Torenia: tips for growing outdoors

Table of contents:

Torenia: tips for growing outdoors
Torenia: tips for growing outdoors

Characteristics of the planting plant, how to plant and care for garden cultivation, breeding rules, how to protect against diseases and pests when growing in the garden, species.

Torenia (Torenia), according to the botanical classification, belongs to the Scrophulariaceae family, although in some sources it is found that the plant belongs to Linderniaceae. The genus includes about 40-50 species, among which there are both annuals and perennial representatives of the flora.

The native area of distribution in nature belongs to the territories of Vietnam, but also various types of torenia can grow in southeast Asia (a dozen of them in China) and even on the African continent. Basically, these areas have a tropical climate.

Family name Noricum or Linderniaceae
Growing period Perennial or annual
Vegetation form Herbaceous
Breeds Generatively (by seeds) or vegetatively (by cuttings)
Open ground transplant terms May June
Landing rules Saplings are placed at a distance of 25-45 cm from each other
Priming Sandy loam or loamy, but any garden can do
Soil acidity values, pH 6, 5-7 (neutral)
Illumination level Well-lit place, east or west location
Humidity level Moderate but regular watering
Special care rules Requires top dressing and pruning
Height options About 0.15–0.4 m
Flowering period July to September
Type of inflorescences or flowers Single flowers or umbellate inflorescences
Color of flowers Varies from white with a yellow throat to purple, blue, cobalt, lavender and deep purple
Fruit type Seed capsule
The timing of fruit ripening Since the end of summer
Decorative period Summer-autumn
Application in landscape design Flowerbeds and mixborders, ridges and flower beds, in group plantings and as an ampelous culture
USDA zone 5 and more

The scientific name of the genus of Torenia is in honor of the priest Red Olaf Toren, who spent a lot of time traveling through the lands of China and India, where he met outlandish flowers. Many of these plants were collected by him and sent to a friend - the famous botanist who was engaged in the classification of the flora and fauna of the planet Karl Linnaeus (1707-1778).

Torenia is characterized by a low size, so the height of the plant's stems can vary within 15–45 cm. Its shoots with excellent branching are creeping, painted in a green or reddish tint. The stem itself has an upright shape and two pairs of faces are visible on it. The surface of the shoots is bare or villous. Each leaf sinus becomes the source of a new young stem, which, lengthening, immediately begins to branch.

The foliage of torenia on the shoots is located in an opposite or regular order, but it happens that whorls are collected from the leaf plates. Simple leaves are attached to the stems with short petioles. The foliage is ovoid or obovate, with the apex with an elongated sharpening. The edge of the leaves is jagged. The color of the deciduous mass is a rich bright green color scheme. The length of the torenia leaf reaches 5 cm. Although there are perennial plants in the genus, in our latitudes it is customary to grow them in the form of an annual or in indoor conditions.

The flowering process in torenia begins in the middle of summer and lasts until September, but in some species the buds bloom from the beginning of June, while others change color only with the arrival of cold weather. The peduncles are shortened. Inflorescences can crown the tops of the stems or originate in the leaf axils. The outlines of the inflorescences are umbrella-shaped, and the flowers grow singly or in pairs. The calyx has a ribbed surface. Often the calyx has two lips and short teeth, and there is also a division into five lobes. The corolla of torenia has two lips, while the lower one is characterized by the presence of three lobes, the shares of which are equal. The upper lip of the corolla is straightened, its apex is integral, it can be notched or two-lobed.

Torenia flowers range in color from white with a yellow throat to purple, blue, cobalt, lavender and deep purple. There are two pairs of stamens in the flower of torenia. They peep out of the flower on staminate filaments. The flowers are somewhat similar to the flowers of gloxinia and also have a pubescent, like velvet outer surface of the corolla. The corolla is bell-shaped. Due to the fact that the outlines of a pair of stamens, coupled with an anther, resemble the brisket of birds, the plant in the lands of old England is called Angel Wings (Wishbone flower or Bluewings).

