- 1 The Million Bells Plant: Complete Guide and Care Tips
- 2 What is a Million Bells Plant?
- 3 Caring for Your Million Bells Plants
- 4 Pests and Diseases that Affect Million Bells Plants
- 5 In Conclusion
The Million Bells Plant: Complete Guide and Care Tips
Gardening enthusiasts are always on the lookout for new plants to add to their collection.
One plant that has gained popularity in recent years is the million bells plant.
Also known as Calibrachoa, this plant is a favorite among gardeners due to its abundant blooms and low maintenance needs.
What is a Million Bells Plant?
The million bells plant belongs to the Solanaceae family and originates from South America.
It closely resembles petunias due to its trumpet-shaped flowers that come in various colors such as pink, red, yellow, blue, orange, and violet.
This low-growing perennial can reach up to 12 inches in height with a spread of 24 inches.
It thrives well in containers or hanging baskets but can also be planted directly into garden beds provided it receives enough sunlight.
Caring for Your Million Bells Plants
While million bells plants are relatively easy-to-care-for plants, they do require some attention for optimal growth and blooming.
- Adequate sunlight should be provided for your million bells plant throughout the day but avoid direct sunlight during hot afternoons as it can scorch its leaves.
- If you’ve planted your calibrachoa indoors or under shade cloth outdoors then make sure it still receives at least three hours of direct sunlight each day.
- The soil should be kept moist but not waterlogged or soggy which may cause fungal diseases like root rot especially if growing your calibrachoa outdoor it requires more watering than indoor ones.
- You could choose mist spray method where you mist the plant instead of watering it directly
- It is recommended to plant your million bells in well-draining soil with good organic matter content.
- A pH range of 5.5 to 6.2 is ideal for optimal growth and blooming.
- Your million bells should be fertilized once every two weeks during its growing season which usually runs from spring up until the first frost of fall for outdoor plants or all year round for indoor ones.
- You can use liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for flowers, but make sure not to over-fertilize as it may affect blooming and lead to foliage burn problems.
Pests and Diseases that Affect Million Bells Plants
The million bells plant is generally a hardy plant that does not attract many pests or diseases, but some issues may still arise if you don’t care well enough.
Pests That Affect Million Bells Plants:
- Aphids: These small insects can infest your calibrachoa leaves by sucking sap from them, causing stunted growth, yellowing leaves which may curl up then fall off.
Treat them with neem oil spray or insecticidal soap regularly until they disappear entirely.
- Mites: They are tough-to-see pests that can cause damage by feeding on your million bells’ foliage resulting in a yellowish appearance.
You could introduce predatory mites into your garden bed if you have an infestation problem.
- Caterpillars: Some caterpillars like the tobacco budworms love feeding on calibrachoas’ buds and blossoms leading to reduced flowering; pick them off manually or use Bt-based pesticides to reduce their populations.
Diseases That Affect Million Bells Plants:
- Powdery mildew: This fungal disease is caused by high humidity and poor air circulation.
Look out for white powdery substance on your leaves, stunted growth, yellowing leaves which may curl up then fall off.
- Fungal leaf spot: Brown or black spots with rings around them appear on the plant’s foliage; Remove infected leaves and water in the morning to allow time for any moisture to evaporate before nightfall.
The million bells plant is an ideal addition to any garden due to its beautiful flowers that come in various colors and low maintenance needs which even beginner gardeners can handle.
By following these care tips and taking precautionary measures against pests and diseases, you can enjoy abundant blooms from your million bells plants throughout the season.