Ruellia: Greenhouse Plants
W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F) / T – tropical, minimum of 18°C (65°F)
An attractive group of plants, but as with some others in the same family they need a lot of attention in the department of cutting back, repropagating, etc. to keep them looking good. Ruellia portellae and R. makoyana from Brazil both make excellent low growingfor pans in the tropical house. R. makoyana is a little more compact and has slightly brighter carmine flowers than R. portellae. They can also be tried as hanging basket plants. It is important not to allow the temperature to fluctuate too much around them or they will drop leaves. When they become straggly cut the stems back hard to regenerate growth. Plan on raising for the eventual replacement of old plants with new. R. macrantha is a much taller, more upright plant reaching 1.2 m (4 ft) and producing its large, veined, pink flowers in winter and spring. This species is able to grow in warm conditions quite happily. It is a good idea to begin tying the stems into a cane at an early stage to prevent the plant from opening out and collapsing. Seed sown just beneath the surface at 18-24°C (65-75°F) is a little slow and erratic to germinate, taking between one and three months.