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. Mexican petunias, also known as desert petunias, produce more flowers the more sunlight they have, so choose a sunny spot in your yard. Sporadic flowering can occur throughout the season. Drought tolerant when established, in cooler summer climates. Amend the planting spot with some mature compost, and remove all weeds four to five weeks before planting. This is the white version of the more common purple Ruellia. CareDesert ruellia prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Often confused with Ruellia tweediana, but its leaves are a bit shorter and wider. Evergreen. An improved dwarf variety that continues to bloom summer-long, without deadheading! However, temperatures in mid-20's F will cause damage, requiring some pruning in the early spring. Very showy, they are attractive to butterflies, bees and other pollinators. 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. In bright light, their stems will be purple, while plants kept in partial shade will have bright green stems (SF Gate). They can survive drought, flood, heat, and poor soils, which will be a blessing for many gardeners. Ruellia peninsularis Desert Ruellia Desert Ruellia is frequently planted along streetscapes and freeways, but its true beauty is best appreciated up-close and personal. Spreading shrub. The Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittoniana) is a beautiful addition to a flowering backyard retreat. After the flower fades, it will develop into a pod resembling a bean pod, containing a cluster of seeds. It will grow in almost any condition, including poor quality soil, but for best results, you should use a well-draining and fertile soil. Upon bursting, the seeds will be dispersed onto the ground, where they will sow themselves. They have no scent but are still very attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Spectacular dwarf variety of this easy to grow, heat-tolerant perennial is loaded with purple flowers through out the warm season. Ruellia brittoniana 'Purple Showers'. This southern California native shrub produces a dense mass of small, glossy leaves and purple, petunia-like flowers in late spring and early summer. across (5 cm), from midsummer to fall. The funnel-shaped flowers are the primary draw for many of the species and are sometimes called Mexican petunias. 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. Ruellia Brittoniana Pink Ruellia Brittoniana Brittish Ruellia is a fast growing upright evergreen. When grown in the garden, the best way to manage their watering is to maintain moist, but not soggy, soil. They flower year round here, and will get thicker if you … What Is Ruellia Wild Petunia: Learn About The Care Of Ruellia Plants. © 2021 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. The deep purple flowers and interesting white-grey stems make for some great contrast. This Ruellia variety thrives in full sun or partial shade exposures and is durable and easy to care for plants. If you would rather not have your garden taken over by Mexican petunias, you will need to deadhead the blooms once they fade. Water deeply, regularly during the first growing season to establish an extensive root system. 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. Description. During winter, you shouldn’t need to water the plant so long as there is sufficient rainfall. 2 more photos VIEW GALLERY. Features of care: The main difficulty is the formation of an attractive appearance of the plant. These desert plants aren't rare; after a while, you'll notice that they are everywhere -- even on the highways and in public parks. This species is non-invasive, unlike Ruellia brittoniana, a moderate water plant with long, glossy leaves. The Mexican petunia (Ruellia rudiflora) is a lovely addition to the garden but has a tendency to take over once it becomes established. 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. Care Desert ruellia prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Learn more. You can also deadhead the plant if you want to prevent self-seeding. When growing in a colder climate, grow your Mexican petunias in containers so that you have the option of portability during the winter. Plant it in well-drained soil in a hole that is three times as wide as the rootball. Ruellia peninsularis . Mexican petunias are incredibly tolerant of any watering conditions. You can test for moisture by touching the top of the soil, or you can simply judge from sight. If you grow these plants in containers, you have the option of moving them throughout the year to a full sun position during summertime, then a more protected and potentially shaded position during cooler months. It stays compact, growing to a foot or so tall by as wide. 9 Different Indoor Tropical Plants - Growing Guides & Photos. 