The fruit of torenia is an oblong capsule that enters the persistent calyx. There are a lot of seeds in the capsule. The color of the seed is yellow. Compound fruits are very small, the appearance of the plant does not deteriorate from their presence and therefore they can not be removed.

Today, through the work of breeders, a large number of varieties and hybrids have been bred, for example, such as F1 and F2 (these have been obtained over the past 30 years). Although it is customary to grow the plant as an indoor plant, it can become a real decoration of any garden corner for the summer months.

How to plant and care for torenia when grown outdoors?

Torenia blooms
Torenia blooms
  1. Drop off location this summer, it is necessary to select a well-lit one, the best choice would be the eastern or western location of the site. Do not plant the bushes in direct sunlight, as the leaves can suffer from sunburn. If the plant is planted in the shade, then the stems of torenia will quickly stretch and become thinner. The news of the bush will become limp and it will be unrealistic to wait for flowering in such conditions. The proximity of groundwater will also negatively affect such a representative of the flora.
  2. Soil for treading picking up will be hassle-free, so ordinary garden soil may do. But the best growth and flowering characteristics will be shown by a plant planted in a sandy loam or loamy substrate. Indicators of acidity of the soil mixture should be in the range of pH 6, 5–7, that is, neutral.
  3. Torenia landing. Before planting the bushes in open ground, it is recommended to dig the selected area, break up the large breasts of the substrate, loosen it thoroughly and remove weeds and plant residues. At the bottom of the dug hole, which should correspond to the size of the root system of the seedling, a drainage layer is first laid. Such material (expanded clay, coarse-grained sand or pebbles) will protect the root system of torenia from waterlogging. After the seedling is installed in the planting hole, soil is poured around and watering is carried out. You can build a support for the creeping stems of the plant, a small trellis can act on it. After planting, it is recommended to mulch the soil around with peat chips, dry leaves or sawdust. When planting group plantings, the distance between the planting pits is maintained depending on the variety that is planned to be grown, but it is better to leave at least 25–45 cm.
  4. Watering when caring for torenia, moderate and regular is necessary. It is important to keep the soil moist, but avoid stagnating moisture in it, otherwise it threatens the occurrence of fungal diseases and the beginning of decay of the root system. After each substrate, the soil around the bush should be loosened so that air can easily flow to the roots. In severe drought and heat, the foliage of this flower can be sprayed with warm water from a finely dispersed spray bottle. If the soil is not kept moist in the heat, the buds begin to fly around immediately.
  5. Fertilizers when growing, it is highly recommended to use it regularly. Such drugs should be introduced with a break of 14 days. They use products intended for growing flowering plants, such as Fertika or Kemira-Universal, released in liquid form, so that there is a possibility of dissolution. Such products must be diluted in water for irrigation. Some gardeners use sustained-release granular fertilizers such as Osmokot or Bona Forte when planting. It is possible to use superphosphate and potassium-phosphorus mixtures as such preparations that will support the growth and splendor of the flowering of torenia. The plant responds well to organic matter, such preparations can be fertilizers from mullein, compost or humus.
  6. Winter hardiness it is low, so it can be grown in the garden only in the warm season and such a thermophilic representative of the flora cannot winter in mid-latitudes. If you want to continue to enjoy furry flowers, then the bush should be transplanted into a pot and kept in a room at room temperature and good lighting until the next May.
  7. Pruning when caring for torenia, it is carried out in the form of plucking the tops of the shoots. This will stimulate better branching and the stems will not stretch out.
  8. General advice on care. When growing toria, it is necessary to remove wilted flowers throughout the flowering process to stimulate the formation of new buds. If such flowering bushes are planted in a sunny place, then watering should be done more often, and in the heat, provide them with shelter.
  9. The use of toria in landscape design. Since the plant is characterized by lush and highly decorative flowering, it can be a decoration for any area in the garden. With the help of flowering bushes, it is possible to arrange mixborders, flower beds or flower beds. Toreniya looks best in group plantings. A good neighborhood will be the landing next to them of hosts and low-growing zinnias, marigolds and vervains, sulfinia and nasturtiums, as well as lobelias, salvias, catharanthus, aquilegia and balsams. Torenia flowering shrubs will perfectly coexist with petunias and ornamental ferns, as well as lanthanas. Because of its creeping shoots, torenia can be planted in hanging containers, using it as an ampelous culture. Also for similar purposes, such plants are used to decorate terraces and arbors.

