Gardening knowledge for gardeners: Planting and Care for Calibrachoa (Million Bells)

Gardening knowledge for gardeners: Planting and Care for Calibrachoa (Million Bells)

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Nothing attracts gardeners’ attention more than the vibrant colors and unique flower shapes. With so many options in colors and styles, it is not surprising that Calibrachoa quickly became one of the most popular in the garden. As a result, this article from will show you methods for planting Calibrachoa to create a vivid atmosphere in your garden. 

Calibrachoa (Million Bells) Overview

Calibrachoa (Million Bells)
Calibrachoa (Million Bells)

Information about Calibrachoa

Calibrachoa is a genus with just 28 species of beautiful blooming plants that are closely related to Petunias. The flowers have a variety of names in cultivation, including Million Bells, Superbells, Mini Petunia, and Trailing Petunia. Calibrachoa belongs to the Solanaceae (nightshade) family of plants.

Besides, Calibrachoas are annual or perennial small shrubs or herbaceous plants with woody shoot axes. The leaves are oval, elliptical, inversely ovate or linear; the margin is flat or coiled. The inflorescences are monophasic and have opposite, leaves-like bracts.

Moreover, Calibrachoa plants are native to the same South American region as Petunias. From southern Brazil through Chile and Peru, they have their natural habitat. Calibrachoa plants are commonly found in scrub and open grasslands.

Calibrachoa plants come in a variety of colors, and there are diverse kinds such as deep blue, light pink, white, yellow, and sky blue,… that create a vivid picture of flowers. 

Many people claim that flowers were frequently used as symbols in art and literature to represent various emotions, religious movements, and hidden or secret thoughts. Calibrachoa, like any flower, has a symbolic value that is important for us to know. 

Why should you choose Calibrachoa in your garden? 

Calibrachoa in garden
Calibrachoa in garden

The Million Bells (Calibrachoa) is a wonderful garden blooming if you want to feel like you’re in the middle of summer. 

Calibrachoa plants are prolific bloomers, flowering numerous times during the growing season and attracting beneficial pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies. Calibrachoa is one of the lowest maintenance plants so it’s quite easy to plant and take care of. 

As a result, there’s a reason for planting Calibrachoa to light up your garden. 

Varieties of Calibrachoa

These lovely plants bloom constantly all season long, with hundreds of mini-petunia-like flowers adorning their lush, trailing foliage. Here are some types of Calibrachoa.

Superbells grape punch

Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Grape Punch’ is a compact, bushy or slightly trailing perennial that blooms in masses from late spring to the first frosts, with masses of rich purple flowers adorned with a deep plum-black eye.

Calibrachoa Superbells grape punch
Calibrachoa Superbells grape punch

Superbells Tropical Sunrise

Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Tropical Sunrise’ is a compact, bushy or slightly trailing perennial that blooms in masses from late spring until the first frosts, with masses of colourful flowers, adorned with warm yellow and pinkish-red streaks.

Furthermore, they can grow up 6-12 inches. 

Calibrachoa 'Superbells Tropical Sunrise'
Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Tropical Sunrise’

Superbells holy moly

This Calibrachoa is great in containers or hanging baskets, where it may serve as a filler or trail gracefully over the edges. It’s vigorous and blooms freely all season. It looks like a little Petunia and is heat and disease resistant. It’s easy to grow, attracts hummingbirds, and makes a stunning display throughout the summer. They can grow up to 6-12 inches tall. 


Superbells blackcurrant punch

Calibrachoa plants called Superbells Blackcurrant Punch produce millions of small petunia-like flowers with colorful outlines and deep black-eyed centers. It’s stunning! Self-cleaning blooms handle the heat well in this long-blooming type.

Calibrachoa Superbells blackcurrant punch
Calibrachoa Superbells blackcurrant punch

Superbells Pomegranate Punch

The Pomegranate Punch Calibrachoa has stunning velvety-red blossoms that darken in the center. It reaches a height of 8 inches and a spread of 24 inches.

Calibrachoa Superbells Pomegranate Punch
Calibrachoa Superbells Pomegranate Punch

Million Bells Trailing

From late spring to autumn, a small, trailing plant with color flowers up to 3cm wide emerges. 

Calibrachoa orange

Calibrachoa orange

Calibrachoa Orange Punch is a brand-new variety that looks like a tiny Petunia. Each module will produce a cluster of beautiful yellow flowers with a red center that explodes. This summer-flowering plant reaches a height of 30cm, making it ideal for use in patio pots and containers, as well as seasonal hanging baskets.

