Spring Production Of Million Bells Calibrachoa

Calibrachoa 'Million Bells Brilliant Pink'

Million Bells are versatile plants that are suited to hanging baskets, patio containers, window boxes and landscapes. You could consider Suntory breeder Yasuyuki Murakami the father of the entire calibrachoa genus for global commercial flower production. Starting out with just a few colors, today the popular series spans reds, blues, oranges and yellows and splashy patterns like Crackling Fire and Terra Cotta.
Suntory continues to reinvest in and improve the series, which now spans 14 mounding types, five trailing types and the new Bouquet subseries, which appeals to growers looking for more compact varieties for high-density production. The original trailing types are still best sellers because of their vigorous growth, profuse blooming and ability to create lush, cascading displays, especially in hanging baskets.

Helpful Hints
from John Barone
Barone Gardens, Cicero, New York

When working with Million Bells calibrachoas, start them warm in a well-drained soil mix, then finish cool after they are well established. The key is to keep the pH down to help prevent Thielaviopsis root rot, which is less persistent in media with a lower pH. We will use an acid feed with added iron based on a soil test to accomplish this. Calibrachoas respond well to added iron. We’ve found an aggressive, preventative fungicide drench to be worthwhile in establishing this crop and maintaining it. As the plants are established, plant growth regulator treatments of Florel or B9 are used. We pinch as needed to shape. Bonzi drench treatments are used later in the season and we like to use multiple lower-dose applications. For combination plantings, I love the trailing Million Bells. Blue ’09 with Yellow and Magenta is an outstanding one.

Proven Performance
Calibrachoas are annuals in Zones 2-8 and can be perennials in Zones 9-12. Heat tolerant, cold hardy and prolific, Million Bells produce flowers from spring well into fall. Each summer, Million Bells stands out among hundreds of calibachoas to earn high marks in leading university trials. Penn State University named ‘Million Bells Bouquet Cream’ one of the top new varieties for 2011. At Michigan State University, ‘Million Bells Trailing 09’ was named an early favorite that same summer.

General Culture
Calibrachoa is a facultative long-day plant. Provide long days during propagation and production, if possible, although modern breeding has made great advances in bringing the flowering timing forward. Once cuttings are rooted and established, liners can be given a pinch to encourage a bushy plant. This is usually around three to four weeks after sticking. If this is not done by rooting stations, it should be done by the grower at potting or just afterwards. As the crop grows, it may require more pinching to encourage the right habit and breaks to get bushy, spreading plants.

Rooted cuttings should be potted up as soon as possible into 4-inch or larger pots, using using a well-drained peat/perlite mix. Keep pH at 5.2 to 6.0 to prevent disease and nutritional problems. Temperatures of the crop at this stage should be 65-70˚F for the first couple of weeks. This will enhance root development. After two weeks, the crop is best grown at 60-65˚F.

Avoid overwatering Million Bells. Watering is a key issue. High levels will encourage root rot, so a little-and-often regime is encouraged when plants are young to provide as much air to the crop as possible.

Crop Timing
• 4-inch production – four to six weeks with one liner and one or two pinches
• 6-inch production – six to eight weeks with one liner and two pinches
• 10-inch production – 10-12 weeks with three liners and two or three pinches

Growth Regulators
Million Bells responds to sprays of B9 (2,500-5,000 ppm) or Sumagic (5-20 ppm).  Another option is a Bonzi drench (2-3 ppm)

Pests & Diseases
Insect pests to monitor include whitefly, western flower thrips, aphids and red spider mites. Diseases to prevent include Botrytis, Powdery Mildew, Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia, Pythium and Thielaviopsis.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Spring Production Of Million Bells Calibrachoa

More From ...
Hendriks-Half-Open-Roof_GGS

March 26, 2015

10 Greenhouse Products For First-Rate Growing Environments

From coverings to fork-lifts, greenhouse suppliers offer a variety of products to make growing easier. Check out the slideshow to learn more about these, plus several other products that can offer you value, versatility and durability.

