They are also considered invasive weeds by some.
One of those things I guess, the butterflies and bees love the flowers, but the plants get out of control and will grow just about anywhere in the South. Zone 8 to 11 if you're taking notes.
I guess I shouldn't propagate them, but since my entire property line on the East side is covered with them, they aren't going anywhere. I get an almost 100 percent propagation rate from cuttings stuck in damp soil, and they make for a rather nice display in a pot.
Like I said, the butterflies like them and I'm all about making the butterflies happy.
I had this pot, one of my Rescue Pots where I was planting all sorts of stuff to see if it takes. When I got a care package of some Mexican Milkweeds, I tossed the seeds into this pot and waited.
Nothing. Nothing took. That was back in March.
Shrugging, since I needed to trim back the Mexican Petunia a couple of lawn mowings ago, I simply saved the cuttings and stuck them into the soil of that pot, densely. Now the pot has this giant tuft of purple flowers and green leaves.
In the middle of that pot there was one odd ball Mexican Milkweed. I could tell it was that because the leaves were not as dark as the Ruellia. The leaves are almost identical, but it looked faded.
With my puttering in the garden each day, I thought it odd that my Milkweed had grown back healthy after being eaten back to sticks by all the Monarch Butterflies we have here.
Then it happened.
Momma Butterfly found my lone plant in the strawberry pot. She missed the one in the Ruellia.
I shortly had three little baby Monarch caterpillars munching my plant to sticks. "Oh Well, That Is What It's There For!" I said, promising myself to watch after my tiger striped pets.
A couple days later, they grew so big that they ate themselves low on food. One of the caterpillars got hungry enough to try to escape the strawberry pot. I saw it on the outside of the pot looking lost. It immediately climbed onto an offered Sea Grape leaf that I picked up from the ground.
You guessed it, it went into the pot with the Ruellia.
So now I have caterpillar number 3 getting fat and happy with the Ruellia, which it seems to have a taste for too, as well as the other two back on the lone Mexican Milkweed that now is almost leafless.
Good luck creatures, long may you fly!