The Mexican petunia is a tender evergreen perennial that forms colonies of stemmy stalks standing 3 ft (0.9 m) in height and of indeterminate width. The strong semi-woody stalks are distinctly vertical in aspect and hold attractive dark green, leaves oppositely at the nodes. The lance-shaped leaves are to 6-12 in (15.2-30.5 cm) in length and 1/2-3/4 in (1.3-1.9 cm) wide. When grown under hot sunny conditions the foliage assumes a metallic bluish cast that creates the perfect backdrop for the the scores of vibrant blue flowers that appear with the onslaught of hot summer weather. The blossoms are trumpet shaped and about 1.5-2 in (3.8-5.1 cm) in diameter and are borne at the tips of the stems. Varieties with white, pink, and many shades of blue are available, as are dwarf versions that form clumps that are about 8-12 in (20.3-25.4 cm) in height. Mexican petunia is very showy when in full bloom due to the clouds of admiring butterflies that swarm about the plants.
Culture Prefers fertile soil with moisture, but is very adaptable. After flowering, cut back stems about halfway for a new crop! Mexican petunia can be grown indoors as a houseplant in bright light. It is typically free of pests and disease. Light Sun to part shade. The quantity of blossoms is related to the amount of light the plant receives. The more direct sunlight the more flowers with fewer flowers appearing in overcast conditions or when grown in shadier conditions. Moisture Average to moist. Mexican petunia is a water plant that becomes very aggressive with access to abundant moisture. Survives dry spells once established. When growing Mexican petunia indoors water freely when in active growth but water only when dry in winter. Hardiness USDA Zones 8-10. Marginally hardy in Zone 7 if protected and mulched. Propagation Cuttings, division, seed. Stems are very easy to root in moist soil. Over time the plant multiplies and the original stem becomes a colony.
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