texasjoeMay 18, 2007

Hey everyone !

What can you tell me about Ruella ?

Considering purchasing - not familiar with them.


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The tall kind is extremely invasive. It grows by underground runners. However, the birds and bees LOVE the flowers and the flowers are quite spectacular when the plants are in full bloom.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 2:59PM
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rick_mcdaniel(Lewisville, TX)

One word.....INVASIVE! I took 'em out.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 3:08PM
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debndal(8a DFW, TX)

I think stephanie is talking about the mexican petunia ruellia. It also has a dwarf cultivar which I am trying for the first time - it is not supposed to be quite so invasive, and so far so good. Comes in lavender and white.
Then there is ruellia elegans which has a completely different leaf, grows about a foot tall, spreads slowly and only reseeds lightly in my garden, and has bright red tubular flowers. It is moderately hardy in DFW, so I keep the mother plant in a container and put in the flowerhouse overwinter so it starts blooming much sooner than if I left it in the ground, and I don't have to worry about losing it if we have a really hard coldspell. I love this one - highly recommend it, but not always easy to find in garden centers. I haven't learned how to post links on the forum, so copy and paste this:

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 3:16PM
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Yes, the tall purple is invasive. I was told the pink and the dwarf pink variety are not as invasive. There is also a creeping ruella that,I know from experience, is not as invasive. Happy gardening, taterbug

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 3:17PM
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Thanks for the info -

Anyone heard of a plant swap in the ETX area ?
Closer to the Tyler, Longview area ?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 3:37PM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

OMG!!...I hate that stuff..anything with the word "Mexican" in the name should come with it's own birthcontrol!!..I have them pulled up until I am blue in the face..Run from that stuff...I have a no spray garden and several times has seriously considered buying roundup just for that stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....Jeanne

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 5:30PM
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The dwarf pop seeds everywhere. I have it everywhere.
Don't buy them, come to my house and pull and dig.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 5:58PM
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They bloom throughout our brutally hot summers, butterflies & bees love them, & it's easy to pull out the surplus.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 7:50PM
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hitexplanter(8 a)

I suggest it only used in areas that nothing else seem to work for you. A plant of last resort as it were. Consider and try other options for the area you are consider this type of plant then and only then would I suggest that you use it. All forms tall or dwarf can be invasive in almost any situation. Between seed and runners it is very difficult to get rid of and does not share well with others (plants:). That my two cents and what I tell customers that ask about it. Yes I carry all three colors, blue, pink and white but don't recommend unless all other options seem to have been exhausted.
Happy Growing David

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 10:21PM
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denisew(z8 TX)

I have the dwarf lavender variety and really like it. It grows in full sun to part shade and blooms when it gets really hot. I also have the medium height ruellia (light pink flowers) that gets only about 2-3 feet tall planted next to my brick mailbox in full blazing hot sun with reflective heat from the street and bricks. It loves it there. It can take the heat and blooms when it gets really hot and other things seem to be wilting. Even though they do reseed, they're a tough plant and best for those spots where you have trouble getting other things to grow. The funniest part about them is when the seeds pop open. When the pods are dry and they get a little moisture on them, they will pop like popcorn - pop pop pop pop! . . . and their seeds shoot out and will probably grow where they land.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 11:05PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

Hellstrip,boggy(poor drainage),crap soil, and the side of the house you're sick of mowing! PJ

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 1:26AM
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I love Ruella and didn't mean to leave the impression that you shouldn't plant it. I just wish I didn't plant it in some places. It is growing in all of the cracks in the back walk and it can't be pulled out there and if it is left, we would stumble over it, lol

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 8:01AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

I put some in places that I wish I had not. The ones that I have in places where they can multiply are so beautiful when they bloom. The tall pink ones shoot seed everywhere and I am constantly pulling them up - and as Jolana put it, even in the cracks of the walk. The only ones that I have that I do not consider invasive are the purple ones (and I believe they also come in pink and white) that I call "clumping" ruella. They make little clumps and bloom porfusely all summer long as long as they get enough water. I guess you could say I like them if they are somewhere they cannot invade my other beds.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 8:43AM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

Some years back, I planted one blue and one pink, and I'm still finding them coming up everywhere after totally clearing them out. HA! I just thought that I cleared them. I have a large yard, and today I let a few of them come up, but pull out the smaller ones as they come up. If you don't, they will take over.

Like Jolana and others mentioned, they are very pretty, but invasive. I read that in order to help control them, to cut the flowers and use them in arrangements in order to keep them from going to seed. Good idea.

In Florida they are a Category I invasive species by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. Be careful with them if you are going to plant them. Otherwise, you will have a yard of only ruellas.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 8:50AM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

I MEANT to leave the impression that I HATE them..really really HATE THEM..4 years later and I am still pulling them up..HATE HATE HATE..did anyone get that?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 9:36AM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

Jeanne I think so! HATE, right??

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 10:32AM
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remuda1(7b Hood Co TX)

Jeanne, don't hold back. Let it all out dear......We're here to help ;). Release the poisons and you shall be set free. You will still have the freakin things coming up everywhere, but let me send you some native honeysuckle, I think it eats Ruellia!!!

LOL, since what I have in the ground is only a month or so old planting, do I still have time to dig it and put it in a pot? Do they fare all right in a pot?? I have both the seeding kind and the root spreader.

Ya'll have a good day :).