Read more about planting and caring for penstemon outdoors.

Breeding rules torenia

Torenia in the ground
Torenia in the ground

To propagate this tropical plant, both generative (using seeds) and vegetative methods are used. If we talk about the latter, then rooting of cuttings is practiced.

Reproduction of torenia using seeds

For this, it is recommended to grow seedlings. At the end of the winter period (in the last week of February), it is necessary to sow the collected or purchased seeds in seedling boxes. The containers are filled with a loose and nutritious soil mixture, which can be a peat-sand composition, a combination of equal amounts of river sand and loam, or purchase soil for seedlings or Geranium soil in a store.


Before sowing, any substrate should be disinfected - calcined in an oven at a temperature of 150 degrees or more and then pour with a solution of manganese permanganate (pharmacy potassium permanganate) diluted to a pink hue.

Grooves are formed in the seedling box for torenia seeds, from which the seed is placed. Spread on top with a thin layer of sand and moisten with a fine spray gun. To create favorable conditions for the germination of seeds, it is recommended to wrap the seedling boxes with a dense film of transparent polyethylene or install a piece of glass on top. The place for germination, in which the container with the crops of soaking is placed, must be warm. The temperature readings in it maintain about 21 degrees. Crop care consists in maintaining the soil in a moderately moist state and ventilating. Watering is carried out using a spray bottle and warm water.

When the first sprouting sprouts appear above the soil surface (this will be after a couple of weeks), the shelter can be removed, and the seedling boxes are placed in a well-lit place, but not in direct sunlight. Care will also contain watering with warm, settled water.


So that the seedlings of torenia do not begin to stretch too much and become thinner, the temperature in the room is lowered to a range of 16-18 degrees.

The same applies to the duration of daylight hours. With a lack of lighting, the sprouts of torenia can become thinner and weaken, therefore it is recommended to carry out supplementary lighting on cloudy days using special phytolamps.

When a pair of real leaves unfold on the seedlings, the seedlings are dived into separate containers. To do this, for the simplicity of the subsequent transplant, it is necessary to use cups made of pressed peat. If not, then reusable plastic containers or pots will do. The soil is used the same as for germination of torenia seeds. Several seedlings can be planted in each container, and then the same group will be transplanted into open ground.

After 10 days have passed from the moment of diving of the torenia seedlings, it is required to perform the first feeding, using complex mineral fertilizers released in liquid form for this. For example, such means can be Plantofol or Fertika. The dosage is applied as indicated by the manufacturer.

As soon as the torenia seedlings acquire three pairs of leaves, it is recommended to pinch the tops of the shoots to stimulate branching. Transplanting into open ground is possible not earlier than the beginning of summer days, when the threat of return frosts will be completely excluded.

Reproduction of torenia using cuttings

It is clear that it is possible to apply such a method only when the bushes of this tropical flower are already growing on the site. For blanks, the upper branches of the plant are used, while the length of the cutting should be 6–8 cm. Before planting, the slices can be dipped in a root formation stimulator (for example, Kornevin) or in water with aloe juice or honey dissolved in it.

Torenia cuttings are planted in pots filled with a soil mixture of river sand, peat chips and loam. When it becomes clear that the branches have taken root (along the unfolding leaves), you can transplant to a prepared place in the garden.


If propagation of a hybrid type of torenia is carried out, then cuttings are more preferable to seed propagation, since the bushes grown in the last method may lose their parental characteristics.

