Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Desert Petunia, Florida Bluebells, Mexican Petunia, Mexican Blue Bells
Ruellia tweediana 'Colobe Pink'

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ruellia (roo-EL-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: tweediana (twee-dee-AH-nuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Colobe Pink
Additional cultivar information: (aka Bonita, Poquito Pink, Katie's Pink)

Synonym:Ruellia brittoniana

14 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Pale Pink

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 8 photos.
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6 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative kafka00 On Aug 3, 2009, kafka00 from Alexandria, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Invasive! Too many babies! Advantages are that the Dwarf Katie Pink has lots of very pretty, cool pink flowers. Hardy in zone 8b Central Louisiana: we cut down to a few inches after our first frost. Roots are extensive, plant easy to grow, grows rapidly. Disadvantages: like a daylily, blossoms last only 1 day and I spend the next day taking off the previous day's numerous blooms or they get brown and ugly. Main disadvantage is all the baby plants that spring up and could overrun us! See picture that I am posting today of baby plants in pots. I am intentionally growing these but I will weed out new ones. Our wet Louisiana climate may favor babies coming up.

Positive Dedda On Aug 18, 2008, Dedda from Petersburg, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Bought both pink and purple version of this plant 3 years ago, set some out in the garden(alleged zone 7) It has come back every year from the spreading root clumps.I have it placed in 2 seperate areas in garden one is heavily mulched the other barely.
Will do fine in very dry conditions , but you get most growth and flowers by keeping it well watered and fed, pot or in ground, very quick to become extremely potbound!
First frost it has a 'melt down', but will start come back by late April.

Positive SudieGoodman On Nov 21, 2006, SudieGoodman from Broaddus, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Zone 8b, Deep Southeast, TX on Lake Sam Rayburn Lake
All Lazy Gardners, listen up! This is your plant to love. It takes care of itself.

Brought rooted cuttings from North Texas with Alkaline p) soil tomy retirement home in deep east TX with acidic soil.

For nine years it has bloomed profusely each year!
Hummers, butterflies, honey bees, etc love this lady.

Try it you'll like it.

Wonderful gardening

Neutral vossner On Oct 27, 2005, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is one of my plants I love to hate, because it crops up everywhere. It is easy to pull off, but you have to keep your eyes open for unwanted seedlings. At blooming time, everything's forgiven, as the pink display is just wonderful. I have mine planted in a mix with the white variety, and it is quite a pretty sight.

Positive htop On Sep 25, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, Tx. Addendum
"Bonita" forms clumps 6-10" tall and 12" wide, it is a super border and/or ground cover plant which begins blooming profusely in mid-summer to late summer and continues into fall. The light pink, petunia-like, 1.5" blooms standout against the deep green sword-shaped foliage which is beautiful without any flowers. Once established, they are drought-tolerant, but perform best with regular waterings. These plants need no deadheading.

A few new plants may spring up from seed but after 3 years none have done so. After protected mine last year with white colored frost protection sheets purchased at a nursery and they are 1.5 feet in heighth and width. It has been named a Texas Superstar by Texas A&M University because it withstands hot, dry areas and needs no pesticidal sprays. In colder climates it must be grown as an annual.

Positive brensaun On Jun 18, 2003, brensaun from Panama City, FL wrote:

We have "Texas petunias" here and they are the rage on the beach with dry sand. They spread and are said to be very intrusive. I bought the bright purple one and a white one. I would like to swap for a light pink one. I live in Panama City near the coast. Dry and sandy. I want my yard to look like an english cottage garden, knee-deep with flowers/wildflowers. This is my first season and it is coming along. I depend on Lantana, wild varieties as well as the nursery versions of the ground cover. We hate to mow, no need to fertilize this dry sand and then have to mow. I planted Seminole pumpkins in a bed in the middle of the front yard and now the huge leaves are vining all over. Hope it kills all the weeds and grass.

Positive froghill On Jun 18, 2003, froghill from Eufaula, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I planted my first Mexican petunia last summer and it bloomed consistently until frost. Here in Eufaula, Alabama we are borderline Zones 8a and 8b and we get a number of freezes a year so it dies back to the ground. It came back but has not yet bloomed but the plant is larger.

Positive htop On Jun 17, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This dwarf Mexican petunia does not exhibit the self-seeding problems that the larger varieties do (plants that are hard to remove once well rooted coming up everywhere). Its dark green graceful foliage and light pink blooms make it attractive as a border or in clumps. It is not picky about sun exposure and does well in sun to shade. However, it blooms more prolifically in partial sun to full sun. It can withstand a light freeze, but will die back during extreme cold. If it does so, prune the injured areas or cut to ground level. It will resprout. I covered my plants this winter during our three freezes and they are twice the size they were last year.

Grasshoppers and locust love this plant. Sprinkle with Sevin dust as soon as you see any eaten leaves. Do not over water (yellowing leaves are a symptom of over watering). Although the flowers are not dense, the contrast between them and the foliage, makes them standout. Midsummer, fertilize with Super Bloom or a similar product to increase bloom production. Each season, these petunias spread in width and heighth. A great addition to any garden and a dought tolerant plant.


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

Eufaula, Alabama
Fairhope, Alabama
Foley, Alabama
Brooksville, Florida
Hobe Sound, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Panama City, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Alexandria, Louisiana
New Iberia, Louisiana
Waynesboro, Mississippi
Longs, South Carolina
Alice, Texas
Arlington, Texas
Atlanta, Texas
Broaddus, Texas
Bryan, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas
Denison, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Houston, Texas
Red Oak, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Rowlett, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Petersburg, Virginia

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