California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Ruellia brittoniana - Mexican Petunia

Ruellia brittoniana is not a plant for the faint of heart. The Mexican Petunia spreads vigorously. Not so much as can't be contained, but not to be planted and forgotten about either. There is a dwarf variety Ruellia brittoniana Katie 5 feet tall, and a full sized Purple Showers 4-5 feet tall shown below. Ruellia brittoniana can be kept within bounds by planting in a container or in a restricted planter bed, or by using drip irrigation so there is a small oasis in which it can thrive. Ruellia brittoniana roots when the branches touch the ground, spreads 6-12" per year by underground runners and has viable seed. The Mexican Petunia has all of the tools to be a pest, though I have not had too much trouble keeping it in check. Plants are frost damaged in the 20°s F and killed to the ground in the teens. I haven't seen weather yet in our area that might finish off the roots of Ruellia brittoniana.

Ruellia brittoniana Purple Showers

Purple flowers of Ruellia brittoniana - Purple Showers Mexican Petunia. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

Ruellia brittoniana Katie, Dwarf Mexican Petunia

Pale purple flowers of Ruellia brittoniana Katie - Dwarf Mexican Petunia. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.