Discover Tips on Calibrachoa care: in the garden, in pots, in winter and hanging baskets

Discover Tips on Calibrachoa care: in the garden, in pots, in winter and hanging baskets

Calibrachoa (Million Bells) is a dazzling little plant that is a must-have in the garden. They’re a compact, low-maintenance plant that will provide you with a lot of color for many months of the year. Do you know how to take care of this flower? As a result, this article from will give you all the information you need to know about Calibrachoa care.  

What are the best conditions for Calibrachoa care?

When it comes to Calibrachoa care, the necessary things you need to concentrate on are the best requirements you provide to them. With proper conditions, they will get enough nutrients and supplements for the growth process. Therefore, in this part, we will show you some essential conditions of Calibrachoa. 

the best conditions for growing Calibrachoa

When to plant Calibrachoa?

You should know that the best time to plant Calibrachoa is from spring until frost. The plant may be grown as an annual in colder areas or as a perennial in warmer climates and is hardy to USDA Zones 9-11. 

Calibrachoa planted in the spring will benefit from the heat in the summer as the soil warms up, boosting root and foliage growth. 

Where to plant Calibrachoa?

Because of its cascading habit, it works well as a filler in pots, hanging baskets, window boxes, and tall containers. Place pots on your deck, porch railing, stairs, or garden focal point. 

Soil requirements for Calibrachoa care

Calibrachoa should be planted in well-drained soil with enough organic material for the best results. 

Therefore, make sure the soil in your garden beds is rich in organic matter and drains well before you start planting. To keep the root system cool and the soil moist, mulch is recommended. Calibrachoa prefers soil that is neutral in pH, meaning it is neither acidic nor alkaline. 


When planting in the ground, space plants approximately a foot apart to allow them to spread. Because their spreading growth will trail over the pot’s edge, they can be placed 4 inches apart in a container. 


Calibrachoa prefers full sun, with six to eight hours of direct sunlight every day, although it may also tolerate partial shade. Flowering is typically attributed to a lack of sunlight exposure.

Calibrachoa in pots

Calibrachoa care in pots

How to care for Calibrachoa in pots? Calibrachoa is a marvelous choice for planting in pots to create a stunning combination. Therefore, according to Calibrachoa care, you need to learn proper methods to provide enough supplements to grow. Here are some tips related to Calibrachoa care.

  • The first thing you need to do is to choose and prepare the proper pots with a drainage hole for Calibrachoa. 
  • A substrate that is moist, rich in organic matter, and has extremely sharp drainage is more than perfect as a growth medium. 
  • This plant can withstand drought, but it will thrive if the soil does not dry out more than a few inches below the surface between waterings. Fill the container with water until it starts to flow out of the drainage hole. During hot weather, check the soil moisture level regularly. The soil in containers dries out faster than the soil in gardens. 
  • When you first plant them, use a slow-release fertilizer or compost. Start applying a water-based all-purpose fertilizer according to the package directions once growth and blooming have stopped. When nutrients are in short supply, the plant’s leaves turn pale green and ultimately fade to yellow. 
  • If necessary, you need to repot for Calibrachoa at the right time. If your Calibrachoa plant requires a lot of water, you should repot it so that it has more soil to expand its roots in. When repotting a new Calibrachoa, remove it from its original container and loosen the root ball before replanting. 

Calibrachoa hanging baskets care

Million Bells are an excellent hanging basket plant that may also be used as a basket stuffer, flowing over the edge of a planter with other plants and flowers. Million Bells Hanging Baskets are a low-maintenance flower that is simple to care for. All they want is consistency. You will see them thrive if you take care of them regularly.  

Choosing the hanging baskets is one of the most important parts of Calibrachoa care. Depending on the size of hanging baskets and the plants, you will decide how many Million Bells in a Hanging Basket. 

Check Calibrachoa regularly

Firstly, you need to check Calibrachoa regularly to find some problems as soon as possible. Every day, give your Million Bells hanging basket a detailed once-over from top to bottom. Make a point of noting the color of the leaves and the health of the flowers first. Then look for wilting, curling, spotted, or yellowing leaves, as well as aged or deformed blooms. 

Take a more detailed look if you find anything unusual, such as yellowed or curling leaves. Check the surface of the soil and turn the leaves over to check for bugs below. 

Calibrachoa water requirements

Watering is considered to be an essential part of Calibrachoa care in hanging baskets. If Calibrachoas do dry out, the leaves will turn brown and crispy, and the branches will begin to lose their leaves.  

