Richard Bogren, Owings, Allen D.
Torenia, also called wishbone flower, is an alternative bedding plant to consider instead of impatiens for the shade.
Torenia is a great, underused shade-performing plant that more gardeners need to know. And one of the best of the torenia varieties is the Kauai series, which was named a Louisiana Super Plant in 2014.
Kauai torenia flower colors include blue and white, lemon drop, deep blue, rose, burgundy and the unique magenta. You can also buy mixed colors. Most flowers have a yellow blotch on the flower petals.
These flowers are a native of Vietnam, so they are well-adapted to perform great in our hot and humid Louisiana climates. The recommended planting time is April through mid-May.
Torenias are considered a low-maintenance bedding plant. They’re short, mounding, compact growers, only reaching 8-10 inches tall and spreading 8-10 inches in the landscape. It is best to plant them 10-12 inches apart in a well-drained bed.
Plants bloom constantly from midspring through fall. And deadheading – removing old flowers – is not needed.
Kauai torenia will work well as companions to other plants most commonly planted with impatiens. Place torenias on the edges of plant beds or along the borders of shady or woodland gardens. They also work well in a shaded container along a pathway or on a patio where evening shade is provided.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture