Ruellia brittoniana 'Purple Showers'. They enjoy the warmth and can happily grow in a full sun position where they can bask in the heat all day long. Height 3 to 4ft. Learn more. The seeds have been known to travel quite a distance from the plant; this is helped by rainfall or watering hoses, which can carry the seeds further than usual. Mexican petunias are incredibly tolerant of any watering conditions. It will grow in almost any condition, including poor quality soil, but for best results, you should use a well-draining and fertile soil. As the Mexican petunia will grow in both dry or wet soil, the soil quality isn’t terribly important for this plant. Very showy, they are attractive to butterflies, bees and other pollinators. Ruellia is a genus of flowering plants commonly known as ruellias or wild petunias. So, what is ruellia and can it be grown in the garden? They can survive drought, flood, heat, and poor soils, which will be a blessing for many gardeners. What Is Ruellia Wild Petunia: Learn About The Care Of Ruellia Plants. The flowers of the Mexican petunia bloom from the middle of summer through to fall. Sign up for a free trial and get access to ALL our regional content, plus the rest They will also grow in partial shade, though plants grown in a partly shaded position may experience less flower development than those grown in full sun. As the plant is not sensitive to heat, the time of day when the Mexican petunia gets direct sun is not important, though in general, sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon is preferable when growing a plant in partial shade. Flowers may be purple, pink or blue depending on cultivar. Plant Desert Ruellia in full sun to maintain a dense form. When grown in the garden, the best way to manage their watering is to maintain moist, but not soggy, soil. In freezing climates, prune back damaged foliage in early spring. Ruellia peninsularis Desert Ruellia Desert Ruellia is frequently planted along streetscapes and freeways, but its true beauty is best appreciated up-close and personal. These are a favorite for anyone that does not have a green thumb and still wants to have a thriving, colorful plant in their yard! This larger species of Ruellia has smaller flowers, which are violet purple. Soil, which is high in nitrogen, will see the Mexican petunia produce lots of dark green foliage in favor of flowers. Prune old foliage before new leaves emerge in early spring. Quickly fills in as a ground cover. protected area, Desert Ruellia requires almost no maintenance. Amend the planting spot with some mature compost, and remove all weeds four to five weeks before planting. … Root cuttings in spring or early summer. In the most extreme cases, you may need to dig up your plant and transplant it to a different soil. During winter, you shouldn’t need to water the plant so long as there is sufficient rainfall. Grows 3 feet tall, 1 feet wide, with lavender flowers in summer. If you prefer a well-manicured style, then prune the plant to your desired shape. Desert Ruellia blooms more when in full sun, which is plentiful in the Phoenix area. Upon bursting, the seeds will be dispersed onto the ground, where they will sow themselves. If you want to encourage more flowers to appear, cut back the stems in early spring. It grows up to 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide. If you have a Mexican petunia that is struggling to flower but has lots of lush foliage growth, then you may need to test your soil for nutrient imbalance. He does not like smoke, gas products, drafts. Native to Baja California. It is when the plant is growing in very moist soils that it tends to become overgrown more easily. They flower year round here, and will get thicker if you … Description. Mexican petunias will propagate easily from stem cuttings in the summer months, but this is not something that most gardeners have to do, as the plants readily self-seed to supply the garden with an endless supply of new Mexican petunias. Aside from flower production, the other way Mexican petunias are affected by light is with the color of their stems. In terms of frequency of watering, this will depend on lots of variables, including the lighting position that your plant is grown in, the climate, the type of soil, and whether it is growing directly in the ground or in a pot. Grows easily in average, well-drained soils. Do you have additional information or a different experience for this plant that you would like to share? Propagation Sow seed in spring. Unfortunately, these traits can also enable the plant to become invasive, so it will need to be kept in check. You can test for moisture by touching the top of the soil, or you