When it comes to proper hydration, you can check through feeling the heaviness of Million Bell hanging baskets. This is a great way to assess proper hydration. Check the weight by raising the hanging basket slightly by pushing up on the bottom while it is hanging. During hot days, it will most likely need to be watered every day, if not twice. 

Furthermore, when watering hanging baskets, water thoroughly until you notice water leaking from the pot’s bottom. Salts from fertilizer can build up at the bottom of the pot if water isn’t allowed to flow out, causing the leaves and flowers to burn.

During hot days, it will most likely need to be watered every day, if not twice
During hot days, it will most likely need to be watered every day, if not twice


There is no doubt that replenishing nutrients is necessary for Calibrachoa care hanging baskets. 

Because when watering, a finite amount of nutrients are contained within the soil in the container, and part of those nutrients are lost as the water drips out of the pots. If the leaves of your Calibrachoa plants are becoming pale green or yellow, they tend to lack nutrients. Therefore, you need to provide a midweek fertilizer boost to help them return to deep green.


When removing the dead leaves and old blooms, and cutting back leggy Calibrachoa, this flower will grow better. You need to remove dead flowers to help plants produce more flowers and blooms successfully. 

Moreover, Million Bells hanging baskets have a common issue called “balding”. Take your basket down every couple of weeks and clip the top growth with clean household scissors or pinch it with your thumb and fingers. Calibrachoa will branch at the leaf nodes and stay bushy as a result of this.

With proper Calibrachoa care, Million Bell Hanging Baskets will become a colorful and lively addition to your garden. 

Calibrachoa overwintering

In the winter, the temperature changes, so you need to have a suitable Calibrachoa care method to ensure that they will thrive in this season. 

Before the temperatures dip below freezing in USDA zones 7 and 8, cut back your Calibrachoa with a lawnmower set to its highest setting. Cover the whole garden bed with 4 to 6 inches of loose mulch, such as straw, crushed leaves, or pine needles. When the temperature heats up in the spring, the plants will return. Take hanging plants indoors, or store them in a sunny sunroom or a greenhouse for the winter. Little has to be done in USDA zones 9 and above. Dead blooms and leaves should be removed as needed. During the winter, move hanging and container plants to a wind-free, sunny spot and water them daily.

Furthermore, add compost or mulch around the plants to help insulate the soil and offer nutrients as the plants decompose throughout the winter. 

Calibrachoa plants may be kept during the winter by taking cuttings from existing plants, rooting them, and growing them indoors in a well-lit setting. 

In addition, Calibrachoa plants can also be kept in pots indoors throughout the winter. Dig up the plant carefully before the first frost, preserving as much of the root system as possible. Place it in a container with new potting soil and move it to a cold, dry location that stays above freezing, such as a garage. During the winter months, cut back the stems to approximately 2 inches (5 cm) above the soil and water sparingly. 

Pruning as Calibrachoa care method

It’s believed that pruning is a significant part of Calibrachoa care. Million Bells is a bushy, trailing plant with a profusion of small, vividly colored bell-shaped flowers throughout the summer. This low-maintenance plant doesn’t need to be deadheaded, although it can get leggy in the summer. With pruning shears, you can give it a quick haircut, but more thoughtful cutting results in a well-rounded plant. 

When to prune Calibrachoa? 

If required, prune Calibrachoa throughout the active growing season.  If your plant grows leggy or you want it to take up less space in your garden or container, prune it only when necessary. Trim during the hottest part of the day to avoid putting the plant under unnecessary stress. You may propagate new plants with the trimmings.

How to prune Calibrachoa? 

Step 1: Prepare the equipment

Rubbing alcohol or a solution of 1 part household bleach to 9 parts water should be used to clean the blades of pruning shears or clippers. Preventing the transmission of germs and pathogens that might cause plant diseases is as simple as sanitizing equipment before and after cutting. 

Step 2: Check your plants

In a container, look for leggy stems or overcrowding.

Step 3: Cut back 

You can cut each million in half. Bells can reach a length of 3 to 5 inches. Each cut should be made just above a healthy set of leaves. 

Check to see whether some mild pruning was enough to restore the desired look. If not, clip a few more stems until you get the desired look.

Step 4: Calibrachoa care after pruning

After cutting the Million Bells, water the soil to a depth of 6 inches and allow the soil to dry in between watering sessions. Million Bells is a plant that can withstand drought. 

Next, you need to feed the Million Bells, giving them a nutritional boost to help in their regrowth. Mix 1 tablespoon of a water-soluble 10-10-10 fertilizer with 1 gallon of water and apply the mixture to the plant’s soil during a normal watering.


