to deadhead flowers of the plant. In fact, some gardeners find seed heads quite attractive.

Torenia fournieri in Kudayathoor

Jee & Rani Nature Photography

However, At the beginning of their growth, if you pluck the growing tip, then it encourages branch growth and attractive bushy shape. 

Pests and Diseases that affect 

Botrytis: In this disease, gray mold comes in several parts of the plant. To rid of this, remove the affected plant’s parts and make sure that the plant is getting proper air circulation.

Powdery mildew: This is a fungal disease caused in humid weather or when the plant is watered from overhead, splashing the spores up from the soil onto the leaves.

In this condition plant, leaves get a white powdery appearance which affects the air circulation of the plant.

Do need to panic as the disease rarely kills the plant. To cure, prune the affected parts and apply a suitable fungicide.

Aphids: these are the tiny sucking insects that spread disease as they feed in the leaves. Use insecticidal soap or wash them with strong spray soap.

Whitefly: these are the flying insects, you see them flying when the plant shook.

To control these insects you can use hot pepper wax and or insecticidal soap.

Varieties of Torenia

  • ‘Large Blue’ is a hardy drought-tolerant cultivar, that blooms lasts throughout the season.
  • ‘Midnight Blue’ is a rear true blue that attracts hummingbirds.
  • ‘Pink’ is a happy cultivar that is pink in color. 

Did I Miss Anything?

Now I’d like to hear from you: which tip from today’s post are you going to try first? or maybe, I didn’t mention your favorite plant growing tip.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

P.S. I myself reply to every comment