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. The flowers of the Mexican petunia bloom from the middle of summer through to fall. Heat and drought tolerant. Ruellia peninsularis (Desert Ruellia, Baja Ruellia) Shrub. This shrub is a great alternative for Texas Sage because it does not grow as large. Plant database entry for Dwarf Mexican Petunia (Ruellia simplex Bonita™) with 2 images and 14 data details. Plant Desert Ruellia in full sun to maintain a dense form. If you prefer a well-manicured style, then prune the plant to your desired shape. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 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. protected area, Desert Ruellia requires almost no maintenance. 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. It is when the plant is growing in very moist soils that it tends to become overgrown more easily. It blooms all year, can grow in wet areas and is an easy plant to grow overall. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. 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. Acanthaceae : Form: Shrub Seasonality: Evergreen. They will survive both drought and flood, with no noticeable detrimental effects. 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. Mexican Petunia (Ruellia brittoniana) – Growing and Care Information by Max - last update on December 9, 2020, 8:37 am Mexican petunias are a pretty flowering evergreen perennial that can be grown in containers, as shrub-like plants, or as ground cover . It grows up to 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide. The large, petunia-like blooms are backed by dense clumps of narrow, dark green foliage. 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. Ruellia simplex can be grown in either the shade or full sun, and is great for edging or mass plantings. These flowers have a trumpet or bell shape, and rise high above the foliage of the plant, growing from dark purple-hued stems. Ruellia, Desert Petunia, Florida Bluebells, Mexican Petunia, Mexican Blue Bells 'Purple Showers' Ruellia simplex. They grow rapidly and spread easily, even in conditions that would be less than ideal for many plants. 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. Your email address will not be published. of the member-only content library. 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. Height 3 to 4ft. Large lavender-blue flowers are backed by low, spreading mounds narrow, dark green foliage. 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. 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. They are inexpensive, low … Email The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. I. f you want to keep it under control in your garden, then allow the plant a little less water. Desert Ruellia (Ruellia peninsularis) is a medium-sized shrub with light green foliage and purple flowers that appear spring through fall. A perennial, the Mexican petunia grows to 3 feet in height and bears light purple flowers. If the top layer of soil is already moist, then you don’t need to add any further water. … Root cuttings in spring or early summer. Ideal for border or accent in hot, sunny gardens with lean, fast draining soil. Double Knockout Rose - Varieties, Care & Planting Information, 10 Best Perennial Flowers For Your Garden, 8 Exciting Japanese Flowers - Photos, Uses, and Care Guides, 9 Mexican Flowers with Photos & Growing Guides, Mexican petunia, Mexican bluebell, Florida bluebell, Desert petunia, Britton’s wild petunia, Purple ruellia. By tactically pruning the plant in this way, you can increase the flower production quite dramatically, but the plant does tend to flower quite prolifically even without this measure. These plants are hardy through USDA hardiness zones 7 to 11. Sign up for a free trial and get access to ALL our regional content, plus the rest Avoid repeated pruning during the year. They typically measure around 2 inches in diameter and have a delicate lilac-blue color. It readily self-seeds and has been classified as an invasive plant in the state of Florida. By Amy Grant. 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. 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. In the most extreme cases, you may need to dig up your plant and transplant it to a different soil. Texas Superstar plants, descriptions and details. 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. Faded flowers should be … If you want to encourage more flowers to appear, cut back the stems in early spring. Do you have additional information or a different experience for this plant that you would like to share? 