Desert Petunia, Florida Bluebells, Mexican Petunia, Mexican Blue Bells
Ruellia brittoniana 'Katie Blue'

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ruellia (roo-EL-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: brittoniana (brit-toh-nee-AY-na) (Info)
Cultivar: Katie Blue

Category:

Groundcovers

Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us

Height:

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Blue-Violet

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Deciduous

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Cabot, Arkansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Evans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Barnsdall, Oklahoma

Conway, South Carolina

Baytown, Texas

Bryan, Texas

Cleburne, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Garland, Texas

Houston, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

Port Lavaca, Texas

San Angelo, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

San Marcos, Texas

Spring, Texas

Wells, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

2
positives
0
neutrals
3
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Feb 28, 2015, poeciliopsis from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Central Phoenix -- Katie blue Ruellia brittoniana is a very tough plant. It grows in the ground in our garden in a harsh location -- a narrow bed between a concrete walk and a brick patio, in full sun in summer and partial shade in winter. For many years it was watered sporadically, but is now on a drip system and has become more robust. We cover it during the hardest freezes, because below 30 the tops will be damaged. During our coldest winters (lows in mid 20s F) it has sometimes sustained substantial damage, but has bounced back.

Positive

On May 1, 2013, YeeFam from Spring, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This variety is short mounding plants when grown in bright shade to full sun. In shade, bit taller and broader leaves.

I have them growing in beds around trees and bushes - nice ground cover if that is what you need/want.

Once established - will tolerate drought - evergreen in Tomball, TX (northwest of Houston, TX).

Have some growing in containers - doing very nicely -

Negative

On Apr 11, 2012, mig0007 from Houston, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I too was awed by the fantastic show of purple flowers...then the second year came around and before I actually realized it, the plant doubled in size and started sending up shoots 1-2 feet away. I tried to keep it in check but it became a constant battle. I just came in from digging a hole about 5 foot around and 18 inches deep. This was how big the root structure got in 2 years...from now on, if I want to have another one, it will forever remain in a planter.

Negative

On Oct 12, 2010, aggiebot5 from College Station, TX wrote:

I must second the evil/invasive comment below. This plant is escaping and becoming established and problematic in the Houston area. It's gorgeous, but we really don't need another exotic weed in Texas.

Negative

On Jun 29, 2010, FernByron from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I once had a thriving fern garden on the shady side of the house. I added a four Mexican Petunias to add a few flowers. They were located off to a corner. Two years later---I had a full, thriving garden of these and only a few ferns. Be careful where you plant this harmless little plant. It is evil and subtle. SAN ANTONIO, TX