The lone voice of horticultural reason



Quick, name a profusely blooming annual with a trailing habit that flourishes in shade.

I didn’t think so. But, lo and behold, there is one, pictured here in a couple of guises surrounding my humble home. As I’ve said often, I prefer annuals that look like perennials, and this trailing Torenia fits the bill. It has square or maybe five-sided stems and attractive, rugose leaves that make it look like something from the Nepeta (mint) family. I’m pretty certain the blue is a little richer than the way my photos will turn out on the Web.

I found the plant at Lynde Greenhouse in Maple Grove. This blue variety is “Blue Moon,” the only one Lynde grew this season; there is also a pink, “Pink Moon,” and a blue with yellow throat called “Yellow Heart Moon.” It’s a Ball Seed product, for those of you who keep track of pedigrees.

This plant is flourishing in about one hour of direct sun at the end of the day. I deadhead it every few days, fertilize it every two weeks, and once we got out of the cool nights of June, it took off.

Care and Use
This is the container plant I’ve been looking for, something that will trail and bloom in the shade. It mounds up nicely; I have one plant all by itself in a ten-inch high pot and it looks great, could have gone bigger. Pictured is one I have in a wall pot at my front door, and one in a window box (sorry about the dreadful impatiens, this box will look great once the little red runts get up where they’re supposed to be).

Don Engebretson
The Renegade Gardener