Ruellia brittoniana --Mexican petunia-3to 4 ft. tall

Carol(z6 VA)July 12, 2001

Annie's post of ... What is holding up in the heat an humidity for you -- reminded me -----someone-- Not sure who- in the spring -left on my porch a Ruellia brittoniana --Mexican petunia-note said ---new to me -I am new to the South --I have way out by a back fence ... Flowering like crazy, ...I just saw it on the Texas forum under things I would never plant again in several post.

My yard has about an acre, been neglected for years hope to get a good start when it cools off. And next spring --a plan -- soil amendments, etc.,

Question is does any one have anything good to say about Mexican Petunia or should I take it out immediately, well when it cools off.- -is it to invasive ----or can you keep it under control.


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ktl6(zone9 se LA)

Carol, it does reseed, but it is easy to control by bending over and pulling the unwanted plant,LOL. I would recommend planting it.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2001 at 5:12PM
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It does seed/spread like crazy but is a wonderful plant-good leaf color, nice blooms. Maybe you could plant it somewhere that a massed effect would be good and just let it do its thing for a couple of years. It looks really pretty and refreshing like that.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2001 at 9:17AM
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I have blue and pink ones, and just yank up what's getting too overgrown, no problem. LOVE them!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2001 at 3:30AM
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glenda(z7 alabama usa)

Does anyone in zone 7 have mexican petunia?
I bought some while visiting in Tn. and was told it would not come back if planted in their zone, Do you think it would in zone 7 or should I bring it inside over the winter or save seeds?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2002 at 2:15AM
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Datawgal(8/9 SC)

The pink ruellia was terribly invasive for me. Recently dug up more than 100 plants to give away and compost. My next door neighbor has one that is very well behaved and never spreads and we bought them the same time, same place. Mine spread by runners and seed. The seeds tended to germinate right in the crown of other, more valuable plants. As my soil is really heavy clay (marl) it was not easy to get them out without damaging the roots of the other plants. Interestingly, my plant did not bloom much at all; I guess all it's strength went into propagating itself.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2002 at 8:10AM
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randit(z8 southern NM)

I would highly recommend the "shorter" cultivars of "Mexican Petunia". I do not have the tallest "blue" is invasive by runners, and a pretty prolific seeder. However, if you can find a pink cultivar named 'Chi Chi', it is shorter, "bushier", and more restrained than that "tallest one". All of the dwarf vars are terrific in my opinion. A long walk in front of our house is a mass of dwarf pink ruellia on one side(with Setcreasea/"Purple Heart"). The opposite side of the walk is all Dwarf White ruellia (with Eucomis/"Pineapple Lily" & Ensete/"Huge" Banana, and shrubs). This is a very trouble-free planting. I have 'Chi Chi' in other areas where a taller plant is more suitable.....but it does seed a bit more.

Find the "improved" varieties...and throw out that big, rangy, blue one......

    Bookmark   July 21, 2002 at 7:49PM
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Datawgal(8/9 SC)

Interesting. 'Chi Chi' is the one that misbehaved so badly for me. I obviously had the bad seed in that family.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2002 at 8:51AM
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miSago(z9 Fl Island)

Datawgal and I had the same experience...

(even here) chi chi and other dwarves reseed readily

Brittoniana requires added moisture for invasive rysome growth

(IMO all cultivars I've had ought to be on the Fl invasive species list)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2002 at 10:19AM
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dallasdirt(No Dallas)

Does the chi chi require full sun, or will it tolerate dappled shade or part shade? thanks.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2003 at 11:20PM
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jmp8b(z8b9a N Cen FL)

I put my Ruellia brittoniana against the house as a foundation shrub at the corner to fill in the blank space left by the young gardenia that was part of the new house landscaping. The house is light green, and the Ruellia is just beautiful against the house with its dark leaves and gorgeous flowers. I have lots of volunteers in the bed, but not in the lawn (yet). It is easy to control this way, and the volunteers make great "grow and share" plants. The young seedlings are easy to pull up as they don't root deeply due to the cypress mulch in the bed. They bloom profusely all year, then freeze back to the ground. They are among the earliest to sprout in the spring.

