Why is My Calibrachoa Dying?

Last Updated on November 9, 2022 by Stephanie

Calibrachoa (also called Million Bells) is an annual flowering plant that is a perennial that grows in warm climates, but considered an annual plant in climates where it can are susceptible to frost since it is not cold-hardy and will are able to re-flower in winter.

The most frequent reason why a calibrachoa is dying is due to root rot caused by excessively humid soil. Calibrachoa prefer a soak as well as a dry watering pattern. So when the soil is constantly damp due to inadequate drainage or excessive watering, the leaves of calibrachoa become brown and drop with an appearance of dying.

Calibrachoa that isnt growing or blooming and its leaves turning yellow is due to a deficiency of nutrients. The plant needs to be fertilized with additional nutrients.

To stop the dying of calibrachoa it is essential to find the right balance of watering to prevent root rot and drought