The pot gets a good 6 hours of sun a day? Thank you for sharing your thoughts. This is a vigorous grower that does get woody brown stems. Any tips for keeping them over by the driveway? Trim out any dead leaves and remove dead flowers for aesthetic purposes. Though not closely related to petunias, many know the plant as Britton’s wild, Texas petunia, or sometimes even Mexican bluebell. Hi. How Ruellia Tuberosa is effective for various diseases is listed in repertory format. For USDA Zones 8-10, it may be effectively grown in bog gardens, as a pond marginal, and in beds and borders. I’m going to have to cut it back and dig some out to keep it in bounds…it goes where it wants. Mine die off (above ground) in winter, so I cut the woody stem to about 2″ and cover with mulch. Sometimes older Katie’s will get like that. Fertilizer formulas such as this one that contain more nitrogen (N) than phosphorus and potassium (P and K) can lead to lush, leafy growth with few flowers. It’s in our pond as a centerpiece. I have this plant but very few blooms. They are not closely related to petunias (Petunia) although both genera belong to the same euasterid clade.The genus was named in honor of Jean Ruelle, herbalist and physician to Francis I of France and translator of several works of Dioscorides. Ruellia simplex should be used to reference the full-sized versions of Mexican petunia, and not the dwarf variety. What is Mexican petunia? I was wondering why I have such a lack of growth with this plant (no spreading). Does it need fertilizer? It’s that its crowding out our native plant species and harming the environment. Judy Ann, how interesting that you’ve been growing it as a houseplant! It was introduced to Florida in the 1940s. Is there anything suggested to maybe braid them? Yes, they do bloom a lot, don’t they! It gets cold enough during the winters that they die back but every spring they come back bigger and better. There are a few things I would check. Here is more about what we do. Be sure to keep the soil moist. ‘Chi Chi’ is a popular pink cultivar often found at plant centers. Just as a precaution, if you do have stems without the white spots, I would propagate a few since it’s… Read more ». No special care needed. If the plant is getting too much nitrogen, it may stop blooming and will start to focus on leaf growth at the expense of the flowers. It is drought tolerant, and in fact, throughout our brutal Central Texas summers, I give mine nary a drop of supplemental water and they do just fine. Well maybe one or two. It will not spread by runners, but does spread by seed. Sometimes, the Latin name for this plant is written as Ruellia simplex, which was the original name given to this plant when it was discovered in Cuba in 1870. COPYRIGHT © 2020 ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. I also want to make sure you haven’t applied a nitrogen-rich fertilizer this season. I happily yank and transplant often and they are so hardy. You might also want to do a soil test, to determine the nutrient makeup of your soil and see if any amending with fertilizer is called for. We bought a plant in NC last autumn and we divided and rooted them over the winter for outdoor planting. See a theme here? Hi Diane – I would be grateful for any help understanding what happened. I am pulling it all out. I want to keep it alive! It goes into major decline. Can you see any bite marks or small holes on what remains of the plants? Alba (sometimes sold as White Flower Form) produces hundreds of pure white blooms from June through September. What is going on? I cut them down to about 6 inches above ground after the first freeze. The Mexican Petunia is classified as a Category I Invasive in FL due to its tendency to get out of control and be very difficult to eradicate. She is 84 and wants to sell them. You can dry and save them for planting elsewhere if you wish, or trade with the neighbors. Hi Deb…. To divide this plant, loosen the soil around the area, and then dig around the clump you wish to excise. Scientifically, it’s been labeled R. brittoniana, R. coerulea, R. malacosperma, and R. tweediana, though today’s taxonomists are in agreement that R. simplex is the correct moniker. With deep pruning in early spring, plants will be more erect and creep less. Thank you! Pull them all the way up, roots and all, and dispose of them. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu. What’s wrong? I love these Mexican Petunias. A former garden editor for a daily newspaper in Austin, Texas, Gretchen Heber goes through entirely too many pruners and garden gloves in a year’s time. These plants are drought-tolerant once they’re established, but it’s a good idea to baby them a bit if they’re recent plantings. I also live in Dallas. Forms a naturally neat, mounded form. The plant will probably be fine without any extra TLC. It can be quite a challenge! Mexican petunia spreads naturally by both seeds – it can spew the small brown discs as far as ten feet – and rhizomes. It’s not on the menu for deer, but if these graceful herbivores are helping themselves to other plants in your garden, check out this article about protecting your plants. Please help they have taken over the front and side yard. Hi Voodoo! Diane, are your ruellia spreading too vigorously? One year after a mild winter they survived. How long have your transplants been in the ground? Of course, if your R. simplex spreads too far and wide, you can excise the metastasizing plants. Trumpet shaped flowers are metallic blue to