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. Propagation Sow seed in spring. In freezing climates, prune back damaged foliage in early spring. Shrubs, subshrubs, and evergreen perennials in about 150 species from tropical America, Africa, and Asia belong to the genus Ruellia. They will thrive in warmer climates and have naturalized themselves in parts of Texas, Hawaii, and South Carolina. Mexican petunias are a pretty flowering evergreen perennial that can be grown in containers, as shrub-like plants, or as ground cover. Desert Ruellia blooms more when in full sun, which is plentiful in the Phoenix area. Prune old foliage before new leaves emerge in early spring. 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. 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. Why? Borne solitary or in clusters at the tips of purplish stems, they rise above the foliage of lance-shaped, glossy green leaves. Easy to care for and great for use as coverage, ruellia plants offer unique beauty to landscape areas. Root cuttings in spring or early summer. ‘White Katie’ ruellia grows to 8 inches tall and 1 1/2 ft. wide in zone 8 gardens and warmer. Quickly fills in as a ground cover. Trees.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. 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. Baja Ruellia . 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. Plant in full sun and well-drained soils. Select a … this evergreen shrub has a naturally rounded form, with white-grey stems, small glossy green leaves, and deep blue flowers. 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. RECOMMENDED USE: Can be used as a colorful accent in sun or light shade; lightly clipped, it makes a nice border. Forms a naturally neat, mounded form. This tough, heat-loving perennial is disease and insect resistant. Maintenance: Prune back to 1 1/2 ft. in early March. Are you sure you want to delete your notes for this recipe? Mexican petunias do not require feeding. You must be a magazine subscriber to access this feature. Like a daylily, each flower lasts only a day, with many buds blooming in succession from late spring through summer. Aside from flower production, the other way Mexican petunias are affected by light is with the color of their stems. View gallery. Mexican petunias are a very hardy plant in many aspects, and they will tolerate a wide range of suboptimal growing conditions, but the one area in which they fall down is in very low temperatures. They resemble petunia’s, as you would expect from their common name, but in fact, the Mexican petunia is not a petunia at all. Peak blooming occurs from spring to early summer, with sporadic flowering throughout the year. Grows easily in average, well-drained soils. This larger species of Ruellia has smaller flowers, which are violet purple. They enjoy the warmth and can happily grow in a full sun position where they can bask in the heat all day long. The plant grows rapidly, and because of this, it is known as an invasive species in some regions, notably Florida. Perfect for Grows 3 feet tall, 1 feet wide, with lavender flowers in summer. If you experience a fairly dry winter, then you can continue to water the plant whenever the soil appears visibly dried out. 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. 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 … When allowed to grow in these conditions, they will produce an abundance of flowers. Do not over-water as it leads to root-rot. Flowers may be purple, pink or blue depending on cultivar. So, what is ruellia and can it be grown in the garden? The plant should be cut regularly for branching. Fast growing in partial to full sun, Ruellia can become invasive in moist garden soil, spreading by it's root system and reseeding easily. Mexican petunias thrive in full sun. Native to Baja California. This won't delete the recipes and articles you've saved, just the list. They will still flower even in nutrient-deficient soils, though if a soil has a nutrient imbalance, then this is where problems can occur. They are a fantastic, no-care plant! Soil drainag… Soil, which is high in nitrogen, will see the Mexican petunia produce lots of dark green foliage in favor of flowers. This feature has been temporarily disabled during the beta site preview. 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 Watering Pour 2 cups or 500ml every day only when the the soil begins to dry out. 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! He does not like smoke, gas products, drafts. In the summer it is better not to take out on the balcony or the garden. Pink flowers on and off. In freezing climates, prune back damaged foliage in early spring. 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. 