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Like daylilies, they only bloom once a day, but continuously bloom throughout the summer. While Mexican petunias will grow in a variety of soil types, they prefer to be planted in well-drained, fertile soil. 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). Since they grow to be a shrub, medium to larger-sized containers work best. Mexican petunias are evergreen flowering shrubs, meaning they remain green over the winter when not in bloom. While there are other Ruellia cultivars in purple, white, and pink, including some dwarf varieties, we grow ‘Purple Showers’ because it is sterile. 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. Flowering is very respectable but less frequent when plants are grown as annuals in northern gardens, but will typically bloom from May to September. It does very well in wet areas. It is a fast grower that may self-seed aggressively. They're unique in that they're drought resistant and yet they also survive floods. The petunia-like blooms each last only a day - but are replaced the next with more blossoms. Each flower blooms for only one day. This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep. As a fast-growing shrub, they may need to be repotted more frequently than other plants. Looking like a cross between an ornamental grass and a flowering shrub, this hardy plant flowers every day when placed in a sunny location. Cutting back the stems after flowering will encourage new growth and even more blossoms. RUELLIA coerulea 'Purple Showers' Plant Common Name. Plants may spread invasively by self-seeding and rhizomes. To improve drainage in moist beds, consider adding a little sand to the mix. It typically grows to 3-4’ tall in the wild, but to 2-3’ tall in gardens. 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. 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. Use in a border, container, or at waterside. Excellent free-blooming plant in large containers. 5 out of 5 stars (152) 152 reviews $ 34.95. The Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittoniana) is a beautiful addition to a flowering backyard retreat. Keep reading to learn more about growing ruellia. This plant bears the name ‘Purple Shower’ because it … When it comes to soil pH, these plants will survive in alkaline beds, but they most prefer neutral to slightly acidic environments. Leaves are often attractively marked as well. If you want to speed up the propagating process, you can create new plants from tip cuttings. The funnel-shaped flowers are the primary draw for many of the species and are sometimes called Mexican petunias. Seeds explosively dehisce. Buy Purple Showers Mexican Petunia 'Purple Showers' is an upright and fast growing Mexican petunia that spreads by underground tubers. Purple Showers is sterile and produces no seed but spreads aggressively by roots. Highly decorative ruella, or "Mexican Petunia," produces endless violet-purple flowers that attract butterflies. 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. Flowers are followed by bean-like pods (to 1” long) which explosively dehisce mature seed in all directions. 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. In fact, the wild variety is not often sold since it can become so problematic. It is been given a number of different names, including R. brittoniana, R. coerulea, R. malacosperma and R. tweediana. Mexican Petunia is a great backdrop for other plants if you have a large space to cover. 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. Invasiveness is clearly not a problem in St. Louis, however, where these plants are grown as annuals, with stem cuttings overwintered indoors if desired. 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, which is a Ruellia and not a Petunia, is a very versatile and easy-to-grow hardy perennial in USDA Zones 8a-11. 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. It also does well in average garden soils with even moisture. Ruellia tweediana 'Purple Showers' AKA: Mexican Bluebell. Dip the ends of each stem in rooting hormone, and then plant in pots filled with peat moss and soil. 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 … Mexican petunias are a favorite plant in the desert, but they also grow well in humid climates. May be grown indoors as a houseplant. Mexican petunias can be grown in pots. While it's not mandatory, Mexican petunias benefit from the addition of manure, fertilizer, and compost in their growing areas. Where is this species invasive in the US. 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. It was introduced to Florida in the 1940s. They are inexpensive, low maintenance, and drought-resistant. Like daylilies, they only bloom once a day, but continuously bloom throughout the summer. 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. It has colonies of semi-woody stalks that bear dark green lance-shaped leaves. Once established in the wild, plants are very difficult to eradicate. 