If you live in USDA zones 9, 10, or 11, prune the Million Bells nearly to the ground in late autumn. Only 2 to 3 inches of the stem should be exposed above ground. In those USDA zones, the plant will return in the spring for another season of blooming. 

How do you keep a Calibrachoa blooming?

Calibrachoa produces abundant blooms throughout the summer. However, if you don’t have appropriate Calibrachoa care, they will not bloom anymore. Therefore, it’s necessary to find out the reason why your plants don’t flower and set up the methods to keep them flowering. 

Poor Growing Conditions

It’s possible that your Calibrachoa plants aren’t flowering because they’re missing some essential growth conditions. Insufficient sunlight, for example, is a frequent cause of their declining bloom. As a result, you need to provide enough sunlight for their growth.  

Besides, you should make sure your flowers get enough water to avoid overheating situations in the height of summer. 

Fertilizing Calibrachoa

The proper fertilizer mix will encourage strong blossoming on Million bells. The best fertilizer is a 20-10-20 with a slow release mechanism. To encourage the growth of flowers, use this every other week. Poor flower growth might result from using fertilizer that has too much nitrogen. Although it could prevent flowering, nitrogen will encourage healthy leaf growth. Using bone meal or fertilizer rich in phosphorus will help to reduce it. 

Other Reasons

If your Calibrachoa isn’t flowering and you’re certain the plants are receiving enough sunlight and nutrients, check the soil. The pH will be somewhat acidic or near neutral. Also essential is how effectively the soil drains. The ability of plants to blossom will be delayed or limited if the soil doesn’t drain properly and the roots become wet. To prevent soggy soil, make sure to let the soil dry out between watering.

Collect Calibrachoa seeds

The only methods you need to learn are collection and storage, and you should be prepared to grow Calibrachoa from seeds. Therefore, learn how to collect and store seeds as a Calibrachoa care method. 

Check your plants

To begin with, not every variety of Calibrachoa plant will produce seeds. Some hybrids will not generate seeds that can grow as clones of their parent plants, while others are sterile. Therefore, as the flowering season is about to end, check your plants for seed pods. 

Although it depends on the Calibrachoa type and even the weather in your area, this usually happens in late summer or early fall.

How to collect your Calibrachoa seeds?

First of all, you can use all of the plant’s flowers for seed collection. Swellings underneath them, commonly known as seed pods, are seen on those that produce seeds. In this case, the greenhouse is advantageous since indoor pollination is simple to manage. 

You may expect well-pollinated blooms, especially those pollinated by bees, to produce seed pods. Once the pods have been located, let them dry on the plant. Breaking the pod open to access the seeds is all it takes to get your Calibrachoa seeds with no hassles. 

Another way is to cut or pinch the stems of the drying seed pods. Please handle these with Calibrachoa care since they have gone brown and are about to burst open. To release the small, black Calibrachoa seeds, you will crush and roll these pods over a piece of paper placed on a hard surface. 

How to store Calibrachoa seeds?

Depending on how dry they are, you can also let the pods dry for one or more weeks if you’re not pleased with how dry they are. Spread the pods out in a single layer into a small cardboard box and place them somewhere warm and dry to help in the drying process. 

Keep Calibrachoa seeds in a little jar or envelope once you’ve shaken them out and collected them. Don’t forget to clean out any remaining seed pod debris before adding the seeds to your container. For a more careful method, fold the paper and lightly tap it so the seeds fall onto the jar or envelope. 

This process can ensure that their seeds stay dry for storage. Next, you need to label your containers with their date of collection. 

Until early spring, you may keep the seeds anywhere as long as it’s dry, dark, and cool.

Prevent pests and diseases for Calibrachoa care

Common problems such as pests and diseases can have a negative impact on Calibrachoa growth. Therefore, you need to have specific Calibrachoa care methods to prevent and protect this plant. 



  • Symptoms

Aphids are damaging and economically significant insect pests in greenhouses of ornamental and vegetable crops such as chrysanthemum, Calibrachoa, geranium, transvaal daisy, tomato, and pepper.

Aphids consume plant vascular tissues with their piercing, sucking mouthparts (phloem sieve tubes). They usually congregate in huge numbers and mostly feed on terminal growth and the undersides of leaves. Aphid feeding causes leaf deformation, plant stunting, and wilting.

  • Methods will provide some essential tips to prevent aphids.

