Overwintering calibrachoa?

cranebill(6)November 4, 2006


Has anyone successfully overwintered calibrachoa? I've tried it a few times with small to medium-sized plants, but have had no success. I kept them in a brightly lit, cool room, and watered them sparingly. They never seemed to have gone fully dormant, and they put out some sprigs of weak-looking growth from time to time. They seemed to hang in until late winter/early spring, but then pretty quickly died (woody sticks thing with no roots).

This year I got some end-of-season mixed planters dirt cheap that each contained some large specimens of the calibrachoa (many colors). I'd like to overwinter them if possible. Do you have any advice or suggestions, please?



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This made me curious, so I did some web searching, and everything I found stated that this is an annual plant. If that's so, then by definition it is intended to sprout from seed, flower, set seed, and die all within one season. That is probably why you have never been able to keep it over.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 2:39AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Actually, this is one of those plants that is a tender (and short lived) perennial, but is typically grown AS an annual. A quick search indicated that it can be overwintered inside, though you may be happier if you take cuttings and grow them over the winter.

It can be difficult to transition a sun loving flowering plant from outside to inside. The reasons are many, but all have to do with environmental conditions. Natural sunlight can be extremely limited inside, as is humidity, etc. Lack of roots indicate improper watering, more than likely. Finding the correct balance of water when all of the other inputs have gone right down the tube is VERY challenging!

And THAT'S the reason why most of us treat these plants as annuals! From what I read, you could expect these plants to live on the same root system for as much as four years.

If you have the opportunity to set up some artificial florescent lighting, that might help. Make sure that you aren't bringing in a batch of spider mites, too. Cut the plant back severely, give it as much light as possible, and limit the water.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 10:11AM
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Calibrachoa hybrids are completly hardy subshrubs in zone 7 and may need some protection in 6. But they cannot overwinter in pots outdoors.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 10:31AM
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mmacphail(USDA 4b Mtl-Can)

I have successfully overwintered calibrachoa. I have a white variety that I put in a south-facing window. From my experience, it likes a lot of water and hates drying out. My plant doesn't go dormant. Aphids are a real problem, which I keep in check using Safers Soap. A purple variety that I was growing did die the first year I tried it inside. Perhaps some cultivars are more resilient than others. I hope this helps.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 12:04PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I have a pair of Calibrachoa that are 4 years old growing under lights as bonsai going into their 5th grow season and exhibiting good vitality. They are indeed perennials and can be kept over winter with adequate light and humidity.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 6:02PM
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