How to Grow Calibrachoa Flowers, or "Mission Bells"

Calibrachoa Flowers Plants

About Growing Calibrachoa Plants in Your Home Flower Garden

Calibrachoa flowers are both a pretty and an interesting plant. Loaded with a profusion of small flowers that continually blossom in large numbers, Calibrachoa plants are a short-lived perennial. In northern areas, it is often grown as an annual. This plant is also called “Million Bells”, for its continual, heavy profusion of a bell or trumpet-shaped blossoms. If you are already growing Calibrocha plants, then you know why this plant is called “Million Bells”.

Calibrachoa is native to South America. Its botanical family relationship can be understood only by a botanist. First, it is a member of the nightshade family, and therefore related to tomatoes!? It is also closely related to petunias. This perennial is an evergreen shrub, actually a “sub-shrub”, as it is rather small growing.

Calibrachoa is grown as an ornamental. The small plant has a sprawling habit. They are popular in hanging baskets or in containers on your patio or deck.

Million Bells’ trumpet-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds. On the other hand, deer will usually leave them alone, except when other food is scarce.

Plant Height: 6-12 inches for mounding varieties, and 18-20 inches for trailing varieties.

Plant Blooms: from spring through fall.

Flower Colors: There is a wide variety of bright colors, depending upon variety. 

Other Names: Million Bells, Trailing Petunia

Perennial, Calibrachoa

Calibrachoa Plant Propagation

Million Bells are most often propagated from plant cuttings.

Calibrachoa, or Mission Bells, can be grown from seed. But, they produce few seeds. And it takes longer for the plant to reach maturity. 

Sow seeds directly into your flower garden, or start indoors in containers or hanging baskets. For outdoor starts, sow seeds after the soil has begun to warm in the spring.

How to Grow Calibrachoa Flower Plants

Growing Calibrachoa flowers is easy. They are a low-maintenance plant. that prefers full sun.

The plants grow best in rich, well-draining soil.

Calibrachoa are drought-tolerant plants. Water plants deeply, then allow the top  1-2 inches of soil to dry between watering. Do not allow the soil to be soggy for extended periods. Wet soil can cause root rot.

Apply fertilizer at planting time and then once a month. For best results, use a time-release formula. Water fertilizer into the soil.

Prune branches back in mid-summer, as they can get long and lose their vibrant appearance. Spent blooms will fall off without deadheading.

Plants will withstand a light frost.

Ideal Soil pH:  5.0 – 6.5.

Insects and Plant Disease

Calibrachoa plants seldom suffer insect problems or plant disease. Wet soils will cause root rot.

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