This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I was tempted to try this new greenhouse annual from reading an account of it in the Gardener's Magazine, and I am pleased to say that it has proved very beautiful. I do not know whether my treatment is proper for it, but I will give a brief description of it. Premising that my plants are now eight inches high and nicely in flower, I will proceed to say that the seed was sown early in May in a frame placed upon a gentle hot-bed. The seed vegetated quickty and in three weeks from the time of sowing, the plants were large enough to prick off. Not knowing the habit of this Torenia, I put some singly in six-inch pots, and in other pots of the same size I put three plants. As I had a good number of plants, I filled a pan with some, putting them two inches apart, which I find is much too close. The triples have grown and are flowering fairly, but the best are the single plants. When potted singly the plants branch out at every joint and make a nicely-formed specimen without any pinching or training. When grown in a warm frame it seems perfectly happy while growing, and equally as happy in my greenhouse when in flower, where it is now delighting my friends, who are charmed with the quaintness of the form of the flower as well as the beautiful colors.
I gave a spray of one of the plants to a lady friend a week ago which had several unexpanded flowers upon it, and to-day she called again and in the course of conversation stated that the unexpanded flowers had expanded as perfectly as if the shoot had remained upon the plant. In every way I consider this Torenia a decided gain to those who are fond of beautiful flowers and have no hot-houses to grow them in. Very early sowing of the seed does not appear to be desirable.