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Plant It Tampa Bay

Petunia - Mexican Bluebell Dwarf

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Petunia - Mexican Bluebell Dwarf

Dwarf Mexican petunia - sometimes called dwarf ruella - is a hardy little groundcover with cottage-garden appeal that blooms all year in warm, sunny locations.

The leaves have a somewhat grassy look, and flowers cluster around the center of each plant and attract butterflies.

Low growing groundcovers like this one look great when planted in a bed near the entry, as front-of-the-border plants along the foundation, in a mixed bed or surrounding shrubs. 

Usually seen with bright violet flowers, this plant is also available with white or pink blossoms.

You can plant just one variety for a drift of color, or, if all three work with your color scheme, they can be mixed in a garden bed for a very showy effect. 


The dwarf ruella is somewhat more tame. Though it also sends seeds out to sprout in surprising places, the groundcover's wayward seedlings can be mowed over in the lawn, removed from garden beds and sprayed with a herbicide when they spring up from cracks in the sidewalk. 

These chores can be more work than you want to do. If you're more of an armchair gardener, then this groundcover may not be the one for you. 


  • Blue bell likes full sun to part shade, the more sun it is given, the more flowers it produces, part shade conditions will yield a darker blue flower
  • A perennial in zones 7 -10, it may need protecting during a colder than normal winter in zone 7
  • Mid-summer blooms are a favorite of butterflies, blue bell is seldom bothered by pests


    Plant It Tampa Bay


    Easy To Grow

    Low Maintenance

    Grows well indoors or Outdoors

    Good For Containers

      Plant It Tampa Bay

      Grow Best:



      Plant It Tampa Bay   Containers


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      Ideal position:

      Full sun

      6 hours morning sun best

      Plant It Tampa Bay


      Water regularly - weekly, or more often in extreme heat or containers.


      Plant It Tampa Bay

      Healthy Temperatures:

      Warm, tropical vibes of 65-90°F

      Grown indoors as a houseplant but can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 5-11

      Plant It Tampa Bay

      Growth Outlook:

      Height : 8 - 12"  

      Wide: Up To 3'

      Growth Rate: Moderate grower

      Plant Spacing:  30" apart


      Plant It Tampa Bay

      Pet Friendly - NO

      Toxicity: Mildly toxic to dogs and humans when ingested.

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      Landscape uses: 

      Warning: You may have to work to keep it where you want it.

      • Accent for a butterfly garden or mixed bed
      • Along a fence
      • Fronting a row of taller shrubs
      • As a backdrop for smaller shrubs
      • Along a deck, porch or patio
      • Group planting in a dedicated bed (like the top photo)

        Plant care

        Add top soil or organic peat moss to the hole when you plant. You may also want to add water-retaining crystals, pre-swelled before planting.

        Water is this plant's only issue. It likes it...a lot. This is not a drought-tolerant shrub, so be prepared to provide regular irrigation. 

        These shrubs can even handle "wet feet," growing in areas that are slow to drain.

        To mix a moisture-loving plant like this with other shrubs that like it dryer, using water-retention crystals for certain plants will keep everybody happy. 

        Trim back whenever you like. Occasional trimming keeps these plants bushy and full.

        You may have to pull up stray shoots that pop up where you don't want them.

        Fertilize 3 times a year - once each in spring, summer, and autumn - with a good granular fertilizer.

        Plant spacing

        Plant 3 feet apart. Come out from any structure 2 to 3 feet.

        These shrubs will outgrow any container in no time, so planting in the ground is your best option.