Aloha Calibrachoa Kona Blue Sky

Aloha Blue Sky Calibrachoa makes a lovely addition to the landscape, but it’s also a wonderful choice for containers and hanging baskets. At maturity, Aloha Blue Sky Calibrachoa will be around 12 inches tall with a spread of 24 inches.

Calibrachoa Aloha Kona Blue Sky
Calibrachoa Aloha Kona Blue Sky

Aloha Calibrachoa Kona Hot Pink

Calibrachoa Aloha Kona Hot Pink has a mounding, trailing habit and blooms in a cascade of trumpet-shaped flowers. This type of Calibrachoa is a sun-loving annual with huge saturated flowers that bloom early.

Calibrachoa Aloha Kona Hot Pink
Calibrachoa Aloha Kona Hot Pink

Calibrachoa Trixi

This is a mix of the famous Calibrachoa mini. Plant in full sun in any good soil. Summer hanging baskets and patio pots come in a rainbow of colors thanks to Trixi combinations.

Calibrachoa Trixi Starspinner
Calibrachoa Trixi Starspinner

MiniFamous Noa Yellow

On a semi-trailing plant that grows 8 inches tall and 10 inches wide, Noa Yellow Calibrachoa blooms deep, rich yellow flowers nonstop all summer.

Based on Calibrachoa’s individual characteristics, each flower represents a unique beauty and personality. Furthermore, each type of Calibrachoa is a vibrant highlight in your colorful garden. The most important thing to consider while planting Calibrachoa is to choose the right blooms in the varieties of Calibrachoa. 

Calibrachoa MiniFamous Noa Yellow
Calibrachoa MiniFamous Noa Yellow

Where is the best place for planting Calibrachoa?

Calibrachoas are great for hanging baskets and other containers because of their trailing growth habit. Plant Calibrachoa in an area with 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. It can survive less sunlight but will not blossom as prolifically. 

Furthermore, this plant prefers rich, well-draining soil and is a heavy feeder. Transplant the plant to the same depth as it was in its original container.

When is the best time for planting Calibrachoa

From spring through frost, you should know that it’s the best time for planting Calibrachoa. The plant is hardy to USDA Zones 9-11 and is frequently planted as an annual in colder climates or as a perennial in warmer climates.

Planting Calibrachoa in the spring will benefit from the heat when the soil warms up in the summer, promoting root and foliage growth.

In addition, mulch the soil around your young Calibrachoa plants in the fall to protect their root systems from frost. They can not survive a cold winter.

Methods for planting Calibrachoa

Growing Calibrachoa in pots is recommended since it is easier to maintain them properly wet and overwinter them if necessary.

There are those who argue that planting Calibrachoa on the balcony is one of the best ideas. Young plants from the garden center are the most convenient and easiest way to get Calibrachoa on the balcony.

Another method is planting Calibrachoa from seed indoors and transplanting it outdoors after the first frost.

How to sow Calibrachoa seed indoors?

First of all, you use a seed starting kit and sow indoors 8 weeks before the last frost. You can start sowing Calibrachoa as early as February if you want to.

Step 1: Prepare the location

Fill a shallow tray with growing soil that is about 3 inches high and lightly wet it.

Prepare the location

Step 2: Sow Calibrachoa seeds

Seeds need sunlight to germinate, so sow them thinly and barely press them into the seed starting mix. To dissolve the coating on pelleted seed, mist it.

Step 3: Take care of Calibrachoa seeds

Re-water everything. It’s a good idea to cover the growing tray with cling film or use a mini-greenhouse to keep them from drying out too rapidly. You should keep the temperature between 70 and 75 degrees F.

Take care of Calibrachoa seeds

Step 4: Germination

In 10-14 days, seedlings emerge. As soon as seedlings emerge, place them in direct sunlight on a sunny windowsill, or grow them to a height of 3-4 inches under fluorescent plant lights that are turned on 16 hours a day and off for 8 hours at night.


Step 5: Put the young Calibrachoa plants in individual

Put the young seedlings in individual containers 3–4 weeks after germination. The plantlets should be maintained in a bright area and protected from drying out, as before. However, the temperature may have decreased now.

Or, after all, the danger of frost has gone, transplant hardened-off seedlings to the garden.

Step 6: Hardened off the plants

Transfer young seedlings to a covered location outside for a week to acclimate them to outdoor conditions. Protect them from the wind and the sun at first. If frost is expected for the night, cover or bring containers inside, then return them in the morning.

This method toughens the cell structure of the plant and decreases transplant shock and scalding.

Planting Calibrachoa in the pot or container

Step 1: Prepare and choose pot or container

The first thing you need to do is choose a container with a drainage hole. Before you begin, make sure you have compost or a slow-release granular fertilizer on hand and water.

