Miracle Flowers... (or weeds if you don't like them)

aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)July 8, 2012

Hello, all! I'm posting because I was just outside smiling at my torenia and realized I'd never searched for it on this forum - when I did, I found a few old threads but instead of bumping them up, I figured I'd just start a new one.

This way I can share some of my favorite flowers and say "Hello!" to you all. I'm in North Florida, along I-10 between Tallahassee & Lake City. I've recently found GardenWeb forums and have been spending way, way, way to much time researching and reading. (or should I say 'rediscovered the forums' because I registered for some reason back in 2010)

In 2003 or 2004, I bought four little 3" pots of Torenia at a local hardware store because they looked happy. Four different colors. The next 2-3 years, my pots and surrounding ground overflowed with volunteers from those plants. I moved in April of 2006, and took my empty pots of "Torenia dirt" with me.

In 2007 I had made a narrow, long bed along one side of my house, planted a few various annuals and set the pots.

In 2008, the entire bed (about 2' x 15') was a mound of Torenia. They bloomed all summer until the first frost.

At that point, I still really didn't even know what they were because I'd either forgotten or they didn't have ID tags on them when I bought them. All I knew was that I loved them.

I'm not sure when this picture was taken, but it was several years ago.

Last year I mulched and enhanced several of my beds so I don't have many volunteers growing in-ground right now (though there are some!) - but I have pots FULL of them. Some of these are the original pots, and I'm sure the soil is very poor now but I can't dump the dirt because I might lose some seeds, lol. They are super easy to transplant, so often I'll take babies out of one pot, or out of the ground and stick them somewhere else - like into a pot with new soil.

I move the pots around to areas where I would like a no maintenance, pretty plant to grow.

I had a pepper plant that my husband promised to an aunt and I went out after he'd plucked the baby torenias out of the pot and thrown them on the ground. I rescued them all, stuck them in a pot that was empty and they all popped right back up and are growing happily.

Yesterday, I dumped a pot of torenia (carefully) so that I could rescue the pansy that was being overtaken - I potted up the pansy** and stuck all the torenias into two different pots. Today they look like they've been growing in the pot forever.

Those original four plants were a pretty good investment! They are also very likely the reason I still garden, other plants I'd tried before, and that first year with these, never did well and would likely have destroyed my confidence.

--I do tell people that if they don't love them, they could easily be considered a weed. I haven't, though, had any problems with them appearing in any places where I have not set pots out so I guess the seeds are pretty heavy and drop instead of flying around the yard.

Some of this year's flowers:

Some volunteers in an area that was a favorite digging & laying spot for my dogs, so it's pretty ugly. I'd set a bunch of pots there to enhance it a bit, so hopefully these will grow, prosper and multiply!

Volunteers in a pot around my calla:

** My pansy has held on valiantly through our recent heat and I'm going to try to "oversummer" it in the house and start cuttings to put out in the fall. It will be an experiment because I can't really find much on "oversummering plants inside", lol.

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zzackey(8b GA)

How cool! I love Torenias! We called them Monkey flowers up north. I used to have one, but it died.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 4:08PM
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Martina DeLuca

I just discovered them. I put some of the trailing kind in the garden and kept some in a hanging basket. I like plants that volunteer. So, that's good news to me.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 4:37PM
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