can simply judge from sight. Other common names are Desert Petunia and Baja Ruellia. Drought tolerant when established, in cooler summer climates. Soil drainag… Ruellia simplex can be grown in either the shade or full sun, and is great for edging or mass plantings. If the soil is not well drained, mix in compost with the existing soil at a ratio of one part compost to one part native soil. These desert plants aren't rare; after a while, you'll notice that they are everywhere -- even on the highways and in public parks. Acanthaceae : Form: Shrub Seasonality: Evergreen. Baja Ruellia . this evergreen shrub has a naturally rounded form, with white-grey stems, small glossy green leaves, and deep blue flowers. Easy to care for and great for use as coverage, ruellia plants offer unique beauty to landscape areas. Heat and drought tolerant. Select a … Features of care: The main difficulty is the formation of an attractive appearance of the plant. If the top layer of soil is already moist, then you don’t need to add any further water. Desert Ruellia (Ruellia peninsularis) is a medium-sized shrub with light green foliage and purple flowers that appear spring through fall. If you experience a fairly dry winter, then you can continue to water the plant whenever the soil appears visibly dried out. Each flower only lasts one day, but during the long blooming season, the plant produces so many flowers that you will never be short on the pretty purple blossoms. Tough plant that takes dry or wet soil. The Mexican petunia (Ruellia rudiflora) is a lovely addition to the garden but has a tendency to take over once it becomes established. It stays compact, growing to a foot or so tall by as wide. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. However, temperatures in mid-20's F will cause damage, requiring some pruning in the early spring. This species is non-invasive, unlike Ruellia brittoniana, a moderate water plant with long, glossy leaves. Ruellia, Desert Petunia, Florida Bluebells, Mexican Petunia, Mexican Blue Bells 'Purple Showers' Ruellia simplex. This Ruellia variety thrives in full sun or partial shade exposures and is durable and easy to care for plants. RECOMMENDED USE: Can be used as a colorful accent in sun or light shade; lightly clipped, it makes a nice border. CareDesert ruellia prefers full sun and well-drained soil. During a visit to a nursery some time ago, I noticed a white flowering variety of the more commonplace purple ‘Katie’ ruellia and I immediately decided that I liked the white color better. Plant it in well-drained soil in a hole that is three times as wide as the rootball. They are most tolerant of the heat when grown in moist conditions and note that when grown in a hot climate, the plant will like to be watered more frequently. Once established, reduce frequency; tolerates moderate drought. They will still flower even in nutrient-deficient soils, though if a soil has a nutrient imbalance, then this is where problems can occur. You can try to flush out the nitrogen with lots of generous watering to resolve this problem, or you can add a layer of mulch to the surface of the soil, as this can help to draw nitrogen out. Maintenance: Prune back to 1 1/2 ft. in early March. Several desert plants are perennial (you need to plant them only once), hardy, low care, relatively drought tolerant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provide lovely color many times during the year. Aside from removing dead or damaged stems, this plant doesn’t necessarily require pruning, but it depends on the type of look you like in your garden. They will survive both drought and flood, with no noticeable detrimental effects. They resemble petunia’s, as you would expect from their common name, but in fact, the Mexican petunia is not a petunia at all. Faded flowers should be … The funnel-shaped flowers are the primary draw for many of the species and are sometimes called Mexican petunias. It blooms all year, can grow in wet areas and is an easy plant to grow overall. Shrubs, subshrubs, and evergreen perennials in about 150 species from tropical America, Africa, and Asia belong to the genus Ruellia. Spreading shrub. Your email address will not be published. Perfect for Water in early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler and direct sun will not cook off the moisture before it can seep down to the roots. Desert ruellia is not a fussy plant; its requirements are few. When growing in a colder climate, grow your Mexican petunias in containers so that you have the option of portability during the winter. Mexican petunias, also known as desert petunias, produce more flowers the more sunlight they have, so choose a sunny spot in your yard. The widely adaptable dwarf Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittoniana) has been named a Texas Superstar® by Texas A&M University.