My neighbor pulled out all of his because he couldn't control them. However, his neighbors still have them and love them.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2003 at 9:57PM
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I love Mexican petunias. They do grow like weeds, but withstand the hot sun so well and keep on blooming. I just pull out the stray ones with the other weeds and cut the ramaining plants down low to keep them from getting too leggy. Wouldn't dream of pulling mine out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Deborah's Garden

    Bookmark   April 23, 2003 at 6:35AM
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harleydeby(z9 Florida)

I have six Ruellia growing in various places in my yard. I have them anywhere from full sun to full shade, including all points in between. I have not had a bit of problem with wild growth. They are wonderful! I have both pink and purple varieties. A couple of months ago, we had a bad storm which knocked one of my hanging baskets down from the eave of the house, thus breaking branches off of a very large bush of my purple Ruella. I took the broken branches and just stuck them in some dirt out back, figuring if they grew, they grew.... Well, to my delite, they did! I wouldn't dig mine up for anything. The beautiful petite flowers are gorgeous in the a.m. sun. I have had people drive by my house and point at them. I know it's out of admiration because they slow down and smile. If you don't like yours, by ALL MEANS, send them to me. I couldn't have enough. I love them so much that I regularly feed them, just as I do my other garden flowers. They are a wonderful backdrop for the yellow Alamanda that I have out front.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 1:21PM
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I bought mine this spring at local farmers market. It was braided and cut to look like a tree. It is beautiful, I have it in an area getting full sun. I keep it cut back and trimmed, and have started 3 cuttings to braid myself. The blooms are prolific and so attractive, how it will survive the winter in Chapin, SC remains to be seen. It propigates easily by cuttings. So far I have seen no seed pods.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2004 at 5:59AM
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Joyce Knight

I received a Mexican petunia in a secret plant trade,and I loveit. I am a bit confused though. Mine has blue flowers and pink flowers on the same plant. Is this normal,and does anybody know the name of this species? Thanks,Joyce

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 10:40AM
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I'd love some Ruellia of any kind, if anyone would like to trade/share with me.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 4:17PM
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I live in west central tx and have the tall blue variety and i have to tell you i just love it! For the first couple of years in our new house i thought it was a weed and continually pulled up all shoots but the persistant little bugger hung on and when i finally let some shoots go long enough for it to bloom i realized what it was! Here in hot dry west tx in our 100+ degree days it stand up smartly and blooms its head off and i don't even have to waterit reguarly. I do see it starting to spread and i'm thinking thats okay with me its the nicest thing in my fried flower bed right now...Wouldn't trade it for the world. SunriseFairy

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 9:24PM
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i too have the purple and the pink, i have just rooted 21 of them, by just taking the cuttings and placing them in water with a little of miracle grow...takes about three weeks...dont forget to change the water every three or four days, so they can get oxegen ..i just love them ..joyce

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 9:32AM
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Here in Florida (Tampa Bay) they sell a sterile version which will not reseed. Planted in late March they are about 4 ft. tall already. Somewhat lanky and got blown around somewhat by a recent windstorm, but they are now standing upright again. Flowers are fairly abundant and a pretty purple. Bees love them!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 2:59PM
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    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 8:15PM
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I live in south Louisiana and recently discovered ruellia and love them. My brother in New Orleans gave me pink and purple dwarf, and my husband recently found white at a local nursery. I brought the tall species here from Texas and find it multiplies very quickly. It is really attractive if placed in a place where you wouldn't mind it spreading.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 12:44AM
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HELP! Bought a braided ruellia in a pot about a month ago and have it on my screened balcony which gets partial sun. It produces lots of flowers but also loses tons of leaves each day. Is this normal? Or am I killing it already? Any insights appreciated!!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 11:20AM
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Has anyone had luck with growing Mexican petunia in VA and keeping them over the winter for the next year? I just came back from Mobile Al with two and I am hoping that I will be able to keep them through the winter. They are doing great right now. Any suggestions? Thanks

