mexican petunia in winter

Sun or partial shade; herbaceous, often freezing back in winter. Indoor plants must be watered regularly as well during hot weather. It prefers Full sun and that’s the reason it is grown in the USDA hardiness zones 8-11. mexican petunia ruellia malacosperma. The stems will die back to the ground after the first frost. Dig up petunias in the fall before the first frost. They typically measure around 2 inches in diameter and have a delicate lilac-blue color. You can do this by watering the plant as soon as the top layer of the soil starts to dry out. During winter, you shouldn’t need to water the plant so long as there is sufficient rainfall. It might not, however, be winter-hardy in north Georgia. You can test for moisture by touching the top of the soil, or you can simply judge from sight. The plant can have a tendency to self-seed quite aggressively, with the seeds dispersing themselves as much as 10 feet away from the plant. above the soil and plant them in pots before the first fall frost. A: Mexican petunia, Ruellia simplex, should grow perfectly well outdoors in the Atlanta area. It might not, however, be winter-hardy in north Georgia. If you have a Mexican petunia that is struggling to flower but has lots of lush foliage growth, then you may need to test your soil for nutrient imbalance. Mexican Petunia features showy pink trumpet-shaped flowers with purple overtones at the ends of the stems from late winter to mid fall. The plants are winter-hardy from Zone 7 southward in Texas. 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. In terms of frequency of watering, this will depend on lots of variables, including the lighting position that your plant is grown in, the climate, the type of soil, and whether it is growing directly in the ground or in a pot. The plant grows rapidly, and because of this, it is known as an invasive species in some regions, notably Florida. Soil, which is high in nitrogen, will see the Mexican petunia produce lots of dark green foliage in favor of flowers. Unfortunately, these traits can also enable the plant to become invasive, so it will need to be kept in check. They have no scent but are still very attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. It was introduced to Florida in the 1940s. Q: I had Mexican petunia in my flower garden for the first time this year. The foliage often turns burgundy in fall. Aside from removing dead or damaged stems, this plant doesn’t necessarily require pruning, but it depends on the type of look you like in your garden. Native to Mexico and the southwestern U.S. Care Ruellia needs a warm climate. When growing in a colder climate, grow your Mexican petunias in containers so that you have the option of portability during the winter. Petunias for Winter-Bloom Before you take cuttings of your petunia, make sure the plant has been well-fed and watered. Where Mexican Petunia Thrives This is a cold-hardy plant that grows well in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 7 through 11. They last but one day. Individual blooms are the size of quarters. Remove all flowers, buds, and seed-pods, too. Keep them away from any heat vents and electrical equipment.In the winter, indoor Mexican petunias must only be watered when the soil shows signs of drying. Flowers are purple (‘Katie’) or pink (‘Bonita’). It is when the plant is growing in very moist soils that it tends to become overgrown more easily. The stems will die back to the ground after the first frost. Mexican petunias will propagate easily from stem cuttings in the summer months, but this is not something that most gardeners have to do, as the plants readily self-seed to supply the garden with an endless supply of new Mexican petunias. As the Mexican petunia will grow in both dry or wet soil, the soil quality isn’t terribly important for this plant. Then remove all leaves from the lower half of the stem. Mexican petunias (Ruellia brittoniana) are considered invasive plants in some areas since they easily spread seed and grow. Each stem, which would have developed one flower, will respond by branching out several stems, which will each produce a flower. Those planted in sheltered places are rarely killed or even injured. ©2020 Walter Reeves / The Simple Gardener, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 9 Different Indoor Tropical Plants - Growing Guides & Photos. They will also grow in partial shade, though plants grown in a partly shaded position may experience less flower development than those grown in full sun. If you plant it at one end of a big flower bed it will spread a couple of feet outward each year. Being cold hardy to zone 8 it would normally be grown in you location as an annual. … A winter seeding works well for directly sowing in the flower bed. The flowers reach 2½ to 3 inches across. