Ruellia brittoniana (Ru-EL-lee-a brit-toe-nee-A-na), commonly referred to as Mexican petunia Belongs to Acanthopanax and Rutaceae.
As the name suggests, this plant is native to Mexico.
However, it is also found abundantly in the Caribbean Sea and South America.
Over the years, the plant has been known by several names, including Ruellia angustifolia (Nees) Lindau and Cryphiacanthus angustifolius Nees.
Several common names include:
- Violet Ruta
- Mexican hyacinth
- Hardy Petunia
- Purple shower
Today, the most widely accepted names for this species include Ruellia brittoniana and Ruellia simplex.
However, most people prefer to call it the Mexican petunia.
but it Not petunia.
The other two variegated varieties are Ruellia Makoyana And Ruellia portellae.
It is an evergreen perennial plant known for its flowers and resistance to deer.
These plants usually form clusters of stalks with spear-shaped leaves.
Although the leaves are very attractive, petunia has taken the limelight to this plant.
Other plants in the Acanthaceae:
Mexican petunia care
Scale and growth
This is a low shrub with dark purple plaster and dark green leaves.
These plants grow very fast and can quickly reach a height of 3-6 feet with the same diameter.
Keep in mind that although the purple light rain may not be sufficient, the plants become lush with age and clusters of colonies.
Due to its fast-growing nature, it is considered invasive.
notes: Although it is classified as an invasive species, we have grown them in the Florida landscape for many years and have never experienced plant out of control.
The leaves of this plant can stretch to 12 inches. However, when grown in dry conditions, the leaves are usually very short.
Petunia is a flowering plant with lovely petunia flowers, usually violet.
Each petunia-like flower lasts about one day, but the flowering season is quite long, lasting from early summer to autumn.
In addition, the flowers grow in large numbers.
Neither flower nor plant itself Unique fragranceNevertheless, it does manage to attract bees, butterflies and even hummingbirds to the garden.
Light and temperature
Purple showers like full sun, but grow well in partial shade. The more sunlight they receive, the more flowers they bloom. These plants enjoy the warmth of summer and can even survive drought.
They do not perform well in the cold. As the temperature starts to drop, it is best to remove the Mexican petunia from the cold winter wind.
Ruellia is recommended for use in the cold hardiness zone 8-11 of the US Department of Agriculture.
Watering and feeding
Mexican petunia plants are very hardy and can withstand droughts and floods.
The best way is to water to keep the soil moist.
Although these plants are strong and can be dehydrated for long periods of time, young petunias need to be watered regularly.
During the colder months of the year, do not overwater and only wet the soil when it is noticeably dry.
These plants grow well and do not require additional fertilization. If you still want to feed the plants, a tablespoon of 10-10-10 fertilizer is sufficient.
Sprinkle fertilizer around the plants during the flowering season.
Soil and transplant
Once established, these plants can thrive in almost any type of soil.
For optimal growth conditions, use fertile soil with good drainage. In addition, the pH value of the soil must also be considered.
These plants are tolerant to alkalis, but generally perform well in neutral or slightly acidic soils.
Transplant in early spring, when the temperature is high enough for the plants to settle and grow.
Beauty and maintenance
Under the right conditions, these plants can be self-sufficient and do not require much extra care.
Because they are invasive, it is best to pay close attention to growth.
notes: The Mexican petunia spreads freely through rhizomes. Maintain control by choosing non-invasive cultivars.
If you feel that these purple flowers are occupying your garden, please pull out some stems.
This kind of plant is usually unruly.
Make sure to trim regularly to maintain the shape of the plant and maintain an attractive appearance. Also, don’t forget to cut off burnt or damaged leaves.
The dwarf Ruellia’Katie’ blooms beautifully and is easy to care for, why Texas A&M University named it Texas superstar? ?.
How to breed petunia
This plant can actively self-seed.
In the rainy season or when washing with water, the seeds can be sprayed up to 10 feet away.
It reproduces on its own through seeds. These plants are also propagated by cuttings.
If you simply cannot have enough lovely violet flowers, cut the stems in half after the flowering season is over.
Plants will replace lost stems by planting multiple stems and flowers!
Pests and diseases of petunia in Mexico
Mexican petunias usually do not experience any serious problems. However, cold weather can damage plants and make the leaves brown.
The only way to prevent this from happening is to protect the plants from the cold. If the temperature is low enough to cause frost, move the plants indoors (if possible) to a warm place.
Although it is not common for this plant to be infected, Mexican petunias are susceptible to red spiders.
Spray a high-quality insecticide or soap solution on the leaves to remove red spiders. Control the problem by trimming infected leaves, flowers, and stems.
Suggested uses for Mexican petunia
The Mexican petunia is a beautiful plant with lovely flowers growing in sunny or partial shade. However, this spread of perennials is invasive and is banned in some states.
In fact, R. brittoniana spreads through rhizomes and self-seeds, and it has been naturalized in South Carolina, Texas, and Hawaii. [source]
If you are worried that the Mexican petunia will take over your yard, it is best to buy sterile plants from the nursery that you cannot grow yourself.
This is an Plants that attract butterflies, Make good border plants or ground cover, and increase winter interest when planting in South Florida.