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Ruellia elegans (Thai ruellia, Brazilian petunia)

Ruellia elegans Photo/Illustration: John Starnes


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Ruellia elegans roo-EL-ee-ah EL-eh-ganz Common Name: Thai ruellia, Brazilian petunia Genus: Ruellia
This species has open-faced coral-red blossoms from late spring until fall. 
Noteworthy characteristics: Ruellia are evergreen perennials and shrubs from the warm and tropical meadows and open woods of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. They have delicate funnel-shaped flowers, often with dark veins. They are suitable for many types of borders; tender species may be grown in a warm greenhouse.
Care: Outdoors, grow in moist, fertile soil in full sun or partial shade. Ruellia will tolerate boggy conditions in full sun, and can tolerate high heat and humidity. It grows to 18 inches tall and wide. Indoors, grow in bright, filtered light in high humidity. Pinch to encourage bushiness, and after flowering, prune to within one-half to one inch of previous year's growth.
Propagation: Take softwood cuttings in spring or early summer. Sow seed in spring at 66° to 75°F.
Problems: Bacterial leaf spots, fungal leaf spots, rust, root rot.
Height 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Habit Spreads
Growth Pace Moderate Grower
Light Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture Medium to Wet
Maintenance Low
Characteristics Attracts Birds; Attracts Butterflies; Attracts Hummingbirds; Showy Flowers; Showy Foliage
Bloom Time Late Spring; Spring; Summer
Foliage Color Evergreen
Flower Color Red Flower
Uses Beds and Borders, Container, Indoor Plant, Waterside
Style Cottage Garden, Woodland Garden
Seasonal Interest Winter Interest, Spring Interest, Summer Interest, Fall Interest
Type Perennials

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