Ruellia Invasive: Tips On How To Get Rid Of Mexican Petunias
How to get rid of Mexican petunias?
In the summertime, when there are no flowers or fruit trees around, it’s easy to forget about them. But then they come back every year. They’re so prolific that you may never see them all. And if you do, you’ll probably have a hard time finding enough food for your family!
Mexican petunias are native to Mexico, but they’ve spread throughout Central America and South America. They’re not aggressive plants; they don’t attack people or animals unless threatened. If you live near a garden where these plants grow, however, you might want to consider getting rid of them because their seeds can germinate and produce new ones.
What kinds of things could I use to kill Mexican petunias?
You can use any kind of weed killer you like, though some are better than others at killing Mexican petunias. You could try using a commercial product such as Roundup Ready® herbicide. Other options include home remedies, which are just as effective and usually less expensive. Here are a few ideas:
• Vinegar – Use 1 cup white distilled vinegar (such as Everclear) per gallon of water. Soak the entire plant in the solution, making sure it gets into all of the crevices between the leaves and branches.
• Salt – Use a good quality table salt. Do not use any kind of rock salt or sea salt. You can also use a solution made by dissolving the salt in water – use 1 cup of salt per gallon of water. Soak the entire plant in the mixture.
How long will it take for the Mexican petunias to die?
It could take a few days for the plant to completely die and stop producing more seeds. If you want speed up the process, you can purchase a package of parasitic nematodes. Release them into your soil and they will attack the roots of the petunias, killing them within 24 hours. This method is not only effective, but it’s also environmentally friendly and relatively inexpensive.
How do I get rid of the dead plant?
Once the Mexican petunia is dead, remove it from your property. This may seem like common sense, but you might be surprised at how many people just leave their dead plants in their garden beds!
After all, why take the time to dispose of something if you can just let nature take its course?
It’s not only unsightly, but the petunia’s rotting carcasses will attract insects and other pests to the area.
How can I prevent this from happening again?
The best way to prevent this from happening again is to make sure nothing ever grows in your soil again. You can do this by adding more sand, vermiculite, or pottery pellets to your soil before you plant anything. You can also try sheet mulching, which involves adding a thick layer of organic matter to the top of your soil. This method isn’t foolproof, however, especially if you have shallow-rooted weeds like dandelions or are in an area with a lot of annual rainfall.
What else could I use to get rid of Mexican petunias?
You can also try pulling up all the plants by their roots. Make sure you don’t miss a single one! It can be tedious and time-consuming, but sometimes that’s just the price you have to pay in order to keep your yard free of weeds.
You can also use an old-fashioned hoe. It may not be as glamorous as some of the other ways to kill weeds, but sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.
How do I get rid of the smell?
One of the main reasons that people have trouble with getting rid of the smell from dead Mexican petunias is that they often mulch the plants. Do not, under any circumstances, put the dead petunias into a compost pile or any other place where other organic matter can rot. It just makes the problem worse!
The best way to get rid of the smell is to either air the area out by cutting open a two-liter bottle and placing it under the mulch or by sprinkling baking soda over the dead plants. You can also try adding a few drops of essential oils, such as tea tree oil, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, or lavender oil to a cotton ball and placing it among the dead plants.
If the smell persists, try one of the previously mentioned methods again. You may have to try several times before it finally goes away.
Sources & references used in this article:
Biological notes on Melanagromyza ruelliae (Diptera: Agromyzidae), a seed feeder on the invasive Mexican petunia, Ruellia tweediana (Acanthaceae) by LA Huey, GJ Steck, AM Fox – Florida Entomologist, 2007 – BioOne
Re‐vegetation with native species does not control the invasive Ruellia simplex in a floodplain forest in Florida, USA by AM Smith, C Reinhardt Adams… – Applied Vegetation …, 2016 – Wiley Online Library
Growth and development of the native Ruellia caroliniensis and invasive Ruellia tweediana by SB Wilson, PC Wilson, JA Albano – Hortscience, 2004 – journals.ashs.org
Suppression of the ornamental invasive Mexican petunia (Ruellia simplex) by native species by AM Smith, CR Adams, C Wiese, SB Wilson – Ecological Restoration, 2015 – er.uwpress.org
Assessment of germination, nutrient uptake and photosynthetic efficiency for evaluating the potential invasiveness of Ruellia brittoniana by SB Wilson, PC Wilson… – Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc, 2001 – irrecenvhort.ifas.ufl.edu
Insights from Southeastern US nursery growers guide research for sterile ornamental cultivars by A Bechtloff, DCR Adams, DS Wilson… – Journal of …, 2019 – meridian.allenpress.com