Ruellia, like most houseplants, is a native of southern countries. She is a member of the Acanthus family, numbering about 4,000 species. Under natural conditions, plants of this family are widespread in Africa, Brazil, Central America. Ruellia belongs to the genus of the same name, named after the French physician and botanist Jeanne Ruelle. Plants that make up the genus Ruellia are mostly herbaceous, and only a few develop as shrubs or semi-shrubs. A number of species, over time, moved into the category of plants, we grow exclusively in greenhouses. It is not at all difficult to grow ruella in indoor conditions, since the plant is not demanding in terms of growing conditions and care.
Ruellia: flower description and characteristics
Ruella is not easy to find on sale, this plant is not very much in demand by the owners of flower shops and shops. The thing is that ruelia grows quite actively, which leads to its rapid growth. In addition, the flowers of the plant "live" only for a few hours, having blossomed in the morning, by the evening they wither. In adult plants, this feature is compensated by a huge number of flower buds, because the plant can bloom continuously for several months. But, as a rule, young flowers are offered for sale and it is quite difficult to "catch" the moment of their external attractiveness.
However, experienced florists are attracted not only by the lush and bright flowering of ruelia, but also by the foliage of the plant, which, by the way, is no less decorative than flowers. Ruelia leaves are slightly elongated with a velvety surface. In some species, they have a light green color, while in others they have a rich dark green color. A light strip runs along the central vein of the leaf, and sometimes, like a pattern, they decorate the entire leaf plate.
Ruellia's flowers are tubular, located in the leaf axils. Depending on the variety, they can be painted in delicate pink and lilac tones, or bright pink-red colors.
Ruelia looks impressive not only as a potted plant. In greenhouses and winter gardens, it can often be seen as an ampelous and ground cover plant.
Ruellia: home care and cultivation
Houseplant Ruellia: flower photo
Florists recommend placing ruelia in a place with good lighting. Indeed, like most plants, with a lack of light, its shoots will begin to stretch, the flowers will be small, and the flowering itself will not last long. Drafts should also be avoided, otherwise, the lower leaves of the plant will begin to fall off, and the bare stems look too decorative.
Since ruelia is "southerner" - she needs warmth. Most of the time, the air temperature in the room where the ruelia grows should be at least +20 degrees, and only in winter it is advised to lower the temperature to + 16 ... + 18 degrees. The temperature of the soil in the container with the plant should also not fall below the indicated values. For this reason, ruelia should not be left on the windowsill in winter.
Ruella grows well in high humidity, which is difficult to provide at home. Therefore, if possible, the plant should be regularly sprayed, especially in winter, when the heating system is actively working in the room, which greatly dries the air. The plant will react to too low a moisture level by curling and drying the leaves.
You should not be zealous with watering ruelia, but you should not allow the earthen coma to dry out either.The soil moisture level should be moderate. The frequency of watering must be adjusted taking into account the air temperature in the room, the cooler - the less often watering.
Fertilizers are applied twice, during the flowering period of ruelia. As a top dressing, ready-made complexes of minerals are used, which can be found in any specialized store.
Ready-made soil is also suitable for growing ruelia. If there is a desire to compose the soil mixture on your own, then its components should include leafy and sod land, high-quality humus, as well as peat and sand. Regardless of whether the soil is purchased or prepared independently, in order to prevent the infection of the plant with root rot, it is necessary to treat it with biological fungicides before planting ruelia.
For the lush flowering of ruelia, a tight container is required, therefore, it does not need frequent transplantation. Moreover, given the tendency of the plant to grow rapidly, there is no expediency in it. It will be much more useful to spend time and effort on growing new planting material. Ruellia reproduces well by cuttings. Therefore, as soon as it becomes noticeable that the plant is losing its decorative effect, it is time to stock up on cuttings. The cut cuttings are placed in water, where a root formation stimulator can be added beforehand. The container with cuttings is left in a room with a temperature of at least 20-25 degrees. After the roots appear, the cuttings are planted in the ground. Immediately after planting, they are advised to pinch them, this will stimulate the formation of new shoots and help to increase the decorative effect of the plant. By the way, if the shoots come into contact with the soil, they can take root on their own and you just need to carefully separate the new seedling from the mother plant.
Ruellia is weakly susceptible to disease. Most often, they are caused by improper care, namely, waterlogging of the soil, too low room temperature, exposure to drafts and cold air currents. Among the insect pests, the plant can be attacked by aphids or whiteflies. Therefore, the acquired ruella must be transplanted into new soil and the crown must be treated against pests.
- Ruella Portela. This is one of the most common rueelli hybrids. The plant is distinguished by lodging shoots, in contact with the ground, they instantly take root. The foliage is oblong in shape, its top is colored dark green, and the underside has a reddish tint. Light, almost white stripes run along the entire length of the leaf. Ruella bloom begins in late summer and lasts for several months. During this period, the plant is covered with large bright pink flowers.
- Ruellia Devos. This plant does not have the same bright flowering as the previous species. The flowers of Ruella Devos are white or pale lilac in color and are slightly smaller in size. However, due to branchy shoots and a large amount of greenery, the bush looks very attractive. The period of its flowering falls on the end of autumn - the beginning of winter.
- Ruelia grandiflorum... The name of this species is fully justified, the diameter of the flowers of this ruella is about 8 cm, and the length is at least 10 cm. The color of the flowers is violet-pink. In good light, the plant will bloom throughout the winter.
- Ruelle Britton. Perhaps, the plant of this species is the largest, its height and width can reach 80 cm. Powerful dark green leaves are located on semi-lignified shoots. Sometimes, you can hear another name for this species - "blue ruelia", because the foliage of the plant, when exposed to sunlight, acquires a bluish tint. And in combination with the violet-blue hue of the flowers, it is simply impossible to take your eyes off the ruelia.
Houseplant Ruellia: flower photo
If the opportunity presents itself, do not walk past this plant. The period of its flowering falls on late autumn and winter, and at this time of the year, one wants so much bright colors, which the ruelia will generously share.