The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Family: Acantaceae.

Common name(s): Christmas pride, Monkey Plant, Trailing velvet plant
Ruellia Syn. Dipteracanthus. Genus of about 150 species of evergreen perennials and soft-stemmed or woody shrubs and subshrubs from tropical America, warm parts of North America, and Africa and Asia. The leaves are opposite and entire, and may be stalked or stalkless. The velvety leaves of Ruellia (Monkey Plant) are tinged with purple and veined in silver, the flowers are 2 in. long flared trumpets. The stems droop gracefully- this plant is suitable for hanging baskets.
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average warmth in summer - minimum 55F in winter.Brightly lit spot. Keep well away from direct sunlight. Keep compost moist at all times but never waterlogged. Reduce watering in winter. Use soft, tepid water. Misting is necessary. Root softwood cuttings in spring or early summer. Sow seeds at 66-75 F (19-24 C) in spring.

User-submitted additions and corrections:

Alberta, CA
26th Jul 2009
I love this plant! I have had mine for about 4years now and it grows like a weed, for the longist time i had no idea what it was(until i found it on this site!) i had gotten it on a bargin table for a $1! i loved the velvity purple leaves instantly. I just treat it like anyother house plant i have, its in full light and gets watered every couple days. So imagine the surprise when it burst in to hot pink flowers for months on end, and it seems to seed itself well too. i am constantly picking seeds up off the floor and digging little seedlings out of the pot!
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