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The attractive magic bell (Calibrachoa) is reminiscent of the related plant family, the petunia, and not just by chance. The beautiful balcony and terrace plants with their many small flowers are far less sensitive to wind and rain than the larger petunias, but they are not completely hardy.

The magic bell must be overwintered indoors, e.g. in a conservatory

South American flower dream with pronounced sensitivity to frost

The subspecies of the Calibrachoa plant genus, which are available in many different flower colors, originally come from Brazil, so they usually thrive particularly well in a sunny and warm location. While the grateful balcony flowers can cope well with great heat with an adequate water supply, they are far less resistant to cold temperatures. Plants that have been brought up on the windowsill should therefore only be taken outside after the ice saints and should first be accustomed to direct sunlight by the hour. The sun-loving magic bell is annual in Central Europe without protective measures and does not survive the winter outdoors.

Attempts to hibernate can be worthwhile with the magic bell

Contrary to the belief that magic bells can only be cultivated once a year, some gardeners have reported that their prolific protégés, which bloomed profusely, had successfully overwintered. To do this, the plants should be shortened in autumn to a shoot length of about 10 centimeters. Calibrachoa have the best chance of overwintering if they are placed in a bright spot in a conservatory or room where the temperatures are frost-free but do not rise above 14 degrees Celsius. Dry damage can be prevented by regular, well-dosed watering with low-lime rainwater. In addition, the plants should not be fertilized during the winter period.

The multiplication of the magic bell for the following year

When the ice saints are over in spring, there are various ways to enrich the garden again with the beauty of the magic bells:

  • with new plants from the garden trade
  • by sowing
  • Obtaining offshoots from cuttings of overwintered specimens

for cultivation from seeds, the seeds collected in autumn or purchased commercially are placed in bowls on the windowsill from January. These should be covered with cling film so that a consistently high level of humidity can be maintained underneath. Since the magic bell depends on a slightly acidic substrate, only petunia or rhododendron soil and low-lime water (preferably rainwater) should be used for cultivation.

tips

You should also check the magic bell for a possible pest infestation with aphids or whiteflies in the winter quarters, so that countermeasures can be taken quickly if necessary.

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