How to Care for Calibrachoa

Updated February 21, 2017

Calibrachoa is a fast-growing, compact annual that works well in hanging baskets and window boxes because of their trailing branches. They also look great as garden borders. A very heat- and cold-tolerant plant, Calibrachoa is commonly known as "million bells" due to the hundreds of blooms it produces in a wide range of colours. The blooms are similar to the petunia, except they are not sticky and attract hummingbirds.

Plant calibrachoa in a moist, fertile, well-drained soil with a pH level that is between 5.5 and 6.0.

Fertilise weekly using 1 tbsp to 1 gallon of water, or use a controlled-release fertiliser such as Osmocote. If the leaves begin to turn yellow, they are probably iron-deficient. In this case switch to Miracid to maintain the pH level of the soil.

Allow the fertiliser to run through the bottom of the pot to keep soluble salts from building up in the soil.

Water when the top of the soil feels dry. Calibrachoa is drought-tolerant. Too much water will lead to root rot. However, if your plant is in a planter, water frequently, keeping the soil moist.

Place your calibrachoa in full sun for the most blooms, but an afternoon shade is fine. Calibrachoa blooms from May through late fall. Shade does affect blooming, so strive for very little shade.

Pinch long, leggy branches to produce a bushier plant. Shaping the plant can inhibit blooms for up to 2 weeks.


Calibrachoa does not require deadheading and will continue blooming without removing spent flowers.

Things You'll Need

  • Moist, fertile soil
  • Fertiliser
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About the Author

Based in Baltimore, Md., Karen Dietzius has been a professional writer and editor since 2005. She has been published on various websites and edited scripts for "A Work In Progress," an inspirational radio drama.