Millionbells from seed

katob Z6ish, NE PaJune 2, 2014

Has anyone grown millionbells (calibrachoa) from seed? I could be wrong but it looks like several have self sown in one if my planters from last year.... Unless they are all some kind of weed :)
-for all those professional growers out there- nothing to fear, I'm not going to corner the market on millionbells this year since they're still mighty tiny, and I'm sure I'll spend way too much time growing these on..... but they're there now and it's just something I need to do! Lol

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zen_man

I don't know of a source to buy Calibrachoa seed, and they aren't usually grown from seed, except by Calibrachoa breeders. Yours should be fine, but they may vary considerably from their parent, because of their extensive hybridized breeding.

This could be your start in being your own Calibrachoa breeder. But even if you find some nice new ones and save seeds from them, you probably will see some more variation from the parent. Variation isn't necessarily bad -- it can occasionly produce better new things. I experience the same thing in my zinnia breeding hobby.

ZM

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 2:49PM
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goblugal(7)

Zenman is right, calibrachoa is not produced commercially from seed......YET....lol. In July, the first commercial Calibrachoa from seed is being officially released. Called "Kabloom", the series is starting out with 5 basic colors.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 3:46PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Interesting, thanks!
I thought that might be the case that they're not available from seed, but wasn't sure why. I thought since I never have actually seen them produce seed on my plants I just thought they were some kind of sterile hybrid.
I'll see if I can focus long enough to get them transplanted and grow them out... I'm curious to see what comes of it! I don't see any future as a calibrachoa breeder but I always like to see where these things end up.
If I manage to transplant safely, keep them alive, grow them on, and get blooms I'll report back.
That's a lot of ifs, the most likely scenario is dried out skeletons forgotten somewhere on the deck, or that they actually turn out to be some tiny new weed, but wish me luck :)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 4:21PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

PLEASE do report back. I have over 250 petunias that self seeded this season. The variation is amazing.
The interesting thing, to me anyway, is what month your seeds actually dropped to the ground and what month did they germinate and if the seeds went through a severe winter.
The most challenging thing for me and perhaps my break through regarding petunia seedlings was realizing they were not weeds. We, here, have a weed whose seedling looks just like a petunia. I have to wait until the seedling grows a little. If it gets a slight gray tone on the newest leaves, it's the weed.

This post was edited by bugbite on Tue, Jun 10, 14 at 9:34

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 3:20PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Hi bugbite, the seed must have dropped last fall since I think I cut the plants down after things froze. They're coming up in a large pot which was left out all winter in the snow and ice down to about -10F.
I also have a bunch of snapdragons and blue salvia farinacea seedlings coming up. I know what you mean about the variation, hybrids usually put out a lot of interesting seed. The snapdragons were a dark red strain last year but the seedlings look like they're a mix of colors based on the stems of the seedlings.
I was planning a different look for the deck this year, but it's hard to send all these little guys to the compost. Probably a good thing in the long run, my taste in colors doesn't amount to much and random seedlings are probably going to give a better look than anything I would come up with!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:37PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

Thanks for the reply. The thing about volunteer petunias is that every free petunia is a gift; I will take every one. But some are outstanding. I need to learn how to propagate them to have them next year.
-10f...amazing

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 9:05AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

There was some weird alignment of the stars and everything came together well enough for me to get these little guys to bloom. I would say they were just as easy as petunias, although I think they would have appreciated more fertilizer than I gave them.... since they look a little pale.
I put about four little teaspoons of plants in this pot since they were too small for me to have the patience to separate out individual plants. As you can see, a few selfsown snapdragons snuck in.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:49AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

This was last year's pot where all the seedlings came up in. Looks like it was the pink that seeded out since there's not a sign of anything blue!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:51AM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

Thanks for the great pictures. Beautiful flowers both years.
I have the geraniums in your picture which turned out to be my best new plant this year. For some reason in early spring Lowe's marked these down from $3.59 to 50 cents. So I grabbed 6.
Back to the Millionbells: I took a tiny paint brush and tried to spread the pollen on my best petunia volunteers. I did get some promising seeds.
Since these reproduced you might help mother nature and help them pollinate if you want to try to get these again next year.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:23PM
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mzdee(6b)

I've had these self seed for the past 2-3 years. I just left the dried stems in the pots and crunched the dried flower heads. They bloomed beautifully but did not survive my summer vacation this year. I hope that they will bless me with a return next season.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 9:17PM
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