Planting Calibrachoa

Calibrachoa is commonly called million bells. This easy-to-grow plant gets its common name from the numerous 1-inch bell-shaped flowers it continuously produces. Since it is only hardy in zone 9 and warmer, it is typically grown as an annual. Transplant calibrachoa into a container or the ground in late spring after the threat of frost has passed. Give this plant room to spread when planted in the garden. It only grows to about 4 inches tall but can spread up to 2 feet.


What You Need To Plant Calibrachoa

  • Hand trowel
  • Gardening gloves
  • Good location or container picked out
  • Water source

Where to Plant Calibrachoa

Plant calibrachoa in a location that will receive 6 to 8 hours of sunshine per day. It can tolerate less sunny conditions but will not bloom as profusely. This plant is a heavy feeder and prefers rich, well-draining soil. Transplant to the same depth as the plant was grown in its original container.

Calibrachoa Spacing

Space plants about a foot apart when planted in the ground to give them room to spread. They can be planted 4 inches apart in a container because their spreading growth will trail over the pot’s edge. No support structure is necessary for this plant. It’s a spreader, not a climber.

Steps To Plant Calibrachoa

Select a sunny location or a container with a drainage hole. If planting in a container, it’s best to plant up the container with all the plants you will be adding at the same time. Doing this will prevent disturbing the roots a second time. Have compost or a slow-release granular fertilizer and water nearby before you begin.

Step 1 - Mix a slow-release fertilizer into any potting soil to be used in a container garden.

Step 2 - Carefully remove the plant from the container. Do not pull it out by the stem.

Step 3 - If the roots are growing around the edge of the pot, loosen them before planting. If the soil is dry, dip the root ball into a shallow pan of water. Wetting the root ball will make it easier to separate the roots.

Step 4 - Dig a hole wide enough to accommodate the roots and deep enough to plant the calibrachoa at the same depth it was grown in the pot.

Step 5 - Mix compost or fertilizer into the soil removed from the ground. Add the plant to the hole and back-fill.

Step 6 - Gently press down the soil around the base and water thoroughly. 

Step 7 - Place the container in a sunny location.


When to Plant Calibrachoa

Plant calibrachoa after the threat of frost has passed. The best time to plant is on an overcast day or anytime except for late afternoon when the sun is strongest. Containers can be potted up any time during the day, but it’s best to wait until the sun is less harsh before moving the container into its summer location.

Transplanting Calibrachoa

Carefully remove a calibrachoa plant from its container. Do not pull the plant out by its stem. Use a trowel or spoon to assist with removing the plant if it doesn't easily come out of the pot. Dig a hole as deep and a couple of inches wider than the root ball. Spread the roots out and place the plant in the hole. Add compost or slow-release granular fertilizer to the back-fill soil and add it back into the hole. Use your fingers to gently press down on the soil surface to remove any voids and water well. 

Calibrachoa can be grown from cuttings. Trim off a section a few inches long. Dip it in a rooting hormone for best results, and insert it into a soilless potting mix. Keep the soil moist but not wet. It will take a couple of months for a sufficient root system to establish so that you can pot up the new plant.

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 Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 14-01-2021