Mexican Petunia

Ruellia brittoniana

The 3 foot tall Mexican petunia sports 2 inch wide, 5 lobed flowers from spring till frost. Ruellia brittoniana blooms in pink or purple. The leaves are arranged opposite one another on the slender stems.

Katy Ruellia is a foot tall dwarf form of R. brittoniana that spreads less.

Mexican petunias used as a streetside planting in Nassau, Bahamas. This is a tough, drought and flood tolerant plant that will thrive with very little help from you.

My next door neighbor, Shirley, gave me a clump of these when Tiny and I first moved into our home. I planted them and over the years I've divided that one clump into several more.

Purple Ruellia bloom close up. Purple is one of my favorite colors and Mexican petunia has true purple flowers. They look good mixed in with red, orange or yellow flowered plants. White flowers look cool and classy beside its purple blooms.

Plant it on any well-drained soil in full or part sun. Feed it whatever you feed the rest of the garden, whenever you do so.

It is better to err on the side of underfeeding with this plant. It is a very vigorous grower and spreader. An abundance of food will only exacerbate this tendency.

The roots are shallow, so when it spreads into areas I don't want it invading, I just pull it out. This is easy when the ground is moist. The ones you pull up can be used to start new clumps elsewhere. Plant many together for instant impact.

The plants in my yard have never been bothered by any pest or disease. One thing I've noticed is that if they are planted in shade, they fall over. This is a bother because you have to stake them up. They need bright light in order to maintain their normally upright growth habit. The dwarf varieties perform better in the shade.

Pentas Lanceolata

Pentas flowers bloom in white, pink, red, and purple. There is even a rare cultivar with variegated leaves.

Agapanthus Africanus

South Africa has not produced a more popular garden plant than the Agapanthus Africanus. Its strap-like, evergreen foliage and dark blue to white blooms are beloved of gardeners the world over.

Plumbago Plant

The plumbago plant, Plumbago auriculata, is a marvelous South African native that is covered in true blue flowers all season long.

Ruellia Humilis

Ruellia humilis is the night flowering wild petunia. It bears the small funnel-shaped purple flowers typical of R. brittoniana but its stems and leaves are more like those of a petunia hybrid.

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