Spring Production Of Summer Wave Torenias

Summer Wave Torenia from Suntory

Summer Wave was the first vegetatively propagated torenia series, thriving in summer heat when seed varieties would wilt. With a lush, trailing habit and vigorous growth, Summer Waves are perfect for shady beds or hanging baskets. Self-cleaning and well-branching, they require very little maintenance. While the trailing series has five colors in shades of blue and purple, including the distinctive Large Silver, the new Summer Wave Bouquet series is capturing attention for early flowering, unique colors, high flower count and compact habit. In addition to Blue and Deep Blue, colors include Gold, Cream Yellow, White and Deep Rose. These compact plants still have the same Summer Wave garden vigor.

General Culture

Torenias are day neutral but tend to flower more rapidly under warm temperatures and the long days of spring. Rooted cuttings should be potted up as soon as possible, ideally in 4-inch pots. Use a well-drained peat/perlite mix with a pH of 6.0-6.5. Keep light levels moderate to low. Maintain moderately moist soil and water with a constant feed of 200 ppm water-soluble fertilizer. Keep temperatures at 70-75˚F during the day and 60˚F at night.

Plant Growth Regulators

Plants respond well to B9 (daminozide) sprays at 1,500-2,500 ppm 15-20 days after sticking cuttings. Or spray with Sumagic, 10-15 ppm, as needed.

Allan Armitage Says: We trialed Astorias a few years ago – I was an annual phlox atheist; I didn’t believe any were strong enough to sustain hot summers. I was very impressed with the summer performance of the Astorias.

Crop Timing

• 4-inch pots – four to six weeks with one liner and two pinches
• 6-inch pots – six to eight weeks with one liner and three pinches
• 10-inch baskets – 10-12 weeks with three liners and no pinching

Pests & Diseases

Monitor for mites and aphids. Prevent Botrytis on finished flowers and foliage.

Proven Performance

While ‘Summer Wave Large Blue’ was named one of the best performers at the University of Minnesota in 2010, that same year, Large Violet and Large Blue were named top annual performers at the University of Tennessee.

Helpful Hints from Aaron McDonald

Botany Lane Greenhouse, Lafayette, Colorado

The Astoria phlox are uniform across the six colors in the series, which is what Suntory strives for in all of its new breeding. The key to being successful with Astoria is growing them drier and cooler. It is also important to provide good air movement to help them dry out. You can grow them next to other crops, but need to remember to not treat them like a Surfinia or Million Bells. The hardest thing is telling the person who is watering not to water, because the phlox need drier conditions. Once established, the plants can take more water. It’s the first four or five
weeks that it is essential to keep them drier, from liner stage to transplanting into a 4-inch pot. You have to really watch what you’re doing because they have a finer root system.

Later, the plants can take the summer heat all season. The Astorias were among the top performers at the Colorado State University trials even with the heat and rain we had. The Astorias are great in larger containers – 10-inch planters and 12-inch baskets. Putting five plants into 15-inch containers makes a nice, big show. I wouldn’t go directly from a liner to anything larger than a 4-inch pot. Too much soil will make it hard to establish.

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