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Water Bluebell

Ruellia squarrosa

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Water Bluebell (Ruellia squarrosa) at Roger's Gardens

Water Bluebell flowers

Water Bluebell flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  10 inches

Spacing:  12 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  7b

Other Names:  Blue Shade, Creeping Ruellia

Description:

An adaptable aquatic variety, thriving in moist to wet conditions in any kind of soil; abundant violet flowers all season long; deadhead to encourage re-blooming; a pretty water or pondside plant; will spread by seed and rhizomes

Ornamental Features

Water Bluebell features dainty violet trumpet-shaped flowers at the ends of the stems from late winter to mid fall. Its tomentose narrow leaves remain green in color throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Water Bluebell is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with a ground-hugging 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
  • Invasive

Water Bluebell is recommended for the following landscape applications;

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

Planting & Growing

Water Bluebell will grow to be about 10 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 12 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. 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 prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, 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 covering it with a thick layer of mulch 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.

Water Bluebell is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. 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  Water 
Applications
Flowers  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features