Ruellia (Wild Petunia)
Ruellia are hardy and half hardy perennial sub shrubs that reach from 30 to 90 cm in height.
There main blooming period is from Spring to summer, but many Ruellia will also carry sporadic flowers at later times of the year.
The flowers of Ruellia are wide ranging in size but are usually tubular in shape. A common name for Ruellia is Wild Petunia.
Origin: South America, Mexico, the Caribbean
Height: 12 to 48 inches (30—120 cm).
Light: The bushes take full sun—the more direct sun they receive, the more flowers will bloom. They can withstand shade and partial shade but will be less productive if planted in these areas.
The color of the stems will vary depending on the light conditions—the more light the plant receives, the more purple you will find on their stems. In shadier areas, the stems will present as a solid green.
Soil: While theywill grow in a variety of soil types, they prefer to be planted in well-drained, fertile soil. They grow and spread extra quickly in marshy soil, or next to rivers and lakes. When it comes to soil pH, these plants will survive in alkaline beds, but they most prefer neutral to slightly acidic environments.
Water: Even if you live in an arid climate, you can still raise a fantastic garden full of bright and showy petunias. They're unique in that they're drought resistant and yet they also survive floods. They do benefit from occasional watering in dry climates but can go without for long stretches of time.
Temperature and Humidity: They are a favorite plant in the desert, but they also grow well in humid climates. They do not survive in the cold, yet they can still be enjoyed as summer annuals in areas that experience low temperatures in the winter.
Fertilizer: While it's not mandatory, they benefit from the addition of manure, fertilizer, and compost in their growing areas. In the springtime, you can use a garden rake to mix in a fertilizer of choice into the top 2 inches of the soil surrounding the plants.
If you're planting them 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. To improve drainage in moist beds, consider adding a little sand to the mix.