“I first observed Ruellia growing in the neglected space between a sidewalk and the street in San Antonio,” said Dr. Wayne Mackay, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station horticulture researcher at Texas A&M Dallas. Get complete site access to decades of expert advice, regional content, and more, plus the print magazine. Peak blooming occurs from spring to early summer, with sporadic flowering throughout the year. 2 more photos VIEW GALLERY. If you would rather not have your garden taken over by Mexican petunias, you will need to deadhead the blooms once they fade. Katie Blue Dwarf Mexican Petunia is a lovely dwarf perennial that produces loads of bluish purple trumpet shaped flowers tucked in among the dark green glossy foliage from … They typically measure around 2 inches in diameter and have a delicate lilac-blue color. Watering Pour 2 cups or 500ml every day only when the the soil begins to dry out. The plant grows rapidly, and because of this, it is known as an invasive species in some regions, notably Florida. The plant can have a tendency to self-seed quite aggressively, with the seeds dispersing themselves as much as 10 feet away from the plant. These plants are hardy through USDA hardiness zones 7 to 11. An improved dwarf variety that continues to bloom summer-long, without deadheading! The only soil a Mexican petunia may have a problem with is very acidic soil, so if your plant is struggling to grow, you should consider checking the pH of your soil in case this is the reason. This feature has been temporarily disabled during the beta site preview. Are you sure you want to delete your notes for this recipe? This tough, heat-loving perennial is disease and insect resistant. In the summer it is better not to take out on the balcony or the garden. It is so tolerant of soggy soil that it can be grown in up to 6 inches of water, along with other bog plants in shallow streams and waterlogged riverbanks. 9 Different Indoor Tropical Plants - Growing Guides & Photos. They are a fantastic, no-care plant! They grow rapidly and spread easily, even in conditions that would be less than ideal for many plants. The large, petunia-like blooms are backed by dense clumps of narrow, dark green foliage. ARIZONA-SONORA DESERT MUSEUM PLANT CARE INFORMATION Dwarf Ruellia Ruellia brittonii DESCRIPTION: Dwarf Ruellia is a low-growing, herbaceous perennial with long, narrow, dark green leaves. Ruellia Brittoniana Pink Ruellia Brittoniana Brittish Ruellia is a fast growing upright evergreen. Christmas Tree Economics: Are Baby Boomers Killing the Christmas Tree Industry? Water deeply, regularly during the first growing season to establish an extensive root system. Though Mexican petunias are highly adaptable to most soil types, they grow better in fertile soil that is well drained and capable of retaining the required amounts of moisture. You can also deadhead the plant if you want to prevent self-seeding. of the member-only content library. The Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittoniana) is a beautiful addition to a flowering backyard retreat. Propagation Sow seed in spring. After the flower fades, it will develop into a pod resembling a bean pod, containing a cluster of seeds. This southern California native shrub produces a dense mass of small, glossy leaves and purple, petunia-like flowers in late spring and early summer. Ruellia brittoniana (Mexican Petunia) is a shrubby perennial boasting a profusion of petunia-like, vibrant lavender-blue flowers, 2 in. across (5 cm), from midsummer to fall. ‘White Katie’ ruellia grows to 8 inches tall and 1 1/2 ft. wide in zone 8 gardens and warmer. Avoid repeated pruning during the year. I. f you want to keep it under control in your garden, then allow the plant a little less water. Fast growing in partial to full sun, Ruellia can become invasive in moist garden soil, spreading by it's root system and reseeding easily. They will thrive in warmer climates and have naturalized themselves in parts of Texas, Hawaii, and South Carolina. This is the white version of the more common purple Ruellia. Southern Plains: January Garden To-Do List, Traveling Plants | Letter from the Editor, A Fool and His Garden | Letter from the Editor, Dahlias Don’t Ask Much | Letter from the Editor, It’s Just Business | Letter from the Editor. Size: 3 ft high by 4 ft wide Leaves: Opposite, medium green, lance shaped Flowers: Purple, bell shaped with ruffled edges Fruit: Seed Stems/Trunks: Upright Range/Origin: Baja California, Sonora Desert Hardiness: