This plant thrives in moist, fertile, humusy but well-drained soils. Product Description 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. So, what is ruellia and can this Mexican native be cultivated in our own home garden landscape? It is been given a number of different names, including R. brittoniana, R. coerulea, R. malacosperma and R. tweediana. Excellent annual flowering plant for areas where it is not winter hardy. Shop our Amazon Affilate link to find all of our favorite garden products and support our channel. Like daylilies, they only bloom once a day, but continuously bloom throughout the summer. In the springtime, you can use a garden rake to mix in a fertilizer of choice into the top 2 inches of the soil surrounding the plants. Mexican petunias can be grown in pots. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. The Mexican petunia plant is a fast grower and is used successfully against block walls or to surround and camouflage unpleasant looking electrical boxes and air conditioning units. Keep reading to learn more about growing ruellia. "Katie" is a popular dwarf cultivar because it doesn't produce seed pods and therefore is not considered invasive. RUELLIA simplex 'Purple Showers' Plant Common Name. Live Plants 6.25" x 6.25" Roots Plus 18" Foliage Spring Summer Bloom CharlesCorner. Mexican petunias are also a shrub, featuring woodier stems and growing much taller than their look-a-like. There is also no major concern when it comes to pests. However, pruning Mexican petunias is entirely up to you, and really just depends on how quickly and how much you want your petunias to flourish. Straight species plants are rarely sold, but several established cultivars are regularly sold (pink, purple or white flowers in tall and dwarf forms).Genus name honors Jean de la Ruelle (1474-1537), French herbalist and physician to Francois I (1494-1547) who was king of France from 1515 until his death in 1547.Specific epithet of simplex is in reference to the leaves being simple.‘Purple Showers’ is a vigorous, upright, Mexican petunia (also called Mexican blue bell) that typically grows in a clump to 3-4’ tall. Considered by some experts to be much less invasive than the non-sterile Mexican species. This plant can be trimmed to … Since they grow to be a shrub, medium to larger-sized containers work best. They do benefit from occasional watering in dry climates but can go without for long stretches of time. Best flowering is in full sun. Common Name: Mexican petunia Type: Herbaceous perennial Zone: 8 to 10 Average Rating: Your Name ... our purple showers are beautiful, we live here in florida and they really do great here, we planted them a couple of years ago,and they have just took off, great plant. The Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittoniana) is a beautiful addition to a flowering backyard retreat. $0.00. It is shorter than other Ruellia cultivars and has adequate branching throughout so as to not look leggy.It blooms regularly and flowers have a nice, purple hue. Seeds persist in the soil. For USDA Zones 8-10, it may be effectively grown in bog gardens, as a pond marginal, and in beds and borders. Plant Categories. It was introduced to Florida in the 1940s. Purple Showers is sterile and produces no seed but spreads aggressively by roots. Mexican Petunia is a great backdrop for other plants if you have a large space to cover. Details. It thrives as a marginal water plant and in boggy soils. They are inexpensive, low maintenance, and drought-resistant. To improve drainage in moist beds, consider adding a little sand to the mix. Leaves are often attractively marked as well. As long as they're placed in a sunny spot, they grow well in indoor pots and outdoor planters alike. From shop CharlesCorner. Ruellia simplex, commonly called Mexican petunia or Texas petunia, is a vigorous, shrubby, woody-based, rhizomatous perennial that is grown as an annual north of USDA Zone 8. Winter hardy to USDA Zone 8 (marginally hardy in Zone 7 with protection and mulch) where it is best grown in medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. RUELLIA coerulea 'Purple Showers' Plant Common Name. The wild form has purple flowers, and is native to Mexico, Western South America and the Antilles. Once established in the wild, plants are very difficult to eradicate. Flowering is very respectable but less frequent when plants are grown as annuals in northern gardens, but will typically bloom from May to September. Tubular, petunia-like flowers (to 1.5”) bloom freely from the leaf axils from late spring to frost (sometime year round in USDA Zones 8-10) on greenish-purple stems clad with linear, willowy, sword-shaped, green leaves. I opted to try the ‘Mayan TM Compact Purple’ cultivar and so far it has been an excellent landscape plant.. They can withstand shade and partial shade but will be less productive if planted in these areas. Mexican petunias, or Ruellia brittoniana, have no problem flourishing on there own, and some experts actually recommend that you do not prune them. Use in a border, container, or at waterside. 