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Cascading purple flowers all summer

For cascading purple flowers all summer we recommend Blue Ribbon ‘Purple Showers’. It hardly matters that these pretty petunia-like blooms last only one day each, because there are simply so many of them. Striking dark stems bear a nonstop succession of flowers from late spring to early fall.

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Nonstop blooms on dark, dramatic stems

If you need a plant that will grow in tough clay soil, or wet soil, or that tolerates drought, Ruellia is it. ‘Purple Showers’ can thrive in a range of conditions including full sun and shade, cranking out an abundance of blooms every day. It has a tropical look with a shrub-like habit, typically growing about three feet tall.

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Each flower lasts only one day

You’ll also hear this variety called Mexican Petunia. Now, in Mexico and other warm climates Ruellia is considered a perennial. Of course, here in Cincinnati we treat the plant as an annual because our winters will kill it. We like it because it is a fast grower, even in tough clay soils and dirt that has been abused by construction equipment. While there are other Ruellia cultivars in purple, white, and pink, including some dwarf varieties, we grow ‘Purple Showers’ because it is sterile.

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Cover a large space or disguise unsightly items in the yard

Mexican Petunia is a great backdrop for other plants if you have a large space to cover. It can be used in bogs and around ponds as well as in typical beds and borders. Since it forms a clump it’s effective at disguising unsightly items in the landscape and for planting around the base of a lamppost or mailbox. We find that the purple flowers pop in front of a gray concrete wall.

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Tropical-looking flowers add a bright pop of purple

‘Purple Showers’ also looks great blooming away in a large container. Anywhere you need tough, durable summer color you can put this variety to work. It attracts bees, butterflies, and birds—and can even be grown indoors as a houseplant.

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Can be used in bogs and at water’s edge, too