Calibrachoa, also known as Million Bells, is a popular flowering plant that you can grow in hanging baskets, pots, & garden borders. This summer flowering plant belongs to the Solanaceae family and is native to South America.
Calibrachoa plants typically have small, trumpet-shaped flowers that come in a wide range of colours including pink, purple, blue, red, white, and yellow. The flowers are about 1 inch in diameter and bloom profusely from late spring to fall. The leaves of the Calibrachoa plant are small, oval-shaped, and have a slightly hairy texture. They are typically a medium to dark green color.
The plant itself is compact & bushy, with a mounding growth habit. It can grow up to 12 inches in height and 10-24 inches in width. They are also relatively drought-tolerant, making them a low-maintenance plant for gardens and containers. Overall, Calibrachoa plants are an attractive and easy-to-grow option for adding color to your garden or patio during hot summer days.
How To Grow Calibrachoa From Seeds?
When To Sow Seeds: You can start sowing seeds of million bells flowering plant from end of January to April. Temperature ranging from 20 to 24 Celsius is ideal for germinating seeds.
Potting Mix: Prepare potting mix for sowing seeds by mixing 40% vermicompost + 40% cocopeat + 20% river sand. Instead of vermicompost, you can also use any bulky organic manure or dung manure.
How To Sow Seeds: Take a germination tray or paper cups with drainage holes at the bottom. Fill them with prepared potting mix and leave 1 to 2 centimetres space at the top. Sow 2 to 3 seeds in each paper cup and 1 to 2 seeds in each compartment of germination tray. Cover seeds with a thin layer of potting mix and apply water gently.
Keep the medium under indirect sunlight and keep maintaining moisture. After a week you will notice new seedlings emerging. Once they reaches 2 to 4 true leaved stage then transplant them to a bigger pot.
How To Grow & Care For Million Bells?
Follow these guidelines to grow and care for Million bells flowering plant.
- Climate: Million bells or Calibrachoa flowering plants are adapted to grow well in warm tropical to sub-tropical climate. Temperature ranging from 16 to 24o Celsius is ideal for the growth of this plant.
- USDA Zones: You can grow them as tender perennials in USDA zones 9, 10 & 11. But, in other zones you can grow them as annuals.
- Soil & Potting Mix: Grow Calibrachoa in well drained, sandy-loam soils. Prepare potting mix with 20% soil + 40% dung manure + 40% vermicompost to grow this plant in the pot. You can also add a teaspoon of SAAF fungicide powder in this potting mix to save plant from fungal diseases.
- Sunlight: Million bells bloom profusely when kep under bright direct sunlight for at least 6 hours daily. However, you can also keep them under indirect sunlight. But, under indirect sunlight flower size & numbers get decreased.
- Watering: You need to keep soil little moist but avoid waterlogging in the pot. Make sure to apply water only when top layer of the soil becomes little dry. There is no fixed schedule for watering, it totally depends on local climate & soil type.
- Fertilizers: It is heavy feeder, hence you need to fertilize more frequently to get heavy blooming. Once after every 14 days keep adding a handful of dung manure + 1 teaspoon bonemeal. Or you can also use 1 gram of NPK (19:19:19) diluted in 1 litre of water to fertilize your plant. During flowering phase, use NPK(0:0:60).
- Pinching: During early growth days, to make plant bushy and get intense flowering in the plant, keep pinching back tips of the stems.
- Pests & Diseases: However, they are not prone to most of the pests, but aphids & spider mites can cause problems to your plant. Avoid wetting leaves of Calibrachoa to prevent powdery mildew disease.
FAQ On Calibrachoa
You can plant Salvia, Geranium, Coleus, African daisy, verbena, Sweet pea vine, etc. They are the companion plants of Calibrachoa.