While it is tempting to assume you have a case of powdery mildew, and recommend treatment with a fungicide, it may not be fungus at all. Is there anything suggested to maybe braid them? Sow R. simplex seeds in early spring, after all danger of frost has passed. Once you've taken your desired amount of cuttings, remove the buds, flowers, and lower leaves from the stems. It has a tendency to crowd out native Florida species, and so local horticulturists strongly warn against its use. The Mexican Petunia is classified as a Category I Invasive in FL due to its tendency to get out of control and be very difficult to eradicate. Plant one to two seeds for each expected plant, spaced 12 inches apart. bakery cupcakes wedding cakes gluten free and vegan options! At the same height. How much sun do they get? If so, how far down? A notable and popular cultivar differs from the straight species in its height. I wonder if you’ve given it too much water? I moved from DFW to East Texas with just sand as my “pretend” soil. Yes they spread but I love how they show up in the craziest places. I have this plant but very few blooms. The plant is named for Jean de la Ruelle, a late 15th- to early 16th-century French herbalist and physician to King Francois. Agreed, which is why it is classified as a Category I Invasive plant in Florida. My 4-year-old (at the time we planted) granddaughter got a small cutting from her Sunday School teacher. I broke off a few sprigs from a neighbor’s stand of Mexican petunia about 20 years ago and rooted them in water. I cut them back and within a month they have grew back over the fence in the front yard. Papa dug a hole and stuck it in the ground. Did your plants just not shoot up at all? If you want to grow them in containers, that’s an option as well. It’s especially loved for its papery, trumpet-shaped flowers that mimic every shade of the purple rainbow, as well as white and pink. Hi Diane – However, the plant does even better in wet conditions (hello, Florida!). You might need to add a phosphorus-heavy fertilizer and see if that increases blooming. The plant is native to Mexico and South America, and has naturalized in Hawaii and from South Carolina to Texas, where gardeners appreciate it greatly. After roots are established, you can transplant them outside. They are planted in shade and receive plenty of water. Now it only produces white flowers any suggestions on how to help it bring back the purple flowers? Scientifically, it’s been labeled R. brittoniana, R. coerulea, R. malacosperma, and R. tweediana, though today’s taxonomists are in agreement that R. simplex is the correct moniker. The first cold front hit Dallas (mid-October ) – so mine just finished blooming for the year. How do you eliminate weeds & vines growing in my Mexican petunias? You can also propagate this plant via purchased seeds, cuttings, or division. A plant that is moved during the growing season experiences more shock than one that is moved as it’s going into winter dormancy. It gets morning sun and afternoon shade facing the east. Yay! Is this in fact the same plant, or new offspring that grew from last year’s seeds? It’s in full sun. When you first see a Mexican petunia, you may mistake them for the common annual petunia as their flowers are quite similar. I have both high and ground cover. It’s so beautiful. Mexican petunias grow both from seed and those thick, short roots that grow sideways, called rhizomes. Well maybe one or two. Or, you can try planting the seeds directly into the ground. After the frost has killed the plant….how do I care for them? You may apply a 10-10-10 fertilizer in spring. Honeybees love them—and what’s good for the bees is good for the world. I wasn’t a fan of these because the former owners of my house planted them as a patio edge, and I think they look awkward there. How can I get them to stand up again? So, it is actually not maintenance free since if they are not kept in check (with constant pulling of the root system, not just the portion of the plant above ground), they will spread everywhere there is not a paved surface. Lastly, maybe even grown in pots in the ground and moved indoors before frosts? That is absolutely all the attention it received. Let’s learn more about this lovely but divisive plant, and why Floridians want nothing to do with it! I love these Mexican Petunias. We are fortunate to have a beautiful array of them in a small patch of dirt outside our apartment in Dallas that is maintained by a lawn crew. Could be yours are needing more? No special care needed. What is going on? What’s wrong? Spread the roots out in the holes. They are vigorous growers in FL. There are a few things I would check. It’s that its crowding out our native plant species and harming the environment. You can simply pull stray plants. Judy Hedding is a Phoenix resident and has written more than 1,000 articles about Greater Phoenix and Arizona since 2000. Or maybe could they be started earlier indoors and moved outdoors? Thanks for mentioning this! My neighbor brought this Ruella from South America. Do you know which cultivar you planted, Kimberly? Yes! It was beautiful and soon bloomed lots of purple flowers for a few months and then started to dry, then started to look better and grew some new green leaves, but recently has turned brown and soggy and just a few little green leaves left. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. That encourages them to produce lush leaves and few or no blooms. Petty, did you plant Katie’s dwarf, and they’re getting tall and spindly? Dip the cut end of the cutting into a powdered rooting hormone, and place the cutting into the hole you made in the potting mix. Mine die off (above ground) in winter, so I cut the woody stem to about 2″ and cover with mulch. Though there are sterile varieties out there, most self-sow readily – and not all types are true to seed. But I’m afraid cutting them back only encourages them. Get more details about dividing perennials here, Full-sun Flowering Perennials for Southern Gardens, Grow Coneflower, A Native American Favorite, How to Grow Lily of the Valley, a Fragrant Shade-Lover, per Dr. Doug Caldwell of the UF/IFAS Extension, How to Prevent, Identify, and Treat Blight on Tomatoes, Can You Freeze Fresh Tomatoes? Hydrate the plant the evening before you move it. I am a realtor in Florida and have several out of state investors who buy/own duplexes or small SFHs and most of the time the garden beds are empty or weeds so I always tell them to plant a couple of these plants and within a day (if you buy them a foot tall or so) or even a few weeks if you buy them smaller, their gardens will be colorful, and the tenants do not have to take care of them because they take care of themselves basically. There are commercial weed killers available, but I would be nervous using those near the ruellia. One year after a mild winter they survived. It’s about 3′ tall and has bloomed every day – until 4 months ago when it just stopped. While they do share this resemblance, the two plants are not closely related. I am new to your site. Instead, per Dr. Doug Caldwell of the UF/IFAS Extension, you may have eriophyid mites (Acalitus ruelliae). In shadier areas, the stems will present as a solid green. There is also no major concern when it comes to pests. These started growing along my drive way, I like them there, but notice they are trying to spring up across my driveway, into the lawn. Thank you so much for the reply! My 3 daughters are preparing to plant them in their gardens this Spring! How should I prune them? No flowers, but the leaves are fine. Are your white flowers still purple or pink in the center? This has made this part of it brown. Now no flowers. They are great for attracting hummingbirds, too! I have bought more plants for the gaps. I am in Lake Charles, LA. Anything I can do to encourage flowers? Mine has too much shade, I’m wanting to move to a sunny spot USA, Tennessee. I live in the Pacific Northwest and I purchased a Mexican petunia a few months ago along with several other nine inch houseplants. Or do you have the regular, 1- to 2-foot tall ruellia that are looking less than fab? I’m going to have to cut it back and dig some out to keep it in bounds…it goes where it wants. They started growing and flowering and then she said to get rid of them. The wild, invasive form of this plant is so aggressive, it’s banned in some states, and it’s on a watch list of invasive plants in others. Share your experience with this pretty plant in the comments section below. While it's not mandatory, Mexican petunias benefit from the addition of manure, fertilizer, and compost in their growing areas. He recommends the application of a horticultural paraffinic mineral oil (2% concentration) every 5 to 7 days for a total of 3 applications. Very disappointed!! I have kept it in a large pot on my sunny back patio. I like the leaf form, also. It has produced only one bloom!That was yesterday. Do NOT BUY AND PLANT this crap in your yard, it spreads, its taken over almost half my backyard. As a hardy perennial (you only need to plant them once), the Mexican petunia is one of several desert plants that are recommended for warm, dry climates. Thanks so much for sharing your positive experience with Mexican petunias! I live in GA and have these beautiful flowers! My favorite plant!!! I’m in a subdivision so I doubt a deer wandered in. They also appreciate a dose of 20-20-20 fertilizer monthly. We're dedicated to adding a lil’ sweetness to anybody’s life. Love this beauty. Hello I live in Florida and my problem is they will not stop growing. They are pretty but we don’t want the whole garden covered by them. Copyright © 2020 Petunia’s Bakery - All Rights Reserved. In Austin, I do nothing to mine for winter. Hi Jackie – As long as they're placed in a sunny spot, they grow well in indoor pots and outdoor planters alike. That sounds like a great place for these plants, LaJuana! By using The Spruce, you accept our, Orange Jubilee (Orange Bells) Plant Profile, How to Grow and Care for the Autograph Tree, Dusty Miller (Silver Ragwort) Plant Profile. As with most plants, you’ll want to treat them to regular, deep waterings immediately after transplanting, which you’ll do in springtime, and then you can back off the watering if you like. Haha! I’d err on the side of caution, because you’re right, it’s too pretty to kill! And have you fertilized them recently? Hello Sandy Hall! The state of Florida lists Mexican petunias as “highly invasive.” Thanks. Mexican petunias will spread quickly and naturally—sometimes aggressively— especially in moist climates. Hi Voodoo! I always enjoyed gardening with my grandparents as well, and learned so much from them. I can picture the blooms in the pool, btw! You can also start indoors 8 weeks before the last frost if you want to have blossoms earlier in the year. I cut them back and within a month they have grew back over the fence in the front yard. Should we braid them? If you're planting Mexican petunias for the first time, you may want to use a shovel or garden tiller to loosen and turn over the soil before planting, sprinkling in compost or manure as you work.

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