". Tips On How to Grow Million Bells

 



Million bells also known as Calibrachoa is an herbaceous perennial or annual plant that is native to South America. The plant blooms in a variety of flower colors, from pink and orange to white. Million bells has dark green foliage and trumpet-shaped blooms that feature lines down their petals, similar to a petunia or begonia flower.

Million bells actually have a trailing habit, and they can spread quickly to spill over the sides of a growing container, making them popular to grow in window boxes and hanging baskets. Million bells is also a popular choice for ornamental ground cover if you plant it directly in your garden. Million bells plants are prolific bloomers that flower multiple times throughout the growing season, attracting helpful pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds.  

 

Million Bells Varieties

Million bells are a hybrid plants that gardener’s cross-breed ubiquitously to create a number of varieties that suit their preferences. The following are some of the most popular varieties of calibrachoa plants: 

 

1.    The MiniFamous double amethyst variety: MiniFamous double amethyst bloom stunning violet and magenta flowers that have a double-petaled effect. The MiniFamous double amethyst is a popular choice to plant in hanging baskets because of the way they spill over the edge.

2.    The Cabaret deep yellow variety: This heat-tolerant Million bells cultivar attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds with its dense coverage of yellow flowers.

3.    The Superbells dreamsicle variety: The Superbells dreamsicle Million bells blooms showy, deep orange flowers throughout its warm growing season and it needs full sun to partial shade to thrive.

4.    The Callie apricot variety: The Callie apricot variety is another variety that is perfect for hanging baskets because of its trailing growth habit. Callie apricot blooms with an abundance of apricot-colored flowers.

5.    The Kabloom white variety: Any gardener who actually loves neutral flowers will love kabloom white Million bells, which has stunning white flowers with yellow-edged petals. The Kabloom white variety is both drought- and heat-resistant.   

 

When to Plant Million Bells

You can easily plant your million bells calibrachoa plants in early spring or in fall if you’re planting them outside, or year-round if you’re growing them as indoor container plants. Spring-planted million bells plants will benefit from the heat as the soil warms up in summer, encouraging the plant’s root and foliage growth. Your million bells plants should start to bloom by late spring. If you plant million bells in the fall, make sure you mulch the soil around your new plants to protect their root systems from frost. Remember that these frost-tender perennials grow well in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11 and it will not tolerate a cold winter.

 

How to Grow Million Bells

You can grow million bells from an established plant bought from a nursery or garden center, or from seeds that you buy. Follow this simple step to plant million bells from seed;

 

1.    Sow the million bells seeds in a seed tray: Sow your million bells seeds in a seed tray roughly 8 weeks before you want to plant them in their final growing spot. Lay your million bells seeds on the surface of a slightly acidic to neutral potting soil and then mist it lightly with water. Make sure you leave your seed tray in a warm place.  

2.    Caring for your seedlings: You should see sprouts in 10 to 14 days. You need to move the seed tray to a location that actually receives sunlight, like a window sill, once your million bells seeds have become seedlings.

3.    Thinning your seedlings to one per cell: You should thin out the seedlings so that you have only one sprout per cell in your seed tray. You can do this once your seedlings develop about two leaves each. You should continue to mist your seedlings with water and also give them a lot of sunlight.

4.    Planting in your garden or a container: You can easily move your seedlings into the garden after 8 weeks of growing, as long as the last frost has passed. You can plant your seedlings in a container such as a hanging basket or terra cotta pot that is filled with organic soil or directly in the garden. Keep in mind that million bells are fast-spreading plants, make sure you give them a lot of space in your garden.

 

How to Care for Million Bells

Calibrachoa plants function both outdoors and as houseplants, Calibrachoa flowers are typically low-maintenance. The following are the million bells care tips:

 

1.    Deadheading: Million bells plants are “self-cleaning” plants, meaning that the plant shed their dying blooms without the need to deadhead or to remove spent blooms to redirect the plant’s energy. Cut Million bells back at the end of the summer in other to promote new growth for the following growing season.

2.    Soil requirement: Million bells plants need well-draining soil. Your planting container need to have drainage holes, and your soil should not be too compacted to avoid root rot. Million bells are also susceptible to becoming root-bound if you grow it in a container. Make sure you always check your plants and prune back roots if the plant becomes root-bound.

3.    Pest control: Million bells plants are susceptible to aphid infestations. You need to treat your plants with neem oil in other to keep aphids away. Another method is to use a mixture of water and dishwashing detergent to spray aphids off of the plants.

4.    Fertilizer requirement: You can feed your Calibrachoa plants with a slow-release liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks, most especially during the end of the growing season in other to encourage one last bloom time before the winter. 


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