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. Since they can spread at a fast pace, you may consider growing them in a more contained area so they don't end up taking over your entire lawn. If you're planting Mexican petunias for the first time, you may want to use a shovel or garden tiller to loosen and turn over the soil before planting, sprinkling in compost or manure as you work. General Description. A profuse bloomer 9-10 months out of the year. Name: Ruellia Purple Showers Plant Type: shrub Height: 3’-5’ Width: 3’-5’ Light: full sun to part shade Salt: good salt tolerance Deer: will eat Zone: 8-11 Notes: A great plant to use in the landscape if used properly! Ruellia simplex 'Purple Showers' Back to Previous Page. Cutting back the stems after flowering will encourage new growth and even more blossoms. Mexican petunias can be started from seed, planting them inside several months before the growing season. Mexican petunias will spread quickly and naturally—sometimes aggressively— especially in moist climates. Invasiveness is clearly not a problem in St. Louis, however, where these plants are grown as annuals, with stem cuttings overwintered indoors if desired. The Spruce / Autumn Wood How to Grow Mexican Petunias Easy to care for and great for use as coverage, ruellia plants offer unique beauty to landscape areas. Mexican petunia is an attractive blue- to purple-flowered perennial that is available at some garden centers. Upon a closer look, you may notice the long and thin leaves of the Mexican petunia are quite different from the furry, full and pointed leaves of the annual petunia. It is a versatile plant that tolerates an extremely wide range of growing conditions. Mexican petunia bushes take full sun—the more direct sun they receive, the more flowers will bloom. It typically grows to 3-4 tall in the wild, but to 2-3 tall in gardens. At this time, R. simplex is the preferred name because it has been determined that this was the name first given to this plant in 1870 when it was described in Cuba, and accordingly that name has priority. Dip the ends of each stem in rooting hormone, and then plant in pots filled with peat moss and soil. When given ideal growing conditions, Mexican petunias are not very susceptible to blight. The cultivar 'Purple Showers' is an upright, floriferous selection of Mexican petunia, a heat tolerant, evergreen subshrub native to the American tropics. It is a fast grower that may self-seed aggressively. The genus Ruellia encompasses about 300 species. View gallery. If you want to harvest seeds from your existing plants, remove the seed capsules once they turn brown in the fall. It has colonies of semi-woody stalks that bear dark green lance-shaped leaves. In zones north of 8a it can be grown as an annual in flower beds or in containers that can be overwintered indoors. Easy to propagate by cuttings, division and seed.‘Purple Showers’ does not produce seed, but will spread by rhizomes where winter hardy. They do not survive in the cold, yet they can still be enjoyed as summer annuals in areas that experience low temperatures in the winter. Flowers last only one day, but plants often produce an impressive non-stop succession of bloom. Dusty Miller (Silver Ragwort) Plant Profile, Aubrieta (False Rock Cress) Plant Profile, How to Grow Hardy Chrysanthemum (Garden Mum), How to Grow and Care for the Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow Plants, Calibrachoa (Million Bells) Plant Profile. If growing around an appliance, make sure you leave enough room on one side so it can be accessed for maintenance. If you're concerned about excessive spreading, you can opt to plant a sterile variety of Mexican petunia. Plants are most invasive in moist areas. Cuban Petunia, Purple Showers Ruellia. Excellent free-blooming plant in large containers. Ruellia brittoniana ‘Purple Shower’ is a tender evergreen shrub that is about 3’ tall or so in height. Each flower blooms for only one day. This three-foot-tall evergreen shrub bears many tubular, blue or purple, petunia-like flowers on dark stems over a long period. Or, you can try planting the seeds directly into the ground. Mexican petunia is a vigorous (some say aggressive), shrubby, woody-based plant is that is easy to propagate by cuttings, division and seed. Ruellia brittoniana ‘Purple Showers’). These leaves cast a metallic blue color under direct sunlight. When you first see a Mexican petunia, you may mistake them for the common annual petunia as their flowers are quite similar. It spreads by seeds that can sometimes reach up to 10 feet away from the original plant, as well as through thin, underground roots called rhizomes. Ruellia brittoniana 'Purple Showers' Shrubs, subshrubs, and evergreen perennials in about 150 species from tropical America, Africa, and Asia belong to the genus Ruellia. tall and