How to protect against disease and pests when growing in the garden

Torenia is growing
Torenia is growing

Usually, problems with the cultivation of this tropical plant arise when the growing conditions are violated: waterlogging of the soil occurs due to abundant watering or prolonged rain. Then torenia can suffer from root rot or powdery mildew (sometimes called linen). In the first case, when the roots rot and the stem becomes covered with brown spots, the entire bush dies. The second disease manifests itself as a whitish bloom on the leaves and stems, which also leads to the loss of foliage and the death of torenia. To combat, irrigation should be leveled, and the plants should be treated with fungicidal agents, for example, Fundazol, Fitosporin-M or Bordeaux liquid.

In wet weather and too much watering, slugs attack its leaf plates. To combat such a problem, pests will have to be collected by hand or use metaldehyde agents such as Groza-Meta.

The next pests for the bushes of this tropical flower, which occur during hot and dry weather, are spider mites and aphids. In the first case, the leaves of torenia turn yellow and fly around, the foliage and stems are covered with a translucent whitish cobweb, the plant, if not taken measures, dies. In the second case, small green bugs suck out nutritious juices, which also leads to yellowing of the leaves and the death of plantings. It is recommended that, if these symptoms are found, treatment with insecticidal preparations, such as Aktara or Actellik, is carried out.

Aphids should be fought immediately also because this insect can be a carrier of such serious diseases as viral. There is no cure for them, and then all the affected bushes will need to be dug up and burned. Similar diseases appear with multi-colored spots in the form of a mosaic and on the leaves.

Read also about methods of combating diseases and pests when cultivating digitalis in the open field

Types of torenia

In addition to the well-known species, such as Fournier's torey, yellow and cordifolia, there are also more rare ones:

In the photo Torenia is yellow
In the photo Torenia is yellow

Torenia yellow (Torenia flava)

Herbaceous plant, stems are straight, 25–40 cm high, usually branched from the base, villous. Annual with petioles about 5.8 mm long. The leaf blade varies from ovoid to elliptical, tapering at the base. The approximate size of the leaves is 3-5x1-2 cm. The surface of the foliage is bare, except for the veins.

Bracts of torenia yellow, oblong-ovate, reach 5–8 mm in length, villous, ciliary at the edges, pointed apex. The calyx is narrow-cylindrical, straight or slightly curved. Its size is 5-10x2-3 mm, villous, 5-ribbed. The calyx has five blades, their shape is narrow-lanceolate.

Corolla yellow; its tube in this type of torenia is 1–1, 2 cm in length; the lobes of the lower lips are almost the same. The upper lobes of the lips are slightly larger than the lower ones, the edges are full or notched. The anterior stamens of the appendages are about 1 mm. The capsule is narrowly ellipsoidal. Flowering and fruiting extends from early June to November.

In nature, torethia yellow grows in dry meadows and on the outskirts of forests; below 1000 m in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos and Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

In the photo Torenia Fournier
In the photo Torenia Fournier

Torenia fournieri

Herbaceous plant 15-50 cm tall. Stems are straight, quadrangular, simple or branched above the middle. The petiole is 1–2 cm long. The leaf blade varies from oblong-ovate to ovoid, with parameters 3–5x1, 5–2, 5 cm. The foliage has a roughly toothed edge. Bracts are linear, 2–5 mm long. Pedicel 1–2 cm. Calyx in the form of an ellipsoid, its size is 1, 3–1, 9x0, 8 cm. Its color is green or purple-red at the apex and along the edges, it is composed of five wings, their surface is pubescent. The wing width of the calyx is 2 mm.

Fournier's corolla of torenia reaches 2.5–4 cm in length, it exceeds the calyx by 1–2.3 cm. The corolla tube is pale violet, the upper side is yellow. The lobes of the lower lip are purple-blue, the middle lobe with a yellow spot at the base, oblong to rounded. The size of the blades is 10 x 8 mm, they are about the same. The upper lip is pale blue, erect, broadly obovate, its parameters are 1–1, 2x1, 2–1, 5 cm. Stamens without anthers. The fruit is in the form of a narrow-ellipsoidal capsule, its size is 12x0.5 mm. The seeds are yellow. Flowering and fruiting takes place from June to December.