Read More
Rose rosette on Knockout rose, April 2012. Photo credit: Alan Windham, University of Tennessee

March 25, 2015

$58 Million In APHIS Farm Bill Funding Will Support Horticulture Priorities

Nearly $58 million as been allocated by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to support the industry's Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program, under Farm Bill Section 10007. The program will support mitigation efforts for specialty crops, including providing research and other funding to address plant pest and disease priorities for the specialty crop industry, including floriculture and nursery crops.

Read More
AFE scholarship_Ryan Dickson

March 25, 2015

AFE Educational Grant And Scholarship Application Deadlines Approaching

Apply now for American Floral Endowment (AFE) scholarships or educational grants. Applications can be found online. For educational grants for 2015-2016, applications must be submitted no later than June 1. Scholarship applications are due May 1. AFE will award $40,000 in scholarships for 2015.

Read More
Latest Stories
Hendriks-Half-Open-Roof_GGS

March 26, 2015

10 Greenhouse Products For First-Rate Growing Environme…

From coverings to fork-lifts, greenhouse suppliers offer a variety of products to make growing easier. Check out the slideshow to learn more about these, plus several other products that can offer you value, versatility and durability.

Read More
Rose rosette on Knockout rose, April 2012. Photo credit: Alan Windham, University of Tennessee

March 25, 2015

$58 Million In APHIS Farm Bill Funding Will Support Hor…

Nearly $58 million as been allocated by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to support the industry's Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program, under Farm Bill Section 10007. The program will support mitigation efforts for specialty crops, including providing research and other funding to address plant pest and disease priorities for the specialty crop industry, including floriculture and nursery crops.

Read More
AFE scholarship_Ryan Dickson

March 25, 2015

AFE Educational Grant And Scholarship Application Deadl…

Apply now for American Floral Endowment (AFE) scholarships or educational grants. Applications can be found online. For educational grants for 2015-2016, applications must be submitted no later than June 1. Scholarship applications are due May 1. AFE will award $40,000 in scholarships for 2015.

Read More

March 25, 2015

13 New Shrubs You’ll Find At The 2015 California …

Woody ornamentals serve as the foundation of many great landscapes, but beyond their traditional uses, shrubs also add color, structure, texture and interest to small gardens and even containers. Check out this slideshow to see some of the newest introductions you’ll get to see at this year’s California Spring Trials.

Read More

March 25, 2015

NASS Reports U.S. Honey Production Was Up By 19 Percent…

Honey production in 2014 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 178 million pounds, up 19 percent from 2013, according to a March 20 report from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Read More
Bloomtown_Screen Shot 2015-03-10

March 24, 2015

Bloomtown Exposes Consumers To The World Of Horticultur…

A new web series called Bloomtown is all about the mud, sweat and tears of horticulture. Filmed in St. Louis, Mo., it chronicles the world of horticulture using local flower growers, greenhouses, wholesalers, florists, consumers, retail shops and arborists, with the goal of opening consumers’ eyes to the world of horticulture around them.

Read More
OxiPhos_BioSafe2

March 23, 2015

BioSafe Makes Label Changes To OxiPhos And ZeroTol 2.0

There have been some recent label changes made to the BioSafe Systems product OxiPhos, a systemic bactericide/fungicide that reduces downy mildew spores when tank mixed with ZeroTol 2.0.

Read More

March 23, 2015

UF/IFAS Appoints Joseph Albano As Director Of Mid-Flori…

The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has a new directors for its Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (REC) on Apopka, Fla. The role has been filled by Joseph Albano, a research horticulturist from the U.S. Department of Agriculture with more than 25 years of experience.

Read More
Nufarm_logo

March 23, 2015

Nufarm Fungicides Now Registered For Use On Edible Crop…

Nufarm Americas announced label expansions for two of its fungicides that will provide more pest management options for the ornamental industry. The Cleary 3336 F and EG fungicides are now registered for use across a wider range of edible crops, including select greenhouse vegetables and transplants, herbs and backyard fruit.