    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 12:19PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Yeah, Jeanne, you did mean HATE, didn't you??? LOL.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 12:45PM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

I should take pics of how much I hate it..I never thought anything would be such a pain in the you know what..Another two that I am still pulling seedling up is Cardnal Vine and A wild purple morning glory and Heavenly Blue Morning Glory..Leave this post going and I can vent almost daily as I pull them outta my's really theraputic to go out there when I am pizzed and start cussin' and pullin' them up!!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 5:50PM
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Jeanne, tell us how you really feel about it! LOL

I love the beautiful flowers and the fact that it just keeps happily blooming away when everything else is wilting, but I had planted it in the front of my bed thinking it was the dwarf variety, so pulling it out has been a chore. I did transplant some to a different spot and it's very happy there. Had 2 blooms this week as a matter of fact! However, I also spent some time pulling out new plants in the old place, which as Jeanne has mentioned previously, is a pain!


    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 6:03PM
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Has anyone tried Red Ruellia, Ruellia elegans? I bought one plant this spring and so far I really like it! But has anyone had it longer? I think it might also be called Ragin' Cajun, but can't be sure.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 7:56PM
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Hi Linda, I bought that one last year, they do call it that and another name. My DD says it is doing well in her beds, lol
The plant looks more like the wild ruellia

I have the white one like that and there are purple on the property and they don't multiply as fast, lol

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 8:13PM
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You guys are making me skeered!!!

I may need to pull my ruellia up. Mine is the kind of short Mex. petunia but not the katy ruellia. It's in a fairly small bed and it may just crowd out my good plants.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 8:27PM
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has it been decided if the man means ruella, the bog plant, or ruellia, the Mex. petunia? People next door have the short ruellia and they say is not pest plant, stays where should, well behave.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 8:34PM
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little_dani(9, S. Tex Coast)

I have all kinds of ruellia. Tall purple, pink, white, and blue. I have Katy Dwarf Ruellia, pink, purple and white. I have the Red as well. I get aggravated with the tall purple, as it takes over everything, but the rest is o.k.

Don't pull it all out Carol Ann, just pull enough to keep them under control. I love the pink, and I bought another tall white today. Those two are not invasive like the purple.

I know what it is to feel intensly about a plant like Jeanne does. I am doing penance for something I did in another life, I think, as I am fighting the invasion of the Bridal Veil. I don't know another name for it, but it is kind of like a green wandering jew, moses- in- the -boat, purple heart kind of plant that blooms little white flowers in bunches like Baby's Breath. It has taken over more than one flower bed, and I think it is traveling under the house to move from the front to the back without me knowing it. It has showed up in the back yard, and I never even THOUGHT of growing it back there. Why can't those dogs lay on that stuff and kill IT, instead of killing my Gazania?

But really, wouldn't you rather see those lovely blooms than that horrid nut grass?

Janie, who is just tired is all. LOL

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 10:23PM
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Ten years ago, I decided I wanted a pink 'Chi chi' ruella. When I visited a nursery to get my ruella, the manager brought me a dead looking stick in a pot. He said he couldn't sell it, so he just gave it to me. From that one bare stick, I've gotten hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds) of plants.

On the up side, ruella will grow anywhere: in everything from pure sand to the hardest clay, from full sun to full shade, in soggy areas and in areas where it gets no water other than what nature provides (and here in Austin, we can go long periods of time with no rain). So if you have an area where nothing else will grow, ruella will fill the area for you.

On the down side, DO NOT put it in an area where you cannot control it. It will spread like a demon (both by seed and by underground runners) and it is insanely difficult to remove once it's gotten established. You can dig and dig and dig, but if you leave one tiny little piece of root, it will sprout again. I determined that the seeds will fly as much as 25 feet when the seed pots burst. This realization came when I found seedlings sprouting in pots far from where the plants were growing.

On the whole, it can be a good addition to your landscape, but you have to be vigilant about controlling it or it will literally take over the yard. In one part of my yard, I sank some pots into the ground to plant in--much like you would do if you wanted to plant bamboo in your yard. Jeanne, FWIW, Round Up doesn't work that well on ruella. It may kill what you spray, but somehow it still manages to rebound.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 2:09AM
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annieinaustin(z8 Austin)

After reading this thread it appears it was a lucky choice when I didn't take some Passalong tall ruellia plants. I've had the little 'Katy' for a few years, with a couple of seedlings appearing, but it's not what I'd consider invasive.

The tall pink Ruellia is used a lot around mailboxes that are set into the parkway - I guess it's easier to keep it in bounds that way with the mower.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 1:27PM
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i'm going to try ruella in large pots, to control spread and have just enough to cut for indoors. seems like a good idea since it seems to be a really hardy plant. by the way jeanne, you may not mean it, but the phrase, "...anything with the word "Mexican" in the name should come with it's own birthcontrol!!" comes off as a but racist sounding. just so you know...

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 10:30PM
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sounds about like 4 o'clocks... I have thousands of them (and can sell thousands on ebay) but then I have a 5 acre yard... Ruella sounds good, looks like petunias. Do they choke out weeds? I am trying to find things that grow invasive so that I can mow up to and never have to weed-eat again as long as they choke out weeds. I do realize you all will tell me that they will become the weed. It's a preferable weed to the ones I have now. How well will they do in the shade? I have hundreds of trees and I want to plant them at the bases... to be able to mow up to the plants that will choke out the weeds.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 11:40PM
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