  • During the growing season, inspect the aphid-prone Million Bell at least twice a week.
  • Next, you need to remove weeds from the surrounding area and flower beds regularly. 
  • Apply a strong water spray to the affected plants using a garden hose with a directed nozzle. Repeat as necessary.
  • If water is not enough to remove them, you can apply insecticidal soap.
  • Every seven to fourteen days, treat the area with horticultural oil or Neem oil if an insecticidal soap spray is unable to get rid of the aphid infestation.  

Fungus gnat larvae

  • Symptoms

Fungus gnat larvae are harmful because they dig up stems, killing or weakening plants and putting them vulnerable to disease. It’s not a good idea to let algae or standing water accumulate on surfaces like tables, floors, or surfaces.

  • Methods

To prevent your Calibrachoa from growing, you need to use larvicides to get rid of any larvae and regulate the quantity of moisture in the medium. 


Powdery Mildew

  • Symptoms

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). Although both of these powdery mildew species may be found in the US, Calibrachoa has not been observed to be affected by any of them (to date). 

  • Methods

Check the crop often and thoroughly, paying close attention to the lower, interior leaves.

By increasing plant space, the canopy’s humidity can be reduced. 

Alternately apply systemic fungicides with various modes of action and a protectant fungicide to delay the development of resistance (Daconil). 

Black Root Rot

  • Symptoms

This is one of the most common diseases you need to know about when applying the Calibrachoa care method . With infected flowers, they may appear to be lacking in nutrients. Plants typically develop slowly and with stunted growth. Moreover, the entire root system could appear to be transparent.

The lower stems and the diseased crown may decay and become black.

  • Methods

So, wherever possible, use new trays and pots; keep clear of using used flats unless they have been steamed or cleaned by first pre-rinsing them in water, followed by soaking them for at least 10 minutes in new bleach or dilution ZeroTol at a 1:50 ratio.

Interveinal Chlorosis 

  • Symptoms

Most growers have seen new leaf interveinal chlorosis in Calibrachoa plants. This occurs rather frequently and is typically brought on by an iron deficiency brought on by a high pH in the growth medium. Calibrachoa thrives at a pH range of 5.4-5.8 on the scale. If the pH rises above 6.2, the iron is unavailable to the plant. 

  • Methods

Use of an iron chelate is the simplest treatment for iron deficiency in Calibrachoa plants.

If you do have insect or disease issues, treat them on an individual basis as opposed to using broad-spectrum remedies that might result in the death of helpful animals.

Companion Plants for Calibrachoas 

You can plant Calibrachoas with other plants to create a vibrant space with colorful flowers in your garden. Follow this to discover some plants you can plant with Calibrachoa to gain effective results.

Because of their small size, Calibrachoas go well with taller plants like Angelonia, Coleus, purple fountain grass, salvias, geraniums, and Persian Shield, as well as other trailers like sweet potato vines, bacopas, and, of course, big petunias.

  • Angelonia: Like peas and carrots in a container, Calibrachoa and angelonia complement one another. Put a large Angelonia in the pot’s back and allow the Calibrachoa to blossom at the pot’s edge for longer.
  • Coleus: When it comes to red, these two plants frequently bring out the best in one another. The colors are drought-resistant and do not fade.   

Most annuals mix well with Million Bells. They make excellent pot fillers when combined with perennials like sedges, coral bells (Heuchera), and sweet flags (Carex). 

Q & A

Is Calibrachoa an annual or perennial?

In the UK, Calibrachoas, often referred to as Million Bells, trailing petunias, or superbells, are fragile perennials that are cultivated as annuals. They come in a variety of colors, including lavender, blue, pink, red, magenta, yellow, orange, coral, and white, and feature masses of lovely, bell-shaped blooms that resemble small petunias. 

How do you revive Calibrachoa?

More sun exposure also increases evaporation, which lowers the danger of root rot. It also keeps the plant healthy and disease-resistant. To help in the recovery of Calibrachoa, relocate pots and containers to a spot that receives direct sunlight and place hanging baskets there.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Calibrachoa as’ ‘Colorful Expressions’ will light up your landscape. Due to its vibrant displays of delicate blossoms that create a romantic and appealing beauty, Calibrachoa is a favorite among gardeners. provides all the information about Calibrachoa care. Hopefully, this article will be a useful tool in expanding your gardening knowledge.

Related posts:
Gardening knowledge for gardeners: Planting and Care for Calibrachoa (Million Bells)
How to start Calibrachoa (Million Bells) from seeds?
Best methods for Million bells hanging baskets from gardening experts

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