Growing Calibrachoa Organically
Calibrachoa (Calibrachoa parviflora) is a trailing petunia that is also known as Million Bells and Seaside Petunia. It’s a happy little plant that blooms prolifically all summer and performs its best under the summer sun. Calibrachoa won’t wilt in the heat like many other varieties of petunias, making it a great choice for a sunny, organic garden.
The more sun calibrachoa receivies, the more blooms they will produce. Select a location that is in full sun.
Plants grow equally well when planted in-ground or in containers, but will produce runners that need space to trail downwards or spread out laterally.
Since calibrachoa is a heavy blooming plant, it is also a heavy feeder. Create a fertile growing medium by mixing a good quality potting soil mix and compost at a 50/50 ratio. Potting soil should contain perlite and peat to help keep plants fed and hydrated.
Calibrachoa plants produce very few seeds, so they are typically purchased as plants.
When planting in-ground, dig a eight inch by six inch hole (save removed soil to use elsewhere) and place two-three inches of prepared soil in bottom of hole. Remove calibrachoa plant from container and place in center of prepared hole. Fill in planting hole with more potting soil mix. Firm soil gently around roots and water well.
For container planting, select a container that is 8-10 inches deep and equally as wide. Add two-three inches of prepared soil in container bottom, place plant in the center and finish filling in with soil. Water well.
Add a thin layer of organic mulch on top of soil to help retain moisture.
Remove spent blooms as needed to keep plant looking nice.
Water plant early in the day and provide plenty of sunshine to keep the thick foliage and the flowers dry to prevent rot root.
This heavy-feeding plant needs a steady supply of food, so keep it well fed with compost tea. Mix a garden trowel of compost (or manure) in a five gallon bucket of rain water and place in a sunny location. Allow ‘tea’ to steep for a couple of days, then use once a week to water calibrachoa.
A side dressing of compost can be added in mid-summer to kept soil fertile and plants growing strong.