Sunset Zones 12,13, 21-24, 28 o F Like a daylily, each flower lasts only a day, with many buds blooming in succession from late spring through summer. Care Desert ruellia prefers full sun and well-drained soil. If you have a history of poor watering habits or have experienced plants that die from either overwatering or from lack of water, then the Mexican petunia would be a great feature in your garden, as it will not have a problem with inconsistent watering. As a hardy perennial (you only need to plant them once), the Mexican petunia is one of several desert plants that are recommended for warm, dry climates. Plant database entry for Dwarf Mexican Petunia (Ruellia simplex Bonita™) with 2 images and 14 data details. When allowed to grow in these conditions, they will produce an abundance of flowers. You can do this by watering the plant as soon as the top layer of the soil starts to dry out. Mexican petunias are very heat-tolerant, so don’t feel the need to shade them to protect them from the heat. Forms a naturally neat, mounded form. If you are growing these plants in a cooler climate, they should be protected from cold winters, either by moving them to a protected position out of the cold breeze, by bringing them indoors or by covering them with gardening fleece. Interestingly, the stem of this plant becomes more purple when it’s in bright light, as opposed to when it’s grown in a shady area, where the stem stays fairly green. Ruellia peninsularis (Desert Ruellia, Baja Ruellia) Shrub. Why? Large lavender-blue flowers are backed by low, spreading mounds narrow, dark green foliage. This won't delete the recipes and articles you've saved, just the list. Evergreen. Ruellia is a very easy to grow shrub that reaches 3 to 4 ft in height with purple flowers that constantly bloom from Spring through the Fall. Borne solitary or in clusters at the tips of purplish stems, they rise above the foliage of lance-shaped, glossy green leaves. We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. A perennial, the Mexican petunia grows to 3 feet in height and bears light purple flowers. They have no scent but are still very attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. If you want more of this plant growing in your garden, simply allow the flowers to turn to seed; they will drop to the ground and sow themselves where they land. Often confused with Ruellia tweediana, but its leaves are a bit shorter and wider. Do not over-water as it leads to root-rot. Desert Ruellia Ruellia peninsularis A southwestern U.S. native shrub that produces masses of deep blue, almost purple dense petunia-like flowers against light green foliage. You must be a magazine subscriber to access this feature. If your soil is nutrient deficient, your Mexican petunia should still produce a good number of flowers, but you can help it along by adding a balanced fertilizer if you wish. It readily self-seeds and has been classified as an invasive plant in the state of Florida. Plant in full sun and well-drained soils. Mexican petunias are a pretty flowering evergreen perennial that can be grown in containers, as shrub-like plants, or as ground cover. Mexican petunias do not require feeding. They have also naturalized in Florida, where they grow so aggressively that they are able to choke out other plants that are native to the state. © 2021 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. In bright light, their stems will be purple, while plants kept in partial shade will have bright green stems (SF Gate). Beautiful addition to a foot or so tall by as wide bask in the heat edging or mass.... 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Borne solitary or in clusters at the tips of purplish stems, small glossy green leaves and... Out on the balcony or the garden, the best way to manage their watering is to maintain dense... These plants are hardy through USDA hardiness zones 7 to 11 five weeks before planting beauty is appreciated! Hummingbirds, and other pollinators to decades of expert advice, regional content plus... Experience a fairly dry winter, then prune the plant, growing from dark purple-hued.... Plant so long as there is sufficient rainfall succession from late spring through summer have additional information or different. The beta site preview and remove all weeds four to five weeks before planting the... Sun and well-drained soil in a hole that is three times as wide &.. 2 images and 14 data details trial and get access to all regional... Has smaller flowers, which is plentiful in the garden will survive both and... In hot, sunny gardens with lean, fast draining soil from late spring through.... 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