Alphabetical Plant Listing

Ruellia brittoniana (Mexican Petunia)

Mexican Petunia, Desert Petunia, Florida Bluebells, Mexican Blue Bells, Ruellia simplex, Ruellia tweediana, Ruellia spectabilis


Ruellia brittoniana (Mexican Petunia) is a shrubby perennial boasting a profusion of petunia-like, vibrant lavender-blue flowers, 2 in. across (5 cm), from midsummer to fall. Borne solitary or in clusters at the tips of purplish stems, they rise above the foliage of lance-shaped, glossy green leaves. Very showy, they are attractive to butterflies, bees and other pollinators. They give way to bean-like pods which explosively dehisce mature seed in all directions. Tough as nails, Mexican Petunia tolerates heat, humidity and drought. However, the fact that this plant is a survivor can become an issue in some areas. In warm and moist climates and unmanaged areas, it can be invasive. It reseeds readily and spreads by stolons, making its removal challenging. However, in areas where it is not winter hardy (Zones 3-7), Mexican Petunia makes an excellent annual plant. 

  • Grows up to 36 in. tall (90 cm) and 18 in. wide (45 cm). 
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade in medium to wet soils. This plant can withstand both wet and drought conditions, full sun and shade. Can be grown in wet soils, along with other bog plants, and can be planted in water up to 6 in. (15 cm) deep.
  • Virtually pest and disease free.
  • Cut back stems after flowering to encourage new flowers.
  • Easy to propagate by cuttings, division and seed.
  • Native to Mexico, Western South America and the Antilles.

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 10
Climate Zones 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Aquatic Plants, Perennials
Plant Family Ruellia
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 24" (60cm)
Water Needs Low, Average, High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Wet Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Ground Covers, Patio and Containers, Ponds and Streams, Water Gardens
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Prairie and Meadow

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 Carl Ning, Medtech, CH-Young, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 10
Climate Zones 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Aquatic Plants, Perennials
Plant Family Ruellia
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 24" (60cm)
Water Needs Low, Average, High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Wet Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Ground Covers, Patio and Containers, Ponds and Streams, Water Gardens
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Prairie and Meadow

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