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Yerba Maravilla

Ruellia coccinea

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Yerba Maravilla (Ruellia coccinea) at Roger's Gardens

Yerba Maravilla flowers

Yerba Maravilla flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  3 feet

Spacing:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  7b

Description:

A beautiful warm climate perennial with a woody base, featuring abundant bright red tubular flowers all season long; cut back stems to encourage re-blooming; will spread by rhizomes; great for semi-shaded areas; beautiful when massed in borders

Ornamental Features

Yerba Maravilla features showy scarlet tubular flowers at the ends of the stems from early spring to mid fall. Its pointy leaves remain dark green in color with hints of steel blue throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Yerba Maravilla is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. 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. Trim off the flower heads after they fade and die to encourage more blooms late into 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;

  • Spreading

Yerba Maravilla is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting
  • Bog Gardens

Planting & Growing

Yerba Maravilla will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 24 inches apart. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. 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. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Yerba Maravilla is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. 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
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Container  Bog 
Applications
Flowers  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features