Read More

March 23, 2015

Update To Armitage’s Greatest Perennials & Annuals …

A new update to the Greatest Perennials & Annuals app narrows the gap between consumers and grower-retailers, while providing more of Armitage’s top picks and growing advice for success with plants.

Read More
Plantbid website screenshot

March 20, 2015

Plantbid Brings Open Sourcing To Greenhouse Growers

Plantbid bridges the gap between buyers and sellers for sales and marketing networking on their own terms. The web-based, plant-sourcing platform aims to save growers time and make the business of buying and selling plants more efficient.

Read More
National Floriculture Forum 2015 029

March 18, 2015

2015 National Floriculture Forum Focuses On Marketing I…

The 2015 National Floriculture Forum, held March 6 to 7 in Minneapolis, Minn., zeroed in on the topic of marketing in horticulture and included visits to Gertens Greenhouses and Garden Center, Bailey Nurseries, Bachman’s Floral, Home and Garden and Tangletown Gardens. The annual meeting allows greenhouse and floriculture faculty, graduate students and industry partners to meet and share updates on current research, issues and initiatives.

Read More

March 18, 2015

H-2B Situation Goes From Bad To Even Worse

On March 5, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it will no longer accept or process H-2B labor certifications or requests for H-2B prevailing wage determinations in light of a March 4 decision. Shortly after the DOL announcement, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Citizenship and Immigration Services followed suit, announcing it will at least temporarily cease approving visa petitions. These announcements essentially shut down the H-2B program for any company that has not completed the DHS H-2B visa petitioning process.

Read More
SAF CAD

March 18, 2015

Growers Ask For Immigration And Healthcare Reform Durin…

Nearly 90 growers, retailers, suppliers and wholesales attended the Society of American Florists' (SAF) 2015 Congressional Action Days March 9-10. The delegation, representing 18 states, arrived on Capitol Hill at a time when two major industry issues - immigration and healthcare reform - are especially prominent in national headlines.

Read More
2014 Poinsettia Season Report

March 18, 2015

Download Greenhouse Grower’s 2014 Poinsettia Seas…

Poinsettia growers report a strong year in 2014, thanks to a few conditions. Seasonal cold at just the right time put consumers in a festive mood to buy early and often, and with no big snowstorms to hold up shipments and a reduction of supply available in the market, the season was strong from start to finish. Greenhouse Grower’s 2014 Poinsettia Survey received 143 responses from growers around the country. Here, you can download the complete results of the survey, by filling out the form.

Read More

March 17, 2015

Pike Nurseries Implements Employee Stock Ownership Plan

Independent garden retailer Pike Nurseries has announced it will become an employee-owned company. Pike Nurseries management has combined with its sister corporation in California, Armstrong Garden Centers, to operate under an established Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

Read More
Hydrangea 'Endless Summer BloomStruck' from Bailey Nurseries

March 17, 2015

Michael Dirr Slated To Address Attendees At Hydrangeas …

Dr. Michael Dirr to deliver the keynote address at Hydrangeas 2015 conference, hosted by the Cape Cod Hydrangea Society in partnership with Endless Summer Hydrangeas. The conference will take place at the historic Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, Mass.

Read More
Bee on a Sedum

March 17, 2015

4 Key Pollinator Research Projects To Be Funded By Hort…

The Horticultural Research Institute will grant $125,000 in financial support for four key projects as part of the Horticultural Industry Bee & Pollinator Stewardship Initiative. The Initiative has three primary goals. First, to convene a task force to develop a bee and pollinator stewardship program, including creation of best management practices for plant production. Second, to identify and fund research that will help answer key science questions and fill gaps needed to design and refine the stewardship program. Third, to seek to positively position the horticultural community and its customers by collaborating with other compatible groups interested in augmenting pollinator habitat and protection.

Read More