Prepare and choose pot or container

Step 2: Planting Calibrachoa

Planting Calibrachoa in the pot
Planting Calibrachoa in the pot

Remove the plant from the container with care. Pull it out by the stem instead. 

Before planting, loosen any roots that are growing around the pot’s edge. Dip the root ball into a shallow pan of water if the soil is dry. It will be easier to separate the roots if you wet the root ball.

Dip the root ball into a shallow pan of water if the soil is dry. It will be easier to separate the roots if you wet the root ball. 

Next, you need to mix compost or fertilizer into the soil

Add the Calibrachoa plant to the hole and backfill.

Water thoroughly after gently pressing down the soil around the root.

Step 3: Place the pot or container

Finally, you place the pot or container in a sunny location to ensure the growth process of Calibrachoa. 

Place the pot or container

Planting Calibrachoa in your garden? 

In the spring, you can buy Calibrachoa as plug plants or young plants, or transplant your young seedlings.

Choose a location with good, rich, moist organic soil in full sun to light shade. In addition, Calibrachoa grows best in a pH range of 5.5 to 6.0.

Step 1: Set up the location

Turn the soil under to an 8-inch depth to prepare the bed.

Remove any clumps of grass or stones using a rake.

Most plants thrive in soils that have been modified with organic matter.

In the garden, Calibrachoa plants should stand between 6 and 12 inches apart.

Step 2: Planting Calibrachoa 

For each plant, dig a hole large enough to accommodate the root ball.

Adapt to the surrounding soil’s level. Soil to the top of the root ball with soil. Firmly press the soil down around the plant, leaving a little depression to hold water.

Planting Calibrachoa 
Planting Calibrachoa in the garden

Step 3: Calibrachoa maintenance

After planting Calibrachoa, you water thoroughly until a puddle appears in the plate you’ve created. This roots the plants, eliminates air pockets, and improves root-to-soil contact. 

That’s all the methods for planting Calibrachoa. You can choose a suitable location to grow these flowers. 

Calibrachoa care

After planting Calibrachoa, to help them grow and bloom successfully, you should pay attention to Calibrachoa care methods. The plant is easy to care for, but paying attention to its requirements will ensure that it blooms from spring to fall.

Calibrachoa care
Calibrachoa care

Read on to find out how to take care of these flowers.

Light and Water

  • Light

Calibrachoa thrives in full sun, receiving six to eight hours of direct sunshine per day, although it can also take partial shade. 

Insufficient exposure to sunlight generally results in reduced flowering.

  • Water

You should maintain adequate water Calibrachoa but avoid water-logging. Wait until the top inch or two of soil has dried before adding water.

You may need to water twice a day, depending on your conditions.

Depending on your circumstances, you may need to water twice a day.

Check the soil frequently, especially early in the season, until you know your plant’s requirements; watering requirements may change as the summer progresses.

Moreover, Calibrachoa is drought tolerant, yet it thrives when given enough water.

However, avoid overwatering the plant, as this might cause root rot.


For the best results, plant Calibrachoa in well-draining soil with enough organic material. 

When planting in garden beds, make sure the soil is rich in organic matter and that it drains effectively. Mulch is recommended to keep the root system cool and the soil moist.

Temperature and Humidity

The plant is drought, heat, and even cold tolerant, but don’t let it dry out too much if you want the greatest blossoms. 

A daily mist will help revive wilting plants, but avoid spraying in direct sunlight to avoid burning the leaves.


On a Million Bells, the appropriate fertilizer balance can stimulate vigorous blossoming. A 20-10-20 fertilizer with a slow release mechanism is ideal. You should do this step every week to encourage bloom growth.

Nitrogen encourages leaf growth, although it may limit blooming. 

Moreover, light green or yellowish leaves suggest that the plant requires fertilizer or more sunlight.

Pruning and Pinching

Calibrachoa cleans itself. This means that the faded blossoms will naturally fall off. If necessary, prune Calibrachoa throughout the active growing season. Cut back any stems that have grown too long or are crowding other plants with scissors or pruners. You trim a few branches.

Cutting back the Calibrachoa encourages new growth and higher flower production.

Cutting back the Calibrachoa encourages new growth and higher flower production
Cutting back the Calibrachoa encourages new growth and higher flower production


To prevent disease from spreading from one plant to another, sterilize your pruning shears and clippers after each use with rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipes.

Calibrachoa after flowering

A Calibrachoa plant will grow up to 12 inches tall (although some types are significantly shorter) and 24 inches broad if left alone. Moreover, it has a naturally compact growth habit and a proclivity for producing a carpet of flowers throughout the summer and into the fall.

