Leave only 2 to 3 inches of its stem above ground. This low-maintenance plant requires no deadheading but can become leggy in midsummer. If so, you can prune it back by about one third and it should develop two new stems wherever you make a pruning cut. These plants require regular waterings and fertilizing to grow well, but the results are well worth this little bit of effort. If your million bells plants begin to lose their vigor and become leggy despite your care, pinching or cutting back might be necessary. Prune the Million Bells nearly to the ground in late autumn if you live in USDA zone 9, 10 or 11. Repeat in two or three weeks. Feed the Million Bells, providing it with a nutritional boost for healthy regrowth. You can give it a quick haircut with pruning shears, but more deliberate trimming creates a well-rounded plant. Million Bells is a drought-tolerant plant. Million bells do not require deadheading to bloom well, but the practice cleans up the plant. A classic spiller plant, they have a trailing habit and look great in hanging baskets, bowls, or mixed containers. Pinch the stems back to a healthy section of plant just under sets of leaves if they become tall and leggy, which often happens in midsummer with million bells. Some varieties of Million Bell hanging baskets tend to get flat on top – a phenomenon we call that ‘balding’ – and they need to be pinched back regularly. Calibrachoa (Million Bells) can get gangly – so be sure pinch or trim your Million Bells during the summer, especially on top. Discard clippings in the compost pile or trash so the ground below the million bells does not become a breeding ground for insects or disease. Pinch the stems back to just under the topmost set of leaves to encourage branching and full, compact growth. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. How to Water Transplanted Blueberry Plants, How to Prune Passiflora After Frost Damage, Missouri Botanical Garden: Calibrachoa (Group), Greenhouse Product News: Producing Vegetative Petunias and Calibrachoa, Penn State Extension: Pruning Herbaceous Plants, California Getting Started Garden Guide; Bruce Asakawa and Sharon Asakawa, New York Times 1,000 Gardening Questions and Answers; Leslie Land; Editor. Prune the Million Bells nearly to the ground in late autumn if you live in USDA zone 9, 10 or 11. Calibrachoa (Calibrachoa spp. Calibrachoa is a prolific bloomer and produces one-inch blossoms that resemble tiny petunias. Pinch each tip just above a set of leaves. Pinch million bells with your thumb and a finger, or use garden scissors or pruning shears, if desired. Leave only 2 to 3 inches of its stem above ground. Calibrachoa, commonly called million bells or trailing petunia, is a tender perennial that produces mounds of foliage, growing only 3 to 9 inches (7.5-23 cm.) It comes in a rain… They also work in unusual containers like colanders or even plastic laundry baskets. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Most often grown as an annual, Million Bells is perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. It is most commonly grown in containers, where it spills gracefully over the sides of the pot or hanging basket but has a dense trailing habit rather than a spindly one. Sanitizing tools before and after trimming prevents the spread of bacteria and pathogens that can cause plant diseases. Pinching encourages a new flush of healthy growth and flowers. M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. Although you do not need to pinch back million bells, you'll be rewarded with more compact growth and cleaner plants if you do. Million bells plants also attract hummingbirds and butterflies to boot. Water the Million Bells' soil to a depth of 6 inches after trimming the plant, and allow the soil to dry between each subsequent watering session. tall, along trailing stems and flowers in shades of violet, … Million bells is an annual flower that blooms nonstop from spring to frost without the need for deadheading. Make each cut just above a healthy set of leaves. The plant will return in spring for another season of blooming in those USDA zones. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing. Pinch off fading flowers just under the blossoms as desired. ), better known as million bells, is a blooming annual and top performer in the garden, as well as in hanging baskets and window boxes. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Cut each Million Bells stem down to about 3 to 5 inches in length. 1 Pinch off fading flowers just under the blossoms as desired. Shade-Tolerant Perennials That Attract Birds & Butterflies, National Gardening Association: Time to Deadhead, Portland Nursery: Calibrachoa -- Million Bells. The blooms of million bells are approximately 1 inch across, and many sport veining or color… Pinch million bells with your thumb and a finger, or use garden scissors or pruning shears, if desired. my million bells plant seems to be dying, can I trim it and will it come back? Calibrachoa, also known as Million Bells, is one of the most popular plants for growing in containers. Wipe the blades of pruning shears or clippers with rubbing alcohol or a solution containing 1 part household bleach and 9 parts water. She has also written for various online publications. 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