blooms a purple flower all year long. They're unique in that they're drought resistant and yet they also survive floods. This cultivar that is sterile and will not produce seed, but can still spread aggressively by rhizomes and floating pieces of root. No serious insect or disease problems. Where is this species invasive in the US. Mexican petunias do benefit from pruning, especially if they're grown as a hedge. Most are native to the tropical and occasionally temperate areas of Africa, Asia and the Americas. It can be significantly invasive in areas such as the Florida where it is has been declared to be a Category 1 invasive species. Also known as Purple Showers, the Mexican petunia's flower petals are most commonly a vibrant violet color, but they can also be pink or white. Transplanting Mexican petunias is best done in the fall before they go dormant in the winter. Plants branch from the ground into several woody-based stems clothed … Established plants have respectable drought tolerance. It grows about 4ft. The petunia-like blooms each last only a day - but are replaced the next with more blossoms. It is native to Mexico, but has escaped gardens and naturalized somewhat aggressively in parts of the southeastern U. S. from South Carolina to Texas plus Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands. Purple Showers Mexican Petunia is an herbaceous annual with an upright spreading habit of growth. Flowers are similar to petunia-flowers and bloom freely from late spring to frost. Once you've taken your desired amount of cuttings, remove the buds, flowers, and lower leaves from the stems. Once they take root (usually after a few weeks), you can add the plants to your yard. Missouri Botanical Garden Plant of Merit. Producing bluish-purple blooms like flashes of light bulbs, the Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittoniana "Purple Showers") shrub provides striking flowers from late spring to early fall. It is native to Mexico, but has escaped gardens and naturalized somewhat aggressively in parts of the southeastern U. S. from South Carolina to Texas plus Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands. While they do share this resemblance, the two plants are not closely related. Flowers are followed by bean-like pods (to 1” long) which explosively dehisce mature seed in all directions. While it seeds freely, keep in mind that some cultivars are sterile ('Purple Showers'), in which case they may spread by rhizomes. Plants branch from the ground into several woody-based stems clothed with elongated, linear, willow-like, dark green leaves (to 6-12” long and ¾” wide) that are often tinged with purple. Tubular, trumpet-shaped, 5-lobed, petunia-like, lavender to violet flowers (to 1.75” long) bloom from the upper leaf axils in loose purple-stemmed clusters (long-stalked cymes). Cover a large space or disguise unsightly items in the landscape. While it's not mandatory, Mexican petunias benefit from the addition of manure, fertilizer, and compost in their growing areas. They grow and spread extra quickly in marshy soil, or next to rivers and lakes. Plant database entry for Mexican Petunia (Ruellia simplex 'Purple Showers') with 14 images, 3 comments, and 25 data details. Great Companions for RUELLIA 'PURPLE SHOWERS' Magnolia 'Elizabeth' Magnolia. 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. Mexican-petunia (also known as Mexican bluebell or Britton’s petunia) is described as a “hardy perennial edging plant for flower beds and as colorful groundcovers.” Scientific names include Ruellia brittoniana, R. coerulea and R. tweediana, but taxonomists now use the name Ruellia simplex, which was the first name used to describe this species. Seeds explosively dehisce. Conifers Crape Myrtles Grasses Groundcovers Perennials Rose Shrubs Trees Vines. Plants will spread by rhizomes and self-seeding in the garden, and have escaped gardens and aggressively naturalized in parts of the southeastern U.S. It typically grows to 3-4’ tall in the wild, but to 2-3’ tall in gardens. 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. While there are other Ruellia cultivars in purple, white, and pink, including some dwarf varieties, we grow ‘Purple Showers’ because it is sterile. Looking like a cross between an ornamental grass and a flowering shrub, this hardy plant flowers every day when placed in a sunny location. Ruellia, Desert Petunia, Florida Bluebells, Mexican Petunia, Mexican Blue Bells 'Purple Showers' Ruellia simplex. Large, deep purple flowers form on 2- to 3 feet-tall plants. This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors. 2 more photos VIEW GALLERY. If you want to speed up the propagating process, you can create new plants from tip cuttings. Special Notice. Ruellia can spread quickly and has been known … Ruellia ‘Purple Showers’ is a stalk-like plant that has long, skinny leaves. Judy Hedding is a Phoenix resident and has written more than 1,000 articles about Greater Phoenix and Arizona since 2000. Ruellia tweediana 'Purple Showers' AKA: Mexican Bluebell. Fast growing in partial to full sun, Ruellia can become invasive in moist garden soil, spreading by it's root system and reseeding easily. Plants may spread invasively by self-seeding and rhizomes. 