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Calibrachoa x hybrida

Phonetic Spelling
kal-ih-brah-KOE-ah BY hy-Brid-ah
Description

Million bells is a tender perennial in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family that is usually grown as an annual and may be mistaken for petunias. The genus is native to South and Central America.  

The plant grows best in moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun. It can grow in partial shade, but flowering will be reduced. The plant also tolerates drought and does not decline during hot summers. It does require a slow-release fertilizer incorporated into the soil and a diluted liquid fertilizer every few weeks throughout the blooming season. Million bells produces very few seeds and must be vegetatively propagated, however, most hybrid cultivars are patented, which prohibits vegetative propagation. Of note, most hybrid cultivars are patented, which prohibits vegetative propagation.

The plant has a prostrate, low-growing habit with a height of just 3 inches and a spread of up to 20 inches. It produces masses of small (half-inch) flowers in a variety of colors from the start of summer until frost. You do not need to deadhead flowers to encourage blooms. 

Plant it in a border front, along a walkway or near a patio, in containers or hanging baskets. If grown in a container it prefers fast-draining soil that is well amended with organic matter.   Deer do not seem particularly interested in browsing though these plants are not classified as deer resistant.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Spider mites and aphids are occasional problems. Overwatering can cause root rot or mold.

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Floating Garden Flower Bonanza Garden Fairy Garden Full Sun Flower Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cabaret Goodnight Kiss'
    Tied for 2nd in the 2019 NC State Annual Color Trials
  • 'Caberet Hot Pink'
    Bright pink flowers trailing stems 8" long
  • 'Caberet Purple Glow'
    Purple flowers 12" wide trailing stems 8" long
  • 'Callie Apricot'
  • 'Callie Deep Yellow'
  • 'Callie Scarlet Red'
  • 'Callie White'
  • 'Kabloom Light Pink Blast'
    1st Place in the 2019 NC State Annual Color Trials
  • 'Million Bells Terra Cotta'
    Orange flowers streaked with red and gold stems 8" long
  • 'MiniFamous Double Blue'
    Double blue-purple flowers 10" long stems
  • 'Minifamous Double Deep Yellow'
  • 'MiniFamous Neo Deep Orange'
    Tied for 2nd in the 2019 NC State Annual Color Trials
  • 'MiniFamous Uno Double PlumTastic'
    Tied for 2nd in the 2019 NC State Annual Color Trials
  • 'Superbells Dreamsickle'
  • 'Superbells Lavender'
  • 'Superbells Pomegranate Punch'
    Red velvet darker toward center 8" long stems
  • 'Superbells Yellow'
'Cabaret Goodnight Kiss', 'Caberet Hot Pink', 'Caberet Purple Glow', 'Callie Apricot', 'Callie Deep Yellow', 'Callie Scarlet Red', 'Callie White', 'Kabloom Light Pink Blast', 'Million Bells Terra Cotta', 'MiniFamous Double Blue', 'Minifamous Double Deep Yellow', 'MiniFamous Neo Deep Orange', 'MiniFamous Uno Double PlumTastic', 'Superbells Dreamsickle', 'Superbells Lavender', 'Superbells Pomegranate Punch', 'Superbells Yellow'
Tags:
#showy flowers#small spaces#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#perennials#colorful#low maintenance#apvg#hanging baskets#herbaceous#long bloom time#annual flowers#rock gardens#fantz#late spring flowers#mid-summer flowers#border front#early summer flowers#late summer flowers#compact habit#early fall flowers#apvg-a#container plants
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cabaret Goodnight Kiss'
    Tied for 2nd in the 2019 NC State Annual Color Trials
  • 'Caberet Hot Pink'
    Bright pink flowers trailing stems 8" long
  • 'Caberet Purple Glow'
    Purple flowers 12" wide trailing stems 8" long
  • 'Callie Apricot'
  • 'Callie Deep Yellow'
  • 'Callie Scarlet Red'
  • 'Callie White'
  • 'Kabloom Light Pink Blast'
    1st Place in the 2019 NC State Annual Color Trials
  • 'Million Bells Terra Cotta'
    Orange flowers streaked with red and gold stems 8" long
  • 'MiniFamous Double Blue'
    Double blue-purple flowers 10" long stems
  • 'Minifamous Double Deep Yellow'
  • 'MiniFamous Neo Deep Orange'
    Tied for 2nd in the 2019 NC State Annual Color Trials
  • 'MiniFamous Uno Double PlumTastic'
    Tied for 2nd in the 2019 NC State Annual Color Trials
  • 'Superbells Dreamsickle'
  • 'Superbells Lavender'
  • 'Superbells Pomegranate Punch'
    Red velvet darker toward center 8" long stems
  • 'Superbells Yellow'
'Cabaret Goodnight Kiss', 'Caberet Hot Pink', 'Caberet Purple Glow', 'Callie Apricot', 'Callie Deep Yellow', 'Callie Scarlet Red', 'Callie White', 'Kabloom Light Pink Blast', 'Million Bells Terra Cotta', 'MiniFamous Double Blue', 'Minifamous Double Deep Yellow', 'MiniFamous Neo Deep Orange', 'MiniFamous Uno Double PlumTastic', 'Superbells Dreamsickle', 'Superbells Lavender', 'Superbells Pomegranate Punch', 'Superbells Yellow'
Tags:
#showy flowers#small spaces#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#perennials#colorful#low maintenance#apvg#hanging baskets#herbaceous#long bloom time#annual flowers#rock gardens#fantz#late spring flowers#mid-summer flowers#border front#early summer flowers#late summer flowers#compact habit#early fall flowers#apvg-a#container plants
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Calibrachoa
    Species:
    × hybrida
    Family:
    Solanaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    drought
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 9 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Mounding
    Prostrate
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11b, 11a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Variegated
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Flower Petals:
    fused petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Prolific, produces hundreds of 1" flowers from late spring to first frost.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Simple ovate and a bit sticky.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Hairy
    Stem Description:
    Tend to sprawl and trail with age.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Heat