Saturday, May 26, 2007

Mexican Petunia

Plants I Love
(AKA Plants That Don't Die on Me)


Mexican Petunias are considered invasive here in Florida, and in the last few years, it seems that they genuinely have been popping up everywhere; in landscape centers and nurseries, commercial landscapes, my neighbors’ yards, etc. They have tall dark purplish stems, green lance shaped leaves and dark violet flowers. In my zone 9 climate, they die back in the winter, but when the weather starts to warm, the shoots pop up from the plant’s strong root system. After several years, the plant can get down-right bushy. The web sites claim the best way to propagate the Mexican Petunia is by seed, but I have found it very easy to root from cuttings. It follows the tried and true rule: if the stem is square, it will be easy to root. I put it in a glass of water on the windowsill or put it in dirt with some toner. If fact, I don’t recommend even buying this plant. You are almost certain to find someone in the neighborhood who will gladly give you a cutting. The gardener where I work gives me her trimmings when she prunes. These cuttings have populated most of the plants in my yard. From work to my yard 10 miles away – now that’s invasive!

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