5 out of 5 stars (152) 152 reviews $ 34.95. Also known as Purple Showers, the Mexican petunia's flower petals are most commonly a vibrant violet color, but they can also be pink or white. The Garden wouldn't be the Garden without our Members, Donors and Volunteers. This spring, UF/IFAS Extension agents were given the opportunity to try Mayan TM Series Ruellia at their local offices. This plant bears the name ‘Purple Shower’ because it … While Mexican petunias will grow in a variety of soil types, they prefer to be planted in well-drained, fertile soil. The shrub is considered invasive in the state of Florida and it's on the watch list in several others. Plants also tolerate high heat and humidity. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. They don't get very tall—just 3 or 4 feet high—so keeping them trimmed back can be done usually without a ladder or other special equipment. Best flowering occurs in the deep South near the temperatures of its Mexican origin where flowers may appear from May to November, but sometimes year round. As a fast-growing shrub, they may need to be repotted more frequently than other plants. The color of the stems will vary depending on the light conditions—the more light the plant receives, the more purple you will find on their stems. This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep. It does very well in wet areas. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition. Colesville Nursery. Buy Purple Showers Mexican Petunia 'Purple Showers' is an upright and fast growing Mexican petunia that spreads by underground tubers. Search by Plant Name A B C D E F G H I … In addition to pots, you can also experiment with more creative vessels like ladder planters, wagons, or even an old bathtub. In shadier areas, the stems will present as a solid green. Once established in their new location, they should grow as normal and perk up when temperatures increase in the spring. When it comes to soil pH, these plants will survive in alkaline beds, but they most prefer neutral to slightly acidic environments. Even if you live in an arid climate, you can still raise a fantastic garden full of bright and showy Mexican petunias. However, Mexican petunia (Ruellia simplex*) has been classified as a highly invasive plant in Florida. Notwithstanding its value as an excellent flowering plant, this species is currently listed as a Category One invasive species by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FEPPC) because it has been found to invade natural areas and displace native flora in the State of Florida. Ruellia simplex, commonly called Mexican petunia or Texas petunia, is a vigorous, shrubby, woody-based, rhizomatous perennial that is grown as an annual north of USDA Zone 8. A wonderful container filler is the ‘Purple Showers’ variety of Mexican petunia (Ruellia simplex ‘Purple Showers’ syn. Mexican petunias are evergreen flowering shrubs, meaning they remain green over the winter when not in bloom. As long as you follow a basic desert garden to-do list and keep to a conventional summer watering schedule, you should have no problem raising bushels of these purple blossoms. Cut back stems after flowering to encourage new flowers. Each flower lasts for just one day. Highly decorative ruella, or "Mexican Petunia," produces endless violet-purple flowers that attract butterflies. In fact, the wild variety is not often sold since it can become so problematic. Both seeds and bits of rhizome will float in water.‘Purple Showers’ is a sterile cultivar. Like daylilies, they only bloom once a day, but continuously bloom throughout the summer. Let the seeds dry out and then plant them in a new area in the springtime. Purple Showers Ruellia Texas Peutunia Flowering Perennial Shrub 1 Gal. Considerable confusion has existed over the years as to the correct specific epithet for this plant. May be grown indoors as a houseplant. 'Purple Showers' Mexican Petunia, which is a Ruellia and not a Petunia, is a very versatile and easy-to-grow hardy perennial in USDA Zones 8a-11. Mexican petunias are a favorite plant in the desert, but they also grow well in humid climates. Gardeners have traditionally used Mexican petunia to add height to perennial borders, since it can grow up to three feet tall. It also does well in average garden soils with even moisture. The funnel-shaped flowers are the primary draw for many of the species and are sometimes called Mexican petunias. Ruellia simplex can be grown in either the shade or full sun, and is great for edging or mass plantings. Root ( usually after a few weeks ), you may mistake them for the common annual petunia as flowers! 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