In addition, Calibrachoa blooms continually without the need for deadheading or removing spent flowers from the plant.

When the plant has sprouted only a few leaves, pinch Calibrachoa by removing the top of the core stem. This will encourage it to create more side branches and discourage it from becoming too tall.

With the proper Calibrachoa care, you will create a breathtaking flower landscape. These flowers are so stunning, you couldn’t take your eyes off them. 

How to collect Calibrachoa seeds?

Going through planting Calibrachoa stages, gaining their flowering, the significant thing should mention is to collect Calibrachoa seeds. 

You only need to learn about collection and storage, and you should be able to reproduce Calibrachoa from seeds.

Collecting the Calibrachoa seeds

When it comes to Calibrachoa seeds, It’s not difficult to collect, and it’s a skill that every gardener should have. Calibrachoa seeds are relatively easy to collect; simply allow the pods to dry on the plant before breaking open and collecting the seeds. 

In addition, snipping or pinching the drying seed pods from the stem is another technique. They’ve turned brown and are about to break open, so handle them carefully.

After that, you’ll crush and roll the pods on paper over a hard surface to release the dark and tiny Calibrachoa seeds.

The issue for many growers is that not all Calibrachoa varieties produce seeds because they are sterile, and even if you do receive pods, some hybrids’ Calibrachoa Million Bells seeds will not grow true to the parent. If your Calibrachoa produces pods, they will appear near the conclusion of the flowering season, in late summer or fall, depending on the variety.

Storing the Calibrachoa seeds

After collecting Calibrachoa seeds, keeping them in a tiny jar or envelope is a good idea. Before pouring the seeds into your container, make sure to remove any remaining seed pod debris. Fold the paper in half and gently tap it against the jar or envelope for a gentler approach.

Then, you write the collecting date, flower color and other information on the bag or envelope. Until you’re ready to plant the seeds, keep them in a dark, cool, dry place.

Because Calibrachoa just produce a small number of tiny seeds, having appropriate collecting and storing methods is so significant. 


Cutting and seed are the two most common methods to propagate Calibrachoa. This may appear simple, but it requires a significant amount of resources, time, and effort. Here are several tips on the propagation of Calibrachoa.

Cutting method

Cutting is one of the most common methods to propagate Calibrachoa
Cutting is one of the most common methods to propagate Calibrachoa

Step 1. Cutting

Plant 3-inch tips as soon as possible, at an angle immediately below a leaf or leaf node. Because some Calibrachoa cultivars are barely 3 inches tall, you may need to cut them near the ground.

In most cases, the cuts are tipped in the morning. This is done in order for it to re-grow with a larger number of leaves and more attractive blossoms.

Step 2. The location

Prepare a pot with a diameter of no more than 3 inches. Larger pots store more soil, which holds more water, and conversely. Initially, the cutting will take very little water, and too much water in the pot might stifle root development and cause rot.

Step 3. Preparation 

Next, remove all of the leaves from the stem and save the top few. Pushing the stem into the soil directly may damage it and scrape away the rooting compound.

For faster, stronger roots, apply a rooting compound to the lower two inches of the stem.

“Sticking” refers to the process of inserting the stems into the soil.

With a pencil, dig a 2-inch deep hole in the center of the pot and insert the bottom of the cutting into it. The soil around the bottom of the cut should be compacted so that it stands upright.

Step 4. Calibrachoa care

To maintain the growth of Calibrachoa, you can use fertilizer. Just make sure you use the proper and needed amount. This will also result in an increase in the number of leaves.

Maintaining a high level of humidity around Calibrachoa cuttings boosts their chances of rooting.

When the cutting begins to grow, remove the cover and place the plant in bright but indirect sunlight.

Using Seeds

Growing it from seeds, on the other hand, is far more difficult than reproducing it through cuttings. However, this method is only for gardeners who are just getting started with their Calibrachoas.

The sowing of Calibrachoa seeds is mentioned before. 

Always choose for the process that you believe you can complete more quickly. Don’t overlook the variables that influence its development.

If you follow the guidelines correctly, you’ll end up with larger blossoms and more seeds.

Pests and Diseases

While planting Calibrachoa, you can confront difficulties such as pests, diseases,… Therefore, you find out these problems and have a correct solution and methods. 



Although this hardy plant is pest-resistant, it is subject to aphids, which suck the plant’s delicious juices and produce yellowing foliage and limited development.

Aphids use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on plant vascular tissues (phloem sieve tubes). They feed largely on terminal growth and the undersides of leaves, and they frequently aggregate in great numbers. Leaf deformation, plant stunting, and wilting are all symptoms of aphid feeding.

