Ruellia not blooming!

Madison, MS(Zone 8a)

I have a Ruellia plant in a pot that has grown and looks very healthy, but it is not blooming. From what I have read, they are very hardy and bloom all summer. I live in the southern part of U.S. where the summers are very warm. It is in full sun. I am wondering if the pot could be too small.

Vicksburg, MS(Zone 8a)

Both my tall and dwarf Ruellias are blooming but they are both in the ground. Have you tried adding a little Bloom Booster to your water? That might encourage some flowers.

Dallas, GA(Zone 7b)

My ruellia are the tall variety, they die back each year and return from their roots. I have them in the ground and in pots mine never bloom before late July early August here in Georgia zone 7b when they do begin blooming they bloom all the way to the first hard freeze.

Madison, MS(Zone 8a)

Thank you both for your advice! I will try the bloom booster. Joan, I was wondering if maybe it was early for them to bloom, however, Naturelover, who lives nearby, says hers are blooming. The pot they are in is not very large. I didn't expect them to get so tall when I planted them. I know...should have read the label :).

Evans, GA

Hey!!! I'm so glad I found this post! I moved into my home 5 years ago and inherited 2 beautiful patches of Ruellia/Mexican Petunias. They grow as high as our 6 foot fence and I have easily managed to keep them from becoming invasive. I love them! My only problem is the first 2 years they bloomed prefusely from growth starting at 8" all the way up to 6'. Year 3 I started to get fewer blooms, last year they didn't start blooming until they were 4' and very few blooms...this year I've only had like 2 flowers on a 4' crop of at least 100. There has been no new conditions other than me trying to figure out what the problem is. There is adequate light, soil and water. The plants appear to be absolutly healthy. I can not find any appearance of pests or disease. I've tried fertilizing/not fertilizing, watering more/letting them go to wilt, compost...whats the deal?
I live in Augusta, Ga. and have seen my same exact plants blooming out of all sorts of soil conditions in southern Florida and I get so mad every time I do, because mine wont bloom. I hate to have to try to dig these out next year to replace with some thing else, because they are in a retaining wall surrounding my back yard and will be very difficult to remove the tough roots. Need help...rather keep them! Ruellia is in photo attaached in retaining wall. Thank you!!! Any help appreciated!

Thumbnail by jaclyn1
Vicksburg, MS(Zone 8a)

Hi jaclyn1,
The tall Ruellia is invasive by nature and needs lots of room to spread. Keeping them in the retaining wall is a good way to keep them from taking over your whole yard but they will do what most plants do under crowded conditions--usually stop blooming first, then stop growing. I would thin them out so the roots have more room and there won't be as much competition for nutrients.

Evans, GA

Aha! Thank you! Can I ask you...do I just cut to thin or pull out selectively by the roots? I'm pretty sure I know the answer, its probably by the roots, huh? Dang if it is. Those buggers are difficult to get to where they are. I guess if it's by the roots I'll wait till they die back so I can see every thing better. Oh well for blooming this year, but at least I have an answer as to why. Thank you so much...I really was frustrated and challenged with my predicament when I saw them growing out of nothing but rock and sand in Florida and nothing here at home. Now I'll tackle the little guys. Your a sweetheart!

Vicksburg, MS(Zone 8a)

jaclyn,
I don't think it's too late to get some of your Ruellia to bloom this year. Do you have one of those little weeding tools with the two forks on the end? It would be perfect for digging out select plants. You could thin out whatever you can get at now without damaging other plants and then, as you said, thin more out after they die back. I just punch the weeding tool deep into the soil all the way around the plant I want to remove and then gently lift it out. They do bloom all the way till frost. Wishing you luck on getting some blooms :-} BTW, you should see what it takes for me to thin my Larkspur every year--that's a job!

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