purple, with five petals, and 3 in (7.6 cm) wide. I think that’s your best bet — hand pulling them. If you want even more plants – in a different part of the yard, for example – you can propagate by taking cuttings in springtime. Tough plant that takes dry or wet soil. These are beautiful plants that stay full of blooms. This non-indigenous species has escaped cultivation and is highly invasive in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and 9 states including Florida. Mine did very well blooming the first 2 years so guess they are crowded so will thin them next spring. Now that I know they can live in shade, I’m going to dig them up and move them to the shade garden I’m putting in! Butterflies like it too – it attracts swallowtail, brush-footed, and monarch butterflies eager to enjoy the flowers’ nectar. My granddaughter watered it. Anything I can do to encourage flowers? ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Also easy to re-root, just cut and leave in water, you have nice roots in 2 wks or so. How can I remedy the long ones? Mine has too much shade, I’m wanting to move to a sunny spot USA, Tennessee. Did your plants just not shoot up at all? And for more information on plants that thrive in the shade, check out these guides next: Photos by Gretchen Heber © Ask the Experts, LLC. When i dislodged this part to get them growing right again, I found them to be too long to stand up straight on their own. Doug, welcome to Gardener’s Path; we’re always happy to have new readers! The tops of a few of my vincas were also eaten off. Vickey in Katy, TX. Or don’t. I’ve always used my Mexican petunia as a shade plant and was surprised to see purple-stemmed ruellia on a visit to Tucson, Arizona, where it was planted in full sun. They also attract bees and it’s entertaining to watch them crawl down into the flowers and disappear. R. simplex, the name of a species described from material collected in Cuba in 1870, is the oldest name for the Neotropical species generally known as Ruellia tweediana, Ruellia coerulea and Ruellia malacosperma. I broke off a few sprigs from a neighbor’s stand of Mexican petunia about 20 years ago and rooted them in water. You may be able to order them through a local nursery or online purveyor. Close × Share This Page. Best flowering is in full sun. They are vigorous growers in FL. Ruellia simplex. They are great for attracting hummingbirds, too! Hi Sue! I am new to your site. Gretchen, Keep in mind that they can get large, so you’ll need to increase the size of the container up to at least 18 inches wide and deep… Read more ». Edit: Then I noticed Rob’s mentioning that, as well. I live in No. Product photos via liveplantflower, SVI, andlvrgarden. Hydrate the plant the evening before you move it. Absolutely! Hi Diane – And I feel like the sun was probably okay, since they’re not particular about that, but it shouldn’t hurt them to be in a sunnier spot, either. After the frost has killed the plant….how do I care for them? You also might want to use this plant to add some color to shady areas. It is not infecting other plants. They come back in early spring, and boom all summer.  The genus is named after French botanist Jean Ruel, while the specific name refers to the simple, not compound leaves. Beloved by many gardeners for its heat tolerance and shade-loving nature, but reviled by others for its eagerness to spread with abandon, R. simplex can be divisive. Found out they are invasive. I poke them in the… Read more ». Thanks, I’m glad you shared that photo, which allows me to see those white spots are probably not powdery mildew and don’t need a fungicide. Is anyone gonna mention that invasive plants are harmful to our ecosystem? Wow! My 4-year-old (at the time we planted) granddaughter got a small cutting from her Sunday School teacher. As with most plants, you’ll want to treat them to regular, deep waterings immediately after transplanting, which you’ll do in springtime, and then you can back off the watering if you like. But mostly they just sit there all winter, looking fine. Do you have these in your garden? Are you in the pro- or anti-ruellia camp? Yes they spread but I love how they show up in the craziest places. They do great in my area and the hummingbirds love them. Location is facing east with strong sun in the summer until about 2-3 p.m., then shade from the house. Simply so easy to grow & so nice to look at. I know… can you believe our crazy weather? Yes! Love this beauty. If so, you can encourage it to bloom by dividing or thinning it. Excellent annual flowering plant for areas where it is not winter hardy. Place your transplants into holes the same depth as the root balls of your clumps and twice as wide. Purple Showers Ruellia is quite adaptable to soil types and moisture levels but will produce the most flowers in a good garden soil with average moisture. How to Overwinter Bird of Paradise Plants, How to Grow and Care for Calico Aster in the Late Summer to Fall Garden, How to Grow Asian Persimmon Trees (Diospyros kaki), 8-11 (marginally hardy in Zone 7 with protection), Butterflies (swallowtail, brush-footed, and milkweed) and hummingbirds, Don’t plant in full sun if the heat is brutal where you live, Give the plant extra water right after you plant it. They are pretty but we don’t want the whole garden covered by them. I didnt really notice the undergrowth until one day, then I gently removed it but found gaping spaces. Second, have you applied any fertilizer? Purple Showers. If you don’t mind, it