Sunday, 30 September 2018

Torenia Plants And How To Care For Them

 My Torenia full blooms
Torenia fournieri are edible flowers

Excerpt taken from : The Spruce

Torenia is a profuse blooming annual flower that starts flowering early in the season and keeps up the show through fall, with minimal deadheading. Most torenia varieties form a mound that eventually trails down the sides of pots. The plants are deer resistant and very attractive to hummingbirds.

Torenia's bright and quirky upturned flowers give rise to many common names. If you've ever seen one looking at you, you will understand the name "Clown Flower". The name "Wishbone Flower" comes from the way the anthers arch and join at the tip when the flowers first open. Visiting bees break the wishbone while pollinating. And another common name, "Bluewings", came about because the original Torenia plants on the market, Torenia fournieri, had blue-purple tips on the petals.

 Botanical Name

Common Name
Wishbone Flower, Bluewings, Clown Flower

Mature Plant Size
Torenia forms a trailing mound that reaches about 8-12 inches(h) x 6-9 inches (w)

Sun Exposure
Plant your torenia in full sun to partial shade. Torenia appreciates some shade in extremely hot conditions. During very hot, humid summers, the plants will need to be kept well watered.

Torenia Growing Tips 

Soil: Torenia is not particular about soil pH, but it does need a loamy soil that will drain readily but hold moisture long enough to be absorbed by the roots.

Torenia does not transplant well, so seeds should be started in peat or paper pots. Don't cover the seeds with soil. Torenia is one of those plants that need light to germinate. Keep the soil moist and relatively warm (70 degrees F.) until the seeds germinate. After that, they can handle cooler temperatures. Pinching the growing tip when it reaches a couple of inches high will help to create a bushier plant. In frost-free climates, Torenia can be direct seeded outdoors, about 1 week before your last expected frost date.

Transplanting: Torenia do not like being transplanted, so it's best to plant them in the peat or paper pots in which they were seeded until they are planted outdoors. To prevent disturbing the roots when you move them to the garden, you can plant them pot and all. Always harden off the plants gradually, before placing outside.

Caring For Your Torenia Plants
Aside from keeping Torenia well watered and fed, there isn't much maintenance necessary. There's really no need to deadhead. They will keep on blooming unless it gets too hot for them to set buds.

Feeding: Since Torenia is a prolific bloomer and usually planted in containers, you will want to give them a dose of flower food every two to three weeks. Foliage feeding, with a high potash food, seems to keep them happiest.  

Pests And Problems Of Torenia Plants  

Torenia is almost problem free. They can be susceptible to fungus diseases that will affect their leaves and stems. Keeping them watered and cool and providing good air circulation, so the leaves don't stay wet, should prevent most problems.
The Best Torenia Varieties to Grow
The more popular Torenia plants get, the more varieties there are to choose from. Seedings are often sold while starting to bloom, so check out new varieties for your favorite colors. Here are some dependable standards to consider.
  • Torenia fournieri - Has a shorter, upright habit with flowers in shades of lavender, rose, and white, usually with a pale throat and a bright yellow dot in the center of the lower petal.
  • Summer Wave® series - Blue, violet, and amethyst Summer Wave Torenia from Proven Winners can handle the humidity better than other varieties.
  • Torenia flava - The yellow wishbone flower has golden petal tips against a maroon throat. It trails nicely in baskets.

Using Torenia in the Garden

Torenia does best in containers because it doesn't like to sit in dry soil. You will most often see it in hanging baskets, where it can fill out and shine on its own. It also works great as an accent against foliage plants, like sweet potato vines, or as an underplanting, or spiller, in a container with a larger plant, like an evergreen or fern.

If planted in the border, use it along shady edges and be prepared to give it plenty of water when things heat up. Torenia can self-seed, but not to the point of nuisance. The flowers last quite a while when cut.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Water Diamond Stud Tiara

After the rain stopped, I went out to do some clickings and I found my tiara studded with water diamonds.  A gift from God. Priceless !  I have a weakness for water diamonds and I will look out for it in my lil space each time after the rain. Well, I guess I am rich, each time after a heavy shower of rain.  The water gems are free from heaven and always have me bewitched.  You can see refraction on the water gems :) The sky was gloomy so I used flashlight to capture the refraction on the water droplets which I named them my 'water  gems'.
Some water gems are hidden from sight and I have to search for them ROFL. Like the photo below ^v^.

hidden gems

there is slight shake when taken  handheld
so I can't get a sharp picture yet :p

even the chilli are studded with water crystals,
 I am rich :)

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Flowers And Bees Are Great Photography Subjects

When there are flowers ,there are insects. They help in pollinating the chilli flowers in my lil space. Took a few shots of the bee buzzing around the chilli flowers which will turn into chillies later . So  thankful for them buzzing around the flowers. They are great subject for photography too.

Excerpt taken from here

How do bees pollinate plants?

Bees work very hard collecting nectar from flowers to turn into honey. But something else happens when worker bees buzz around on their daily mission. It’s called ‘pollination’ and it’s very important for our planet. Every time a bee lands on a flower, a little bit of pollen sticks to their feet. Some pollen also falls off as they fly about. When this pollen falls onto other plants, pollination occurs, which means the plants reproduce.
Bees pollinate two thirds of the world’s crops and flowers. Which means they make two thirds of all our plants grow, giving us food to eat and lovely flowers to enjoy. Bees pollinate onions, avocados, apples and strawberries, just to name a few! We have a lot to thank bees for, which is yet another reason why we must protect our precious honey bees.

trying hard to get the pollens

I am assured, this will turned into a chilli soon

they love chilli flowers and basil flowers

Monday, 19 March 2018

Baby Spider With +10 Close Up Lens

Baby Spider taken with a +10 close up lens.   Its fun taking close up pictures of insects in my lil space. Can't afford an expensive macro lens so this will do for the time being until I get one from Santa Claus :)   

I fixed the +10 close up lens to my Nikon 18-55mm kit lens and I am quite happy with the result. Photo taken handheld.

I have a  long way to go but I will never give up.  One day I will reach my goal.  Taking one step at a time to make the invisible become visible.

Friday, 23 February 2018

The Predator And Its Prey

There are a lot of garden spiders in my lil space. I recently bought a Costus plant for my lil space. One evening, I saw this spider (predator) waiting to catch the ants  ( prey ) that were running along the length of the flower.  I could not this this scene slips, so I took out my camera and started shooting away. Quite fascinating to watch through the lens.  Poor by one they were eaten by this predator.  Maybe its God's way of providing the spider its food :p  It is an interesting subject for my photography quest.  I love my lil space and I see God's wonderful creation through the lens. 

looks like a golden spider

poor ants as you can see they really have little chance
to escape from by one eaten up by the
 predator waiting to strike
 the ants can hardly escape its predator

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Photography -Random Close Up Shots Of Red Mini Hibiscus (Sleeping Hibiscus)

It has been almost 2 and half years since I took up photography and I would say that I truly enjoy this journey together with the hubby.  Though I may not have reached a stage that my photos are above average, I know I have FUN solving the challenges presented to me behind the lens of a camera. For those who are not really into photography, just consider the joy when you solve a crossword puzzle.  Unlike a crossword puzzle, photography is an evolving challenge. There is a myriad of subjects which can range from static to moving or even a sports event.  

I am sharing here some random shots which I took recently while rummaging through my lil space for suitable subject when I saw the beautiful Red Mini Hibiscus aka known as Sleeping Hibiscus are in full bloom. These are the shots I took and I am happy with them even if they dont look that great. I always tell myself I will reach there one day :)   Photos are taken with different settings to get different effect .  All shots are taken hand held.