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annual

Mexican Petunia

Ruellia brittoniana 'Purple Showers'

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Mexican Petunia (Ruellia brittoniana 'Purple Showers') at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Ruellia brittoniana 'Purple Showers' flowers

Ruellia brittoniana 'Purple Showers' flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  4 feet

Spacing:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)

Other Names:  Ruellia simplex, Ruellia tweediana, Wild Petunia,

Description:

This variety is quite adaptable, tolerating average to wet conditions in any kind of soil; abundant purple flowers all season long; cut back stems to encourage re-blooming; does not set seed but will spread by rhizomes; beautiful when massed in borders

Ornamental Features

Mexican Petunia features showy purple trumpet-shaped flowers at the ends of the stems from late winter to mid fall. Its serrated narrow leaves remain dark green in color throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Mexican Petunia is an herbaceous annual with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep. Trim off the flower heads after they fade and die to encourage more blooms late into the season. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading

Mexican Petunia is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting
  • Bog Gardens

Planting & Growing

Mexican Petunia will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 24 inches apart. Although it's not a true annual, this fast-growing plant can be expected to behave as an annual in our climate if left outdoors over the winter, usually needing replacement the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Mexican Petunia is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Container  Bog 
Applications
Flowers  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features