Million Bells calibrachoa is a registered trademarked series. But as a whole, calibrachoa are also commonly called million bells (and are often compared to a tiny petunia on steroids). In fact, calibrachoa is often mistaken for petunias. But once you grow the prolific calibrachoa, all confusion will end. They burst upon the scene, making a huge, colorful and happy splash, regardless of where you plant them.
At home in containers, along borders or in beds, Million Bells spill out and over to create magnificent displays of blooming color. In warmer climates, they can even blossom right through the winter months!
Get Your Soil pH Right
Calibrachoa thrives in acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6. At this pH level, you will see the unqualified best performance. In terms of growth, the number of blooms and the rich color of both the blossoms and the foliage. Unsure of your soil pH? An inexpensive soil tester can solve that problem. And simple soil amendments can either raise or lower the pH of your soil. If you need to increase your soil pH, you can try a layer of organic mulch or apply a limestone-based soil amendment. If you need to lower the pH of your soil, you can use sulfur. You can learn more about soil pH here.
How to Care for Million Bells Calibrachoa
Million Bells Calibrachoa plants love the heat and perform very well in full sun. But they will tolerate partially shaded areas, as long as they get at least 4 hours of full sun daily. They also don’t like wet feet. But they do like to be moist, so plant them where the soil drains well or in a container that has adequate drainage.
Planting Million Bells Calibrachoa
When transplanting your Million Bells flowers, dig a hole that is about twice as wide and an inch deeper than the original pot. Then put enough loosened soil in the bottom of the hole to bring the pot level with the soil it is being planted into. Next, squeeze gently to loosen the soil and roots from the shipping pot. Turn it upside down in your palm and allowing the plant to dangle between your fingers. Set the pot aside and place the calibrachoa plant, in its original soil, into the hole you’ve prepared. Double-check that the depth is right and then push the soil back into the hole, gently tamping it down as you go. Water well.
Planting in a bed? Plant mounding varieties between 12 and 15-inches apart and trailing varieties about 18 to 20-inches apart. This will allow for plenty of room for growth while enabling the plants to fill the bed completely. When planting in a container you will want 3 or 4 plants for every 10 to 12-inches of container width. This will result in a well-rounded, full container. The kind that overflows with sumptuous blossoms and foliage.
Mulch Not Needed
In a bed, some gardeners prefer to use mulch to retain moisture. But as the Million Bells series has a well-defined growth habit, they will fill in really well. This creates shade beneath their foliage that works to keep moisture and will inhibit weed growth. Pinching early on will encourage fuller growth and more blossoms. Deadheading is not needed. Million Bells is self-cleaning and will bloom non-stop from April through October and sometimes longer!
Don’t Forget to Fertilize!
As is the case with any fast-growing, prolifically blooming plant, they will look their best when properly fed. Regular feeding with liquid fertilizer or a slow-release fertilizer over longer intervals will ensure healthy blossoms and vibrant color all season. We’ve got more info on how to grow calibrachoa here, including design tips.