would be great if you’d check back in and let us know if you were able to fix… Read more ». Try the native Wild Petunia instead. My husband brought me several purple Mexican petunia plants from a neighbour and another neighbour who unfortunately moved away gave me some pinks (which I adore). She wanted to plant it at Grandma and Papa’s house. Ruellia Species: simplex Family: Acanthaceae Life Cycle: Perennial Recommended Propagation Strategy: Division Seed Stem Cutting Country Or Region Of Origin: Caribbean, Central and South America, Mexico Wildlife Value: Attracts butterflies. Purple Showers Mexican Petunia - Ruellia - 1 Gallon Pot The Purple Showers Mexican Petunia is an exceptionally easy-to-grow and versatile perennial plant for wet or well-drained soils that forms attractive clumps of erect, deep purplish stems that are clothed in dark-green, willow-like leaves tinged in purple. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Fertilize with a 10-10-10 (NPK) mixture in springtime. It can still spread via rhizomes, however. They bloomed all last year. You can find packages of 50 seeds are available from Amazon. Hi Jackie – They also appreciate a dose of 20-20-20 fertilizer monthly. I wonder if you’ve given it too much water? . I love the lacy leaves. This is the first time that I have had these plants. I’ve seen purple, pink and white, but no other colors. I’m curious, though, are they young kids or adults? • Antinociceptive / Anti-Inflammatory: Ethanol extract of Ruellia tuberosa showed antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities with maximum time response against thermal stimuli similar to that of diclofenac and significant inhibition in serotonin and egg albumin-induced hind paw edema in rats. Thanks for passing along the positive response. Lastly, maybe even grown in pots in the ground and moved indoors before frosts? You can also propagate this plant via purchased seeds, cuttings, or division. Plant database entry for Mexican Petunia (Ruellia simplex 'Southern Star Blue') with one image and 35 data details. I have the purple ones. Keep reading to learn more about growing ruellia. We grow these in west central Ohio. Some members of the genus are poisonous, whilst others are used as herbal remedies for urinary problems and as an anthelmintic to destroy parasitic worms. How do I keep them contained or get rid of. They are inexpensive, low maintenance, and drought-resistant. Mexican Pansy Quick Reference Chart I live in GA and have these beautiful flowers! Spread the roots out in the holes. Barbi, please encourage your homeowners to plant something native instead, it will help our local birds, bees and insects. We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. Hello I live in Florida and my problem is they will not stop growing. Is it a blight? Any suggestions what could have eaten them? There is a dwarf variety that is only 1 ft (0.30 m) tall. It is mainly a plant of wet places such as ditches, pond verges, lakesides and marshes, but can survive in drier conditions. I have a beautiful field of elephant ears. See our TOS for more details. Ruellia malacosperma Greenm. The benefit is the native petunia will feed our native birds and bees, where the non-natives usually do not. However, the plant does even better in wet conditions (hello, Florida!). You may apply a 10-10-10 fertilizer in spring. They are almost impossible to control or eradicate, so I suggest planting them where you can keep them controlled, like in a pot. It also does well in average garden soils with even moisture. She picked a spot right by the steps leading to our front porch. I like the leaf form, also. They can take a few years before they start really spreading. I am a realtor in Florida and have several out of state investors who buy/own duplexes or small SFHs and most of the time the garden beds are empty or weeds so I always tell them to plant a couple of these plants and within a day (if you buy them a foot tall or so) or even a few weeks if you buy them smaller, their gardens will be colorful, and the tenants do not have to take care of them because they take care of themselves basically. The Alabama Plant Atlas is a source of data for the distribution of plants within the state as well as taxonomic, conservation, invasive, and wetland information for each species. Now it only produces white flowers any suggestions on how to help it bring back the purple flowers? Sadly, each lovely flower lasts just a day. It all sounds lovely! How do… Read more ». I have had a heck of a time getting them out of my front garden. Post a photo! Mexican petunia is generally highly prized as a shade plant, but if your summers aren’t too brutal, the plant may be able to take full sun. That sounds like a great place for these plants, LaJuana! So far I’ve been hand pulling the ones in the lawn. Hello Deb, and thanks for the encouraging words. It’s an erect, often-multi-stemmed plant with dark green, droopy, slender, and long leaves. So if you’re new to your garden, try these – you will be successful!! My husband did cut it back to the ground each winter and every spring it would come back bigger and better, blooming those lovely purple blooms. Floridians, if you’re still with us, you should choose the cultivar ‘Purple Showers,’ which is sterile and does not produce seed. Are your white flowers still purple or pink in the center? , Dwarf Mexican Petunia or Katie Pink or Katie Ruellia -- Ruellia simplex, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ruellia_simplex&oldid=987048548, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 