Adding These Two-Toned Flowers To Hanging Baskets Is Sure To Attract Hummingbirds

Hopeful and heat-resistant Torenia fornieri are the flowers you didn't know you needed. Torenia, commonly known as wishbone flowers, looks like a cross between a pansy and a petunia and is named for its blossoms' two stamens that curve together like a wishbone. Skip the heat-sensitive pansies this season, and swap them for this tough lookalike. Wishbone flowers are among the top flowers that attract hummingbirds. They seem to be made expressly for hummingbirds — their tubular shape and flashy colors are just what our tiny friends are looking for.

Wishbone flowers make perfect choices for hanging baskets with their bright clusters or trailing vines and jewel-toned tubes filled with nectar. Wishbone flower blossoms come in tones that are tempting to hummingbirds and grow in a huge range of USDA hardiness zones, thriving in zones 2 through 11. With credentials like this, you can hardly go wrong with planting torenia in your hanging baskets, where they are sure to attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. Plus, their cascading limbs add a lovely dimension to your hanging gardens.

How wishbone flowers attract hummingbirds

What makes a flower irresistible to hummingbird species like ruby-throated, broad-tailed, calliope, and more? Color has typically been backyard birders' primary consideration, with reds at the top of the list. Yellow, purple, and pink blossoms have also been shown to draw in hummingbirds. With wishbone flowers coming in purples, blues, pinks, and yellows, they certainly fit the profile. Click here for some more surefire ways to attract hummingbirds to your garden.

Yet, Dr. Gary Bachman from Mississippi State University extension service claims that tubular shapes, even more than color, are what most attracts hummingbirds. Both criteria are covered with wishbone flowers — their colors and shapes tick all the boxes on hummingbirds' lists. They also earn extra points for their long blooming season, providing hummingbirds with a long-lasting and reliable food source. In the right conditions, your plant may bloom from late spring to late fall.

How to help your torenia thrive

Torenia has earned the title of "super plant", according to the Louisiana State University AgCenter, due to its easy maintenance and wide growing range. A flower that's a hummingbird magnet is only as good as its blooms. Torenia is known for being easy to grow, but opting for a variety that works with your space and climate is wise. Torenia's range of USDA hardiness zones is staggering. From southern Florida to northern Minnesota, wishbone flowers can brighten your porches. However, its need for consistently moist soil might make torenia less than ideal if you live in regions with limited water resources.

While most torenia varieties are tough enough to bloom in heat, high humidity, full sun, or even part shade, they prefer shadier spots in regions that experience very hot summers. If you live in an area with high heat and humidity, 'Summer Wave' torenias were created for your needs. These hybrids flourish in the deep south. They can even tolerate short periods without watering and thrive without sunlight.