Torenia Fournier is commonly cultivated in southern China, but is occasionally found on roadsides or in fields; below 1200 m in Taiwan, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

In the photo, Torenia hearty
In the photo, Torenia hearty

Torenia cordifolia (Torenia cordifolia)

Annual, 15–20 cm tall, the stems are covered with sparse white villi. Shoots are straight, branched from the base; ascending branches. Petiole 0.8–1.5 cm; the leaf blade is ovoid to cordate, 2, 5–3, 5x1, 5–2, 5 cm in size, rarely villous, the base is wedge-shaped and rectilinear, roughly triangular at the edges. The inflorescences are composed of 3-5 flower bundles originating in the leaf axils.

Bracts of torenia cordate linear, with a length of 5 mm. Pedicels are 1, 5–2 cm, often ascending. Calyx ovate-oblong, with parameters 1, 3x0, 7 cm, its base is shortened, never convex, with five wings. The width of the wings reaches 2 mm, sometimes the upper wing is 1 mm wide. The lips are triangular at the calyx, 5 petals become visible in the fruit. Corolla of blue-violet hue, its length is 1, 3–2 cm; the lobes of the lower lips are approximately the same. The upper lip is wider than its length, the margin is somewhat curled, the apex is intact or notched. The outlines of the anterior stamens vary from serrated to filiform.

An oblong capsule with the parameters of 9x4 mm acts as a fruit at the heart-shaped torenia. Flowering and fruiting in the species occurs from September to November. In nature, prefers mountain slopes, trails, wet places near streams; grows at an altitude of 600-1700 m Guizhou, Hubei (Xianfeng Xian), Sichuan, Yunnan [Bhutan, Cambodia, India (Darjeeling), Sikkim, Vietnam].

Pictured by Torenia Bentamiana
Pictured by Torenia Bentamiana

Torenia benthamiana

- grassy. Its stems are dense, whitish, can take root from the lower nodes. The branches are numerous. The petiole reaches 1 cm; the leaf blade is ovoid or ovate-heart-shaped, measuring 1, 5-2, 2x1-1, 8 cm, wedge-shaped base, dentate edge, obtuse apex. Inflorescences in leaf axils, usually composed of three-flowered bunches, rarely 1-flowered. The calyx is slender, 6–9 mm, with 5 ribs, partly 2-labial. Corolla of torenia bentamian is purple-red, pale blue-purple or whitish, its length reaches 1, 2–1, 4 cm; the lower lobes of the lips are rounded, the middle lobes are 4 mm and slightly larger than the lateral lobes; the upper lip is oblong, its size is 5x4 mm. The anterior stamens of the appendages are 1.5–2 mm. The capsule is narrow-ellipsoidal, with a length and width of 10x2–3 mm. The flowering and fruiting of bentamian torenia occurs in August-May. In nature, it occurs on mountain slopes in the shade, along trails or streams at low elevations. Grows in Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Taiwan.

Torenia parviflora

has a herbaceous shape, reaches a height of 7–20 cm. Stems villous, straight or scattered, branched from the base. The branches are often recumbent, taking root from nodes. The petiole is 5 mm long. The leaf blade is ovate or ovate-lanceolate, with parameters 1–2x0, 8–1, 5 cm, the surface of the leaves is bare, the base is broadly wedge-shaped, the edge is serrated, the apex is sharp. Inflorescences near the top of the stem grow from the leaf sinuses, usually 2–5-flowered bunches. The calyx in fruits is 6–8 mm, 5-ribbed. The corolla is blue, 0.8–1.2 cm long.

The anterior stamens in the flower of torenia parviflora with a dentate process. The fruit is in the form of a capsule, 5–7 mm long. The seeds in the capsule reach 0.4 mm. Fruiting in October. It grows naturally in India, Indonesia, tropical Africa and America.

Related article: Recommendations for planting and caring for mimulus in open ground

Video about growing torrential in open field conditions:

Photos of toria:

Torrenia Photos 1
Torrenia Photos 1
Torrenia Photos 2
Torrenia Photos 2
Torrenia Photos 3
Torrenia Photos 3
Torrenia Photos 4
Torrenia Photos 4
Torrenia Photos 5
Torrenia Photos 5