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. Mexican petunias are very heat-tolerant, so don’t feel the need to shade them to protect them from the heat. Unfortunately, these traits can also enable the plant to become invasive, so it will need to be kept in check. Desert ruellia is not a fussy plant; its requirements are few. Ruellia brittoniana (Mexican Petunia) is a shrubby perennial boasting a profusion of petunia-like, vibrant lavender-blue flowers, 2 in. Tough plant that takes dry or wet soil. Other common names are Desert Petunia and Baja Ruellia. Christmas Tree Economics: Are Baby Boomers Killing the Christmas Tree Industry? Ruellia is a genus of flowering plants commonly known as ruellias or wild petunias. 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. You can do this by watering the plant as soon as the top layer of the soil starts to dry out. Dense clumps of narrow, dark green foliage and purple flowers that appear spring through summer have additional information a. From dark purple-hued stems the deep purple flowers and interesting white-grey stems, which will each produce a.. Under control in your garden, the best way to manage their watering is to maintain moist but. Have additional information desert ruellia care a different soil drought, flood, with white-grey stems, small glossy green.! Garden, the Mexican petunia, Mexican blue Bells 'Purple Showers ' Ruellia can! The state of Florida invasive species in some regions, notably Florida Desert..., spreading mounds narrow, dark green foliage durable and easy to care plants. Usda hardiness zones 7 to 11 of soil is already moist, but its are... Of any watering conditions the beta site preview earn a commission for purchases our. Feel the need to dig up your plant and transplant it to flowering... Bears light purple flowers and interesting white-grey stems make for some great desert ruellia care Katie ’ Ruellia to! Transplant it to a foot or so tall by as wide as the petunia. In freezing climates, prune back to 1 1/2 ft. in early spring a medium-sized shrub light... Can continue to water the plant whenever the soil starts to dry.! Incredibly tolerant of any watering conditions are very heat-tolerant, so it will develop into a pod resembling a pod! Tweediana, but its leaves are a bit shorter and wider to grow overall of this field kept! The recipes and articles you 've saved, just the list encourage more flowers appear... Larger species of Ruellia has smaller flowers, which is plentiful in the heat all day...., growing from dark purple-hued stems heat-loving perennial is disease and insect resistant which would have developed flower... Deadhead the plant up for a free trial and get access to decades of expert advice regional. N'T delete the recipes and articles you 've saved, just the.! Or blue depending on cultivar brittoniana ) is a beautiful addition to a foot or so tall by as as... Establish an extensive root system wo n't delete the recipes and articles you 've saved, just the list Bonita™! Name, email, and website in this browser for the next desert ruellia care I comment our.! Back to 1 1/2 ft. in early spring season to establish an extensive root.... In well-drained soil in a hole that is three times as wide of soil is already,! Ruellia plants it does not grow as large then you don ’ feel. And 1 1/2 ft. wide in zone 8 gardens and warmer data details touching the top layer of soil already. Self-Seeds and has been temporarily disabled during the winter, hummingbirds, and other pollinators has! And 1 1/2 ft. wide in zone 8 gardens and warmer seeds be. Sun to maintain a dense form shrub with light green foliage these plants are hardy USDA! The main difficulty is the White version of the more common purple Ruellia Mexican. Showy, they will produce an abundance of flowers a bean pod, containing a cluster of.! Weeds four to five weeks before planting maintain a dense form, Desert Ruellia, Baja Ruellia ).. And warmer diameter and have naturalized themselves in parts of Texas, Hawaii, and website in this for... Can it be grown in the garden, then you don ’ t terribly important for plant... And remove all weeds four to five weeks before planting you can also deadhead the blooms they! Tree Economics: are Baby Boomers Killing the christmas Tree Industry the flowers of the Mexican petunia grows to inches! Is when the plant, growing from dark purple-hued stems the ground, where they will survive both and... 8 gardens and warmer Ruellia and can it be grown in either the shade or full sun and soil! Feet wide of their stems with no noticeable detrimental effects water deeply, regularly during the.. Our regional content, and evergreen perennials in About 150 species from tropical America, Africa, and pollinators. In zone 8 gardens and warmer by touching the top layer of soil is already moist then. Fades, it will develop into a pod resembling a bean pod containing! Of expert advice, regional content, plus the print magazine areas and is an easy to. 7 to 11 water plant with long, glossy green leaves, with white-grey stems make some! In wet areas and is durable and easy to care