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 9:42PM
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I have been trying to rid my yard of this awful plant for months. I live in S. Florida. Yes, Home Depot sells the stuff as "drought resistant" and "Florida Friendly". Florida Friendly? NO WAY! Drought resistant? Totally. They should include in their notes on this plant: Also resistant to the following: RoundUp, Vinegar, weed screen, All Vegetation Kill, table salt, bags of rock salt, 2 broken hoes, and months of work to try to eradicate this horrible plant from yard. Shame on any nursery that sells this stuff without warning of it's extremely invasive nature. Our local extension office has asked Home Depot not to sell it and their requests have fallen on deaf ears.
Plant something else! This stuff will spread into all your other plants, grass, tree roots, and I doubt you will ever be able to get rid of it unless you remove the WHOLE area (oh, I forgot to mention - plan to dig a foot to three feet deep - maybe even more) and quarantine! By the way, if you plan to remove the stuff, I think it gets mad at you and grows back with avengeance. I will keep trying everything and let you know what (if anything) works to kill this ruellia infestation in our yard. If you don't hear back from me, I've had no luck and I am probably plucking rhizomes out of the yard.
If you don't have this in your yard, consider yourself LUCKY. The experts are listing this plant as invasive for a reason. It is the WORST plant I have ever had in our yard. Maybe I will post pictures later of my mess...
PS - don't waste your money on Home Depot's "All Vegetation Kill." It actually seems to fertilize the stuff and makes it grow overnight. Not that I have any reason other than this plant to knock Home Depot on the internet, but if THEIR OWN "All Vegetation Kill" doesn't even do any damage at all to this plant, then how is it that they even dare sell the plant to the average consumer?

1 Like    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 9:32PM
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I'm looking for Tall white petunia for trade. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 2:40PM
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seedcake(7b/8a VA)

I saved seeds from a purple ruellia I saw on vacation & when I planted it at home in Virginia Beach, the flowers bloomed pink. I know with hydrangeas, soil acidity is often a factor in flower color. Is this the case with ruellia? Or do they not come true from seed?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 8:55AM
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I wonder if anyone has responded to Jonutz' post about growing ruellia in Zone 7. I have a rooted cutting in a pot that I started in June, it's flourishing and making new leaves. I need to know if it will overwinter here in Zone 7, or if I need to keep it in a larger pot indoors till Spring. I'd very much appreciate a reply. I think this is a stunning plant and wouldn't care a bit if it took over a corner of my small City garden! Can help? Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 4:55PM
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I want some Ruellia to grow in my yards I love the way they look. What is a good price to pay for one?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 3:50PM
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If you have extras...I'LL TAKE THEM! I am a landscaper in Michigan and I purchased a few of these last year and they looked so great in the landscape and everyone that walked by commented on them...problem is...they are not perennial here and the greenhouse I purchased them from is no longer growing them. This property is going to be on a garden tour this year...and I would really like to find as many as I can.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 11:14PM
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alouwomack(Zone 7)

This is a warning for tropic depends on where you live....

In Fort Worth, I have no problems with spreading/seeding...

Here is a link that might be useful: Rubellia Info

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 8:54PM
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I LOVE my Mexican petunias. We just planted 32 plants in a 44 ft. long x 6 ft wide front flower bed. They are pale pink and purple (planted to alternate color) and are growing so beautiful. NEVER would I pull mine up either . . . they bloom so prolifically and full, and it has made such an awsome, full-of-bloom and colorful flower bed on that one front side of our home (we have a long ranch style home on two acres). We plan to put them all around the house eventually. They are hardy and although we water them regularly, need not much more attention.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 10:52AM
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I live my Mexican Petunia--the color and hardiness. I just rip up a stalk and stick it in a pot of dirt and it acts as tho it has lived there! However, the problem with the rhizomes, as so many have experienced...I don't want it to get out of hand (it doesn't seem to seed) there any way to dig down and put a barrier in place to stop or redirect the new shoots? And how far down to dig? I've searched for info to no avail.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 4:04PM
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I have 5 Katie ruellia brittonania .3 of them are growing upright. The other two are drooping to the ground ,almost like the vines/branches are too heavy .How can I get them to grow upright? I live in arizona

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 4:33PM
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sara82lee(8a - SE Va)

Dandysmom and Jonutz:

I live in VA, but I'm almost to the bay. I'm listed as zone 8a, but literally 6 minutes west of me is zone 7. Someone I know down the road from me has them and they are perennial for her like clockwork.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 12:20PM
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sara82lee(8a - SE Va)

I just realized this thread is several years old :(

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 1:45PM
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I live in south Louisiana Zone 9a. EXTREMELY invasive plant.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2015 at 3:48PM
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