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. Mexican petunia bushes take full sun—the more direct sun they receive, the more flowers will bloom. Ruellia, Desert Petunia, Florida Bluebells, Mexican Petunia, Mexican Blue Bells 'Purple Showers' Ruellia simplex. This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors. Each flower lasts for just one day. Mexican petunia is a vigorous (some say aggressive), shrubby, woody-based plant is that is easy to propagate by cuttings, division and seed. Excellent annual flowering plant for areas where it is not winter hardy. 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. 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. It is a versatile plant that tolerates an extremely wide range of growing conditions. Once you've taken your desired amount of cuttings, remove the buds, flowers, and lower leaves from the stems. Mexican petunias can be started from seed, planting them inside several months before the growing season. Ruellia brittoniana 'Purple Showers' Shrubs, subshrubs, and evergreen perennials in about 150 species from tropical America, Africa, and Asia belong to the genus Ruellia. Plant database entry for Mexican Petunia (Ruellia simplex 'Purple Showers') with 14 images, 3 comments, and 25 data details. General Description. 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. Purple Showers Mexican Petunia is an herbaceous annual with an upright spreading habit of growth. Easy to care for and great for use as coverage, ruellia plants offer unique beauty to landscape areas. For USDA Zones 8-10, it may be effectively grown in bog gardens, as a pond marginal, and in beds and borders. It typically grows to 3-4 tall in the wild, but to 2-3 tall in gardens. These leaves cast a metallic blue color under direct sunlight. General Description. Considered by some experts to be much less invasive than the non-sterile Mexican species. The wild form has purple flowers, and is native to Mexico, Western South America and the Antilles. Colesville Nursery. Gardeners have traditionally used Mexican petunia to add height to perennial borders, since it can grow up to three feet tall. The cultivar 'Purple Showers' is an upright, floriferous selection of Mexican petunia, a heat tolerant, evergreen subshrub native to the American tropics. Flowers are similar to petunia-flowers and bloom freely from late spring to frost. 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. Missouri Botanical Garden Plant of Merit. 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. When given ideal growing conditions, Mexican petunias are not very susceptible to blight. They can withstand shade and partial shade but will be less productive if planted in these areas. 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. Mexican petunias, or Ruellia brittoniana, have no problem flourishing on there own, and some experts actually recommend that you do not prune them. Cut back stems after flowering to encourage new flowers. Ruellia ‘Purple Showers’ is a stalk-like plant that has long, skinny leaves. 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. 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. Best flowering is in full sun. Live Plants 6.25" x 6.25" Roots Plus 18" Foliage Spring Summer Bloom CharlesCorner. The shrub is considered invasive in the state of Florida and it's on the watch list in several others. Once established in their new location, they should grow as normal and perk up when temperatures increase in the spring. Ruellia simplex 'Purple Showers' Back to Previous Page. Or, you can try planting the seeds directly into the ground. Cuban Petunia, Purple Showers Ruellia. Conifers Crape Myrtles Grasses Groundcovers Perennials Rose Shrubs Trees Vines. Great Companions for RUELLIA 'PURPLE SHOWERS' Magnolia 'Elizabeth' Magnolia. In addition to pots, you can also experiment with more creative vessels like ladder planters, wagons, or even an old bathtub. Ruellia brittoniana ‘Purple Shower’ is a tender evergreen shrub that is about 3’ tall or so in height. 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. Large, deep purple flowers form on 2- to 3 feet-tall plants. Mexican petunias are also a shrub, featuring woodier stems and growing much taller than their look-a-like. No serious insect or disease problems. 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. $0.00. A wonderful container filler is the ‘Purple Showers’ variety of Mexican petunia (Ruellia simplex ‘Purple Showers’ syn. 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. 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. 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. Most are native to the tropical and occasionally temperate areas of Africa, Asia and the Americas. This cultivar that is sterile and will not produce seed, but can still spread aggressively by rhizomes and floating pieces of root. 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. There is also no major concern when it comes to pests. 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