Calibrachoa (Million Bells Petunias)



Calibrachoa flowers are also known as “million bells” because of the hundreds of blooms it produces in a wide range of colors. The Calibrachoa is a fast growing compact annual that works great in hanging baskets and window boxes because of their trailing branches. A very heat and cold tolerant plant, they will make a beautiful addition to your containers, hanging baskets, window boxes or garden beds.

The blooms of million bells are similar to a petunia which is why they are also known as wild petunias. However, unlike the petunia the blooms are not sticky. They are available in many colors including yellow, white, magenta, red, blue, pink and violet. Million Bells attract butterflies. The leaves are thick and green. The flowers are about 1 inch long and the stems range in size from 6 to 8 inches.

Care for Million Bells is simple:
When first planting your million bells, incorporate into the soil some nice compost such as Bumper Crop, along with some peat moss. This will provide a perfect soil foundation for new plants that can retain water and nutrients. Also, use Espoma Bio-Tone soil conditioner with beneficial mycorrihizae. This will help establish a healthy root system. Keep them watered well. Follow with a monthly feed of Espoma Flower-Tone and liquid feed them with Miracle-Gro water soluble fertilizer once a week.

Million Bells love the sun so to ensure the most blooms plant in a full sun area. Afternoon shade is fine however this could affect blooming, so full sun is the best environment for million bells. They are drought tolerant so too much water can rot the roots. Do the finger test and water when the soil feels dry which could mean once a day or twice a day in the summer heat of July and August, especially when planting in containers or hanging baskets.

Million bells will continue to bloom without dead- heading the spent flowers. Don’t be afraid to give them a hair cut when the branches get long and leggy. After cutting expect new blooms within a week or so. In the long run this will lead to a healthier more beautiful plant.

Million bells are a beautiful low maintenance annual to add to your garden. Either in a container, a hanging basket or your flower bed your garden will look like a million!