Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mexican Petunia Garden : Purple Showers 2013

I first became interested in Mexican Petunias aka Purple Showers back in the Summer of 2011. That's when I was introduced to this fabulous purple perennial when I saw a little inspiration across the street, decorating their mailbox. See that inspirational flower photo at the end of this blog post! And, you can also see that bit of inspiration, although not so inspirational today, in my second photo below. Look closely.

It has the scientific name of Ruellia brittoniana and is known as Britton's wild petunia. I personally like the additional name of Mexican Bluebell although it should be Purplebell, you know?

To refresh your memory on my front garden, on October 8, 2012, I wrote a detailed blog post showing you how to plant a Mexican Petunia Flower Garden like mine. That particular front garden was inspired by my first Mexican Petunia Flower Garden, in my side yard.

Mexican Petunia Garden : Front Yard 2013
Mexican Petunia Garden : Front Yard 2013
Photo taken on May 19, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
Mexican Petunia Garden : Front Yard 2013 
Mexican Petunia Garden : Another View 2013
Photo taken on May 19, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
Comparing these photos to the previous 2012 photos, you can see considerable growth on the Mexican Petunias. I wasn't sure that these plants were going to make it through the last frost we had. Up to that point, they had weathered our cool weather fairly well. However, we got hit with an unexpected frost after some very warm weather.

After the last frost, I pruned down the Mexican Petunia plants to a tiny round mass. It didn't look good! The leaves had virtually all fallen off and the rest of the plants were a deep maroon-like color. I made sure I gave them water even though they are typically drought-resistant plants.

Five Pretty Mexican Petunia Blossoms in a Row
A Closeup of Five Pretty Mexican Petunia Blossoms in a Row
Photo taken by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
I tried some special fertilizer on these plants which might have made the difference in how well they are doing today. In the Burpee Eco-friendly Seed Starting 25 Pellet Greenhouse Kit that I was using to grow Sunflower seedlings, there was a 1 oz. package of Espoma organic fertilizer. I opted to sprinkle that fertilizer on the Mexican Petunias.

Take a look at this photo comparison that I've prepared of the garden in 2012 vs the garden today.

Mexican Petunia Garden : Front Yard 2012 vs 2013
Mexican Petunia Garden - October 2012 vs May 2013
Photo comparison prepared on May 19, 2013 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
Once the frost-damaged plants were trimmed back, they pretty much were the size of those plants in October 2012 as shown in the left photo. With a sprinkling of the 1 oz. package of Espoma Plant-Tone Organic Plant Food, the Mexican Petunias today are easily three times the size! And, we are not even into Summer. It was my intention to encourage the petunias to fill the bricked-in area. With a little more growth, I believe they'll be there.

If you look closely at the garden photos, you might be able to tell that there is a different plant in the middle of that flower garden. It's the Peter Pan Agapanthus which I transplanted from my back yard. More on that a little later. Also, you can see a blue ceramic flower pot in the corner of the garden. Those are pale pink pentas.

I'll be giving you an update on the other Mexican Petunia garden that is in my side yard! Thanks for taking the time to enjoy the purple showers! May your days be sunny and may showers come your way only when needed.

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