How to Grow Calibrachoa Plants

growing the best calibrachoa

Here are some easy tips for how to grow Calibrachoa plants.

These plants are winter hardy perennials in some zones but annual plants in others. Calibrachoa plants go into the garden in spring, after the last frost. Use a well-draining soil rich in organic matter. These annual plants grow best in full sun; some afternoon shade is good for areas that are very hot.

Pronunciation: kal-ih-bruh-KO-uh

Common Name(s): Million Bells; Trailing Petunia

Description: They look like regular Petunia plants but with tiny (1-inch) trumpet-shaped flowers in a wide variety of bold colors like chocolate, hot pink, bronze and dark red. Newer hybrids like ruffled double flowers and blooms with a dark ‘eye’ are very showy. Calibrachoa plants have thick, sticky leaves; their small flowers open during the day and close at night. Calibrachoa grows in compact mounds with trailing branches. They grow very fast and the flowers bloom for a long time (spring through late fall.) Depending on the type, Calibrachoa can grow from 5-10 inches tall and spread from 12-48 inches wide.

Propagation: Stem cuttings.

Origin of Plant/Name: Mexico. Plant named after a 19th century Mexican botanist.

USDA Hardiness Zones: Annual plants in all zones; in zones 9-11, winter hardy perennial plants.

Companion Plants: Coral Bells, Creeping Jenny

Fertilizer Needs: Use a liquid fertilizer with every other watering. If Million Bells plants show yellow leaves, it means they need iron. Use Iron-tone to fix pH levels.

Maintenance: Low. Water when top of soil feels dry. Pinch back for bushier look (may not bloom for 2 wks. afterward).

Display: Containers, hanging baskets, window boxes, flowerbed border.

Wildlife Value: Leaves of Million Bells plants draw hummingbirds.

Overwinter: Before first frost, bring container into cool room. Needs 4-6 hrs. sun daily. Cut back leggy stems. Water once a week during winter; water until liquid drains from bottom. Use general purpose fertilizer once a month. Follow package directions.

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