Ruellia tweediana is the Plant of the Month!

Ruellia tweediana, Dwarf ruellia, Mexican petunia, small-sized, perennial shrub

The dwarf ruellia is a beautiful flowering, low-growing perennial with long, narrow, glossy green, foliage that grows one to three feet, depending on the variety. The semi-woody stalks of the plant grow in an upright pattern. This plant produces bright, vibrant, bluish-purple, trumpet-shaped blossoms that flower through the warm growing season. Other varieties bloom in white, pink and many other shades of blue. The plant is very showy when it is in bloom and can be a great butterfly and bird attraction. This shrub will naturalize and re-seed in moist areas of the garden. It is hardy to thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit and will freeze to the ground when temperatures drop into the mid twenties. In spring, prune it back to remove any frost damage and encourage new growth. The ruellia likes full sun and reflected heat. It prefers ample water and well-draining, fertile soils and will take some drought once established. Fertilize with

Ammonium phosphate in early spring, to encourage flower production. Use it as a flowering border plant in perennial gardens, near patios, around ponds and water features, in courtyards, or as a showy container plant. The variety ‘Katie’ is more compact and refined, and has purple flowers, ‘Chi Chi’ and ‘Rosa’ both produce pink blooms and ‘Blanca’ has white flowers. The ruellia is native to Mexico but has naturalized throughout the southeastern United States.

****The pictures are of Ruellia tweediana.  They are labeled Ruellia brittoniana, but the latin name has changed.  The new name is Ruellia tweediana.

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