4 November 2020, at 15:53. My landscape garden is close to 2 years old and I still love these pesky petunias. I also found that the ruellia crawled along the ground to survive and attached roots along the way. Thanks for reading. : 832873 (Download Help) Ruellia simplex TSN 832873 Taxonomy and Nomenclature Kingdom: Plantae : Taxonomic Rank: Species : Synonym(s): Ruellia brittoniana Leonard : Ruellia malacosperma sensu Small, non Greenm. Yes, you can absoultely grow Mexican petunias as an annual in northern regions, even from seed, as long as you have 3 good months of frost-free weather (as zones 4 and 5 do) and a spot in full sun. Never saw it before, but I see it in other yards. You can baby the plant with rich compost or you can stick in the native soil that’s already there, and it will still do fine. I’ve been a huge fan of these beautiful purple flowers for years. Besides larger herbivores (which sometimes like to munch on these, but more often than not, they will pass them up in favor of other options), caterpillars will also eat Mexican petunias, and several species of butterflies use them as a host plant. Lift out the clump and, using a shovel, slice the crown of the plant into several pieces. It’s about 3′ tall and has bloomed every day – until 4 months ago when it just stopped. So much so, they have been classified as a Category I Invasive by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. Cover the roots with dirt and water thoroughly; continue to water well for several weeks until well-established. Now no flowers. Also we grow ours by the pool so the majority of the daily flowers that fall out will float in the pool and stay purple for a few hours – so pretty. My favorite plant!!! Hello Sandy Hall! This plant thrives in moist, fertile, humusy but well-drained soils. Hello! It’s especially loved for its papery, trumpet-shaped flowers that mimic every shade of the purple rainbow, as well as white and pink. If you want to grow them in containers, that’s an option as well. But you could leave it outdoors if you put a heavy layer of mulch on it and it would rebloom in the spring. We are fortunate to have a beautiful array of them in a small patch of dirt outside our apartment in Dallas that is maintained by a lawn crew. We planted them as a border in our front garden and they completely took over. Sounds gorgeous, Rob. Hello Donna. Hi – I’m not sure I like this plant. I’d err on the side of caution, because you’re right, it’s too pretty to kill! Easy to care for and great for use as coverage, ruellia plants offer unique beauty to landscape areas. Make a two-inch-deep hole in the potting mix with a pencil. Thanks to its sweet purple flowers, however, we come down firmly on the pro-ruellia side of the debate. Plant one to two seeds for each expected plant, spaced 12 inches apart. What Causes Yellowing and Thinning of Kale Leaves? I always enjoyed gardening with my grandparents as well, and learned so much from them. List of various diseases cured by Ruellia Tuberosa. Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Jan 27, 2017 1:32 PM. Are they planted in the ground or in containers? Do you know what this is? Although Ruellia simplex has lovely blooms, due to its invasive tendencies it is not a good plant for Florida gardens. I live in NC. And for two of the past 3 years, the lawn crew took the weed whacker to em until they were nothing but 4-6 inches of brown twigs.… Read more ». Grows 3 feet tall, 1 feet wide, with lavender flowers in summer. Facts, Benefits & Uses of Dwarf Bluebell If you wouldn’t mind, could you try uploading your picture again? , Ruellia simplex C.Wright is the oldest and accepted name for this species, which has been variously called Ruellia angustifolia (Nees) Lindau, Ruellia brittoniana Leonard, and Cryphiacanthus angustifolius Nees, among several synonyms. So to get them under control you’ll need a three-part approach: Pull up as many as you can. They are in the ground. Haha! Hummingbirds love it. They have dine great and it is so nice to have a plant that is not in everyone else’s garden! The tall version forms clumps 18 inches across, while the short type forms 12-inch clumps. It’s so cool it’s worth mentioning many times! I live in florida and love these plants for the color and height they bring to any area of the yard. Ruellia simplex C. Wright Taxonomic Serial No. You’re right, they can get aggressive in the right conditions. The next morning, before the heat of the day, dig it out and transplant it. Is your plant crowded at all? That encourages them to produce lush leaves and few or no blooms. I had them in Florida and now Georgia. It has become invasive in some of these areas, forming dense, single-species stands of vegetation which threaten native plants. Both overwatering and underwatering can cause yellow leaves. It doesn’t seem to have worked the first time around (sorry about that!). I want white and pink and if any other colors are available. Thank you! This is becoming an increasing concern as our bird, bee, and native insect populations diminish. This is indeed a vigorous grower with invasive tendencies that may not be appreciated by all. Barbara, that sounds frustrating! A lovely tall plant for the back of a bed, or a pretty edging for the front — one species, two practical uses. And pink and if any other colors are available sideways, called rhizomes to ( Insects/Diseases/Other Problems:! 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