“Most thoughtful and kind-hearted Grump,” you ask, “we are looking for a flower that gives great color from spring to fall, loves heat and humidity, doesn’t get bugs, and makes our neighbors jealous. Might you have a suggestion, gracious Sir?“
Grumpy most certainly does. It’s a member of our Southern Living Plant Collection called ‘Ragin’ Cajun’ ruellia (Ruellia elegans ‘Ragin’ Cajun). You may admire it growing in Grumpy’s own garden above. Its nonstop supply of spectacular scarlet blooms bring a smile to this old Grump’s face.
You’ve probably never heard of this plant, so let me fill your craniums with knowledge as I answer the following question with 101% accuracy.
How big does it get? 12 to 14 inches tall and wide with a mounding shape.
What kind of light does it like? Full sun.
What kind it soil does it prefer? Fertile, well-drained soil.
How much water does it need? Water it thoroughly every other day after planting for two weeks. After that, allow the soil to go moderately dry between waterings. An established plants tolerates drought.
Where should I plant it? ‘Ragin’ Cajun’ ruellia is great for containers or the flower bed.
Will it come back next year? ‘Ragin Cajun’ is a tender perennial. It comes back in the Lower, Coastal, and Tropical South (USDA Zones 7B-10). North of that, it’s an annual.
Does it need deadheading or trimming? Nope.
How often should I fertilize it? Once a month with water-soluble fertilizer or just once if spring if using a slow-release granular fertilizer.
Do butterflies and hummingbirds like the flowers? As much as Grumpy likes good beer.
Where can I buy it? Click on the Southern Living Plant Collection link above. Then click on “Where To Buy.” You’ll be directed to garden centers and nurseries near you that carry our Southern Living Plant Collection. If none of them carry ‘Ragin’ Cajun,’ click on “Contact Us” and sob bitterly. (“Us” doesn’t mean “me,” so sob, sob, sob. Our growers love hearing from you.)