So, here are some essential tips to protect Calibrachoa

  • During the growing season, check the aphid-prone Million Bell at least twice a week.
  • Remove weeds from the flower beds and the surrounding area on a regular basis.
  • Use a garden hose with a directed nozzle to blast affected plants with a powerful spray of water, and repeat as needed.
  • If a stream of water isn’t enough to keep aphids at bay, apply insecticidal soap.
  • If an insecticidal soap spray fails to eliminate an aphid infestation, treat it with Neem oil or horticultural oil every seven to fourteen days.

Fungus gnat larvae

Fungus gnat larvae are dangerous because they burrow up stems, causing plant collapse and death, or weakening the plants, making them susceptible to disease. Allowing standing water or algae to build on floors, tables, or surfaces is not a good idea.

Control the amount of moisture in the media and use larvicides to get rid of any larvae.


Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew on Calibrachoa was first discovered around 6 years ago, and the disease looks to be becoming more common every year.

On Calibrachoa in Germany, two new powdery mildew species have been found (one that also infects tomatoes, and one that can also infect petunia and verbena). Both of these powdery mildew species are found in the United States, but none have been found on Calibrachoa (to date).

To manage powdery mildew, you should 

  • Scout the crop frequently and carefully, especially the lower, interior leaves.
  • Reduce the humidity in the canopy by increasing plant spacing.
  • To postpone resistance, alternate between systemic fungicides with distinct modes of action and apply them with a protectant fungicide (Daconil).
Powdery mildew on Calibracho
Powdery mildew on Calibracho

Black Root Rot

Black Root Rot has a negative influence on Calibrachoa growth.

  • Plants may appear to be lacking in nutrients. 
  • Plants are usually stunted and do not grow well.
  • It’s possible that the entire root system will appear dark.
  • The infected crown and lower stems may turn black and rot. 

Therefore, if possible, use new trays and pots; avoid using old flats unless they have been steamed or disinfected by pre-rinsing in water and then soaking for at least 10 minutes in fresh 10 percent bleach or 1:50 dilution ZeroTol.

Interveinal Chlorosis

The majority of growers have observed Calibrachoa plants with new leaf interveinal chlorosis. This is a rather regular occurrence, and it’s usually caused by an iron deficit brought on by a high pH in the growing media. On the pH scale, Calibrachoa grows best in a pH range of 5.4-5.8. The iron becomes inaccessible to the plant if the pH rises above 6.2.

If your Calibrachoa plants have an iron shortage, the easiest way to fix it is to use an iron chelate.

If you do have pest or disease problems, treat them individually rather than utilizing broad-spectrum treatments that may kill beneficial animals.

Keep a close eye on your Calibrachoas and resolve any concerns as soon as they occur.

Companion with Calibrachoa

To create a magnificent landscape, planting Calibrachoa with other plants is a great idea. 

  • Combine them with taller plants
  • Angelonia: Calibrachoa and Angelonia go together like peas and carrots in a container. Place large Angelonia in the back of the pot and let Calibrachoa longer covering the edge with flowers.
  • Coleus: These two plants tend to bring out the best in each other when it comes to red. Colors don’t fade, and they’re drought-resistant.
  • Add fillers : Coral bells, sedges, lantana, marigold. 

Therefore, tou can even combine many different-colored Calibrachoa cultivars in a single garden area or container. That makes your garden more and more captivating. 

Q & A

Can you overwinter Calibrachoa?

This means that cuttings from existing plants can be taken, rooted, and grown indoors in a highly lit place to keep Calibrachoa plants over the winter. Calibrachoa plants can also be kept in pots indoors over the winter.

What are the reasons for Million Bells not blooming?

This plant should bloom abundantly throughout the summer, but if your Calibrachoa has stopped blooming, there are a few things you can do to grow it. 

It’s possible that your Calibrachoa plants aren’t flowering because they’re missing some essential growing conditions. Insufficient sunlight, for example, is a common cause of their stopping to bloom. Make sure you plant the Million Bell in a location where they will receive full sun throughout the day.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the season-long blossoms of Calibrachoas will brighten up your landscape. Calibrachoa is a favorite among gardeners because of its vivid displays of delicate blooms that make for  a dreamy and attractive beauty. hope you apply the methods for planting Calibrachoa to your garden from this article. Thank you for reading!

Related posts:
How to start Calibrachoa (Million Bells) from seeds?
Best methods for Million bells hanging baskets from gardening experts
Discover Tips on Calibrachoa care: in the garden, in pots, in winter and hanging baskets

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