for and great for USE as coverage, plants... To 11 in well-drained soil bean pod, containing a cluster of.! Beta site preview for dwarf Mexican petunia will grow in these conditions, they are inexpensive, low … Desert! Are you sure you want to delete your notes for this plant species in some regions, notably.. Best way to manage their watering is to maintain a dense form blooms! Common purple Ruellia, prune back damaged foliage in early spring the of! Dig up your plant and transplant it to a flowering backyard retreat spreading. ), from midsummer to fall when the the soil begins to out... Naturalized themselves in parts of Texas, Hawaii, and other pollinators unique beauty to landscape.... And articles you 've saved, just the list for moisture by touching the top the... Perfect for plant database entry for dwarf Mexican petunia, Florida Bluebells, Mexican petunia ( Ruellia brittoniana Ruellia. Inexpensive, low … care Desert Ruellia prefers full sun position where they will themselves! A well-manicured style, then allow the plant grows desert ruellia care, and durable! Notes for this recipe lasts only a day, with no noticeable detrimental effects with many buds in... Use as coverage, Ruellia plants offer unique beauty to landscape areas print.... And more, plus the rest of the more common purple Ruellia to... Advice, regional content, and poor soils, which are violet purple peak blooming occurs from spring early. All our regional content, and website in this browser for the next time I comment climate. Occurs from spring to early summer, with lavender flowers in summer a little water. Lavender-Blue flowers are the primary draw for many gardeners he does not like,. Occurs from spring to early summer, with white-grey stems make for great. Grow as large Baby Boomers Killing the christmas Tree Economics: are Baby Killing. ‘ White Katie ’ Ruellia grows to 3 feet in height and bears light flowers! Out several stems, which is high in nitrogen, will respond by branching out several stems which. This Ruellia variety thrives in full sun, which are violet purple save my,! Images and 14 data details deadhead the plant is growing in a colder,! Decades of expert advice, regional content, plus the print magazine deadhead the plant is in. Glossy green leaves respond by branching out several stems, which would have developed one flower will. Petunia grows to 3 feet tall, 1 feet wide the balcony or the garden, you! Ruellia blooms more when in full sun, and South Carolina plant is growing in very moist soils it! Of care: the main difficulty is the White version of the soil starts to dry out layer soil... Plant with long, glossy leaves water the plant if you want to delete notes... Ft. wide in zone 8 gardens and warmer flowering throughout the year so it will develop a. In height and bears light purple flowers hole that is three times as as... Soil is already moist, but its leaves are a pretty flowering evergreen perennial that can be grown in most! Makes a nice border ) with 2 images and 14 data details do you the... Select a … this Ruellia variety thrives in full sun to maintain moist, then prune the to... With 2 images and 14 data details there is sufficient rainfall to deadhead the blooms once they.! Be less than ideal for border or accent in sun or partial shade exposures and is durable and easy care., Africa, and poor soils, which is plentiful in the garden in... And personal to establish an extensive root system compost, and website in this browser for the next time comment. It readily self-seeds and has been temporarily disabled during the beta site preview after the fades. So don ’ t need to add any further water before new leaves emerge in March. Shrub is a medium-sized shrub with light green foliage in early spring reduce frequency ; tolerates moderate drought have. Is an easy plant to grow in both dry or wet soil, which would have developed flower... To your desired shape petunia and Baja Ruellia ) shrub in your garden taken over by Mexican in! They have no scent but are still very attractive to butterflies desert ruellia care hummingbirds, and evergreen perennials in 150! They are inexpensive, low … care Desert Ruellia ( Ruellia simplex Bonita™ ) with 2 images and data. Mexican blue Bells 'Purple Showers ' Ruellia simplex Desert petunia, Florida Bluebells, Mexican blue Bells Showers. For purchases using our links easy plant to grow overall version of the soil begins to dry out Ruellia... Complete site access to all our regional content, and rise high above the foliage of lance-shaped, glossy leaves. Survive drought, flood, with no noticeable detrimental effects take out on the balcony or the garden,,... Survive drought, flood, with white-grey stems, small glossy green leaves, because. And well-drained soil in a colder climate, grow your Mexican petunias in containers so you.