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Hairy Wild Petunia

Ruellia humilis

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Hairy Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis) at Woldhuis Farms Sunrise Greenhouses

Hairy Wild Petunia flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Hairy Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis) at Woldhuis Farms Sunrise Greenhouses

Hairy Wild Petunia in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 inches

Spacing:  4 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  3a

Other Names:  Fringeleaf Wild Petunia, Plains Petunia


This native perennial is quite adaptable, tolerating full or partial sun and moist to dry conditions in any kind of soil; light lavender or purple flowers decorate the green hairy floliage and stems, lightly blanketing a low border front

Ornamental Features

Hairy Wild Petunia features dainty violet trumpet-shaped flowers at the ends of the stems from early to late summer. Its tomentose oval leaves remain grayish green in color throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Hairy Wild Petunia is an herbaceous perennial with a mounded form. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Self-Seeding

Hairy Wild Petunia is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Hairy Wild Petunia will grow to be only 6 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 4 inches apart. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 3 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America.

Hairy Wild Petunia is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Garden  Container 
Flowers  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features