Name: Ruellia makoyana aka trailing velvet plant
Type of Plant: For most of us, this Ruellia is an indoor houseplant. It is hardy in Zone 10, but needs temperatures above 50° F. to live outdoors all year.
Why I Love This Plant: I love the foliage on this plant because it is a combination of dark and light, with a bright central vein down the leaves. I also love the tubular pink flowers and the fact that this plant is triggered into blooming during short days and long nights. In other words, it flowers in the winter when we need it the most!
A Word to the Wise: The growth habit of this plant is trailing and spreading, so as it gets larger do put it in a tall container or hanging basket. It does best in a bright but not direct-sun location inside, or in an Eastern-facing window. Let the soil get dry before watering, but don’t allow the plant to wilt.