The Ruellia simplex, sometimes known as the Mexican petunia, resembles its namesake in that it produces brightly coloured flowers in the form of a trumpet, but other than that, it is quite different from the typical bedding annual. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, Mexican petunia is a perennial shrub that produces evergreen foliage. It thrives in the plant hardiness zones 8 through 10 of the United States Department of Agriculture and is also known by the name Ruellia brittoniana.
About Mexican Petunia
The colour of the flowers may range from purple to pink to blue depending on the variety. Each flower only stays open for a single day, much like a daylily, however there are numerous buds that open all at once beginning in the late spring and continuing through the summer.
According to Plant Care Today, Ruellia is a vigorous grower that may quickly form a mound that is three feet tall and three feet wide. This growth can occur both from the plant’s seeds and from the rhizomes that develop from its roots. In many parts of the world, including Florida, where it is classified as a Category 1 invasive species, this plant is regarded as an invasive species. Grow ruellia in pots to keep its growth under control, and do not reproduce this plant in a responsible manner unless you reside in an area that is not threatened by the invasive expansion of this plant. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, the dwarf variation of Mexican petunia known as ‘Katie’ is a candidate for consideration since there is evidence to suggest that it is less invasive than other cultivars.
The Mexican petunia may be propagated in the spring using tip cuttings, or you can just let it to self-seed and then transplant the young seedlings.