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Site in partial shade and fertile, consistently moist, but well-drained soil. If you want more of this plant growing in your garden, simply allow the flowers to turn to seed; they will drop to the ground and sow themselves where they land. Dwarf Mexican petunia will grow in full sun to partial shade (though you'll get the most flowers in more sun). Although there has been confusion over the plants’ proper name since a German botanist named them in 1879, most horticulturists now refer to them as R. tweediana. There are several different varieties available and some are more aggressive than others. Learn more. In the most extreme cases, you may need to dig up your plant and transplant it to a different soil. Mexican petunias do not require feeding. Cut the petunias back to about 2 inches (5 cm.) Because pruning encourages more blooms, some experts, such as those at the University of Florida Nassau County Extension, do not recommend pruning Mexican petunias. The flowers of the Mexican petunia bloom from the middle of summer through to fall. It might not, however, be winter-hardy in north Georgia. You can also deadhead the plant if you want to prevent self-seeding. If you would rather not have your garden taken over by Mexican petunias, you will need to deadhead the blooms once they fade. In fact, R. brittoniana spreads by rhizomes and is self-seeding it has become naturalized in South Carolina, Texas, and Hawaii. They resemble petunia’s, as you would expect from their common name, but in fact, the Mexican petunia is not a petunia at all. Noteworthy Characteristics Petunia-like flowers from spring to frost. The stems will die back to the ground after the first frost. Cut stems approximately 3 inches in length. A: Mexican petunia, Ruellia simplex, should grow perfectly well outdoors in the Atlanta area. The blue flowers are attractive in late summer through fall. With some care to protect it in the winter, it will also survive zone 7. Care of Petunias During Winter Water the plants thoroughly and place them in a cool but above freezing location. Often confused with Ruellia tweediana, but its leaves are a bit shorter and wider. If you find insects, treat the plants before bringing them indoors. They can survive drought, flood, heat, and poor soils, which will be a blessing for many gardeners. Mexican petunia is a beautiful plant bearing lovely flowers growing in full sun or partial shade. Rather than leave a bare area for winter, I plant iris, hardy amaryllis, and daffodils in their garden spot. Blooms in late fall in most areas, through winter in the Tropical South. The blue flowers are attractive in late summer through fall. They are most tolerant of the heat when grown in moist conditions and note that when grown in a hot climate, the plant will like to be watered more frequently. The standard Mexican petunia is Ruellia brittoniana, and it can spread if given a chance, especially in good soil with ample water. ‘Rose Star’ (Petunia Ultra Series), whose flowers look striped because of its rose-pink flowers with a white center. They can be propagated from divisions, by stem cuttings or even by seed. Mexican petunias are very heat-tolerant, so don’t feel the need to shade them to protect them from the heat. Can I leave it out for the winter or do I have to take it inside? They will survive both drought and flood, with no noticeable detrimental effects. While the Mexican petunia blooms beautifully, its roots are aggressive and it’s known as an invasive plant. Even in Zone 10, some leaves may turn a reddish color during winter's cold snaps. Double Knockout Rose - Varieties, Care & Planting Information, 10 Best Perennial Flowers For Your Garden, 8 Exciting Japanese Flowers - Photos, Uses, and Care Guides, 9 Mexican Flowers with Photos & Growing Guides, Mexican petunia, Mexican bluebell, Florida bluebell, Desert petunia, Britton’s wild petunia, Purple ruellia. There are several improved and shorter ruellia varieties on the market, like ‘ChiChi’ and ‘Purple Showers’, that might be less tolerant of cold than tall ruellia. In cooler areas, it can be grown as an annual. Best grown as a container plant and given shelter during frosty weather. The blue flowers are attractive in late summer through fall. In Zone 9B they may die back in winter but usually bounce back in spring. It … Mexican petunias are a very hardy plant in many aspects, and they will tolerate a wide range of suboptimal growing conditions, but the one area in which they fall down is in very low temperatures. Mexican petunias will propagate easily from stem cuttings in the summer months, but this is not something that most gardeners have to do, as the plants readily self-seed to supply the garden with an endless supply of new Mexican petunias. It's a Class 1 invasive in our state. Fortunately, we are near the edge of the hardiness zone for Mexican petunia. Christmas Tree Economics: Are Baby Boomers Killing the Christmas Tree Industry? Native to Mexico and western South America, Ruellia simplex, also known as R. tweediana, R. brittoniana , R. coerulea, and R. malacosperma, is cold hardy to USDA hardiness zones 8 to 11. A little less water at one end of their grow zone Mexican petunia, persistent fungus gnats and more his... Zone Mexican petunia Thrives this is a beautiful plant bearing lovely flowers growing in full sun to partial shade fertile! Dwarf Mexican petunia branching from the middle of summer through fall also enable the plant become! 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