Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mexican Petunia Garden aka Purple Showers

Ah, a garden of Mexican Petunias aka Purple Showers. This fabulous purple perennial is also scientifically known as Ruellia brittoniana and as Britton's wild petunia and the Mexican Bluebell.

If you Google "Mexican Petunia," you will find a number of reviews which might warn you about how this pretty purple petunia can become quite invasive and take over your garden! Well, that is partly the reason I selected this perennial for my garden. I am encouraging it to be as invasive as it can in the space that I have provided.

Mexican Petunia Garden of JaguarJulie
Mexican Petunia Garden of JaguarJulie
4 Mexican Petunias planted 3' apart
On my side yard, I had problems with my grass that was killed by the neighbor's vegetable garden. You see that fence? The neighbor's garden is to the right. I watched as more of my grass died this year from the chemicals passing under the fence. What to do? Replace the grass or something else?

Well, I did take time to lay new sod at the front edge of my side yard [you can see a bit of it at the bottom of my picture]. I did not want to lay sod on the side yard only to have it killed again. I opted for a relatively hardy perennial like the Mexican Petunia. In the picture of my side yard garden, you can see that I have planted 4 Mexican Petunia that are spaced a little more than 3 feet apart.

Mexican Petunia Garden of JaguarJulie
Mexican Petunia Garden of JaguarJulie
6 Mexican Petunias planted 3' apart
Notice the "purple showers" on the red mulch
Photo taken ~4pm on September 23, 2012
I subsequently dug up another large patch of dead grass [at the top of the picture] and extended the garden back with another 2 Mexican Petunias. The red and gray brick pavers that I used to edge the garden are the same kind that I used for my patio paver project at the back of my house. I think the red mulch complements the pavers and the purple flowers quite nicely!

Planting Instructions for Mexican Petunia:
  • Dig your hole twice as wide and as deep as the pot.
  • Mix one part planting soil with the native soil of your garden.
  • Loosen the plant's root base and place into the ground.
  • Cover loosely.
  • Use all-purpose, balance plant food to feed your plants.
Features of the Mexican Petunia:
  • Summer-Fall bloomer
  • Hardiness: 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Mature Size: 36-48 inches tall by 24-36 inches wide
  • Space: 24-36 inches
  • Habit: Upright
  • Fertilize: Once per month
  • Feature: Drought tolerant
  • Care: Keep weed-free
  • Water: Weekly during dry spells
I purchased my 6 Mexican Petunias from my local Home Depot for $9.98 each. Home Depot offers plant tips at using plant code THDB2971.

Have you tried Mexican Petunias? It is quite an impressive ornamental plant. I was told, by the plant vendor at Home Depot, that each day, in the mid-afternoon, the Mexican Petunia will shed it purple flowers like showers. And, the next day, the purple flowers will bloom again. Ah, purple showers!


Jack Cruz said...

Good choice. Thanks for the tips too.

Julie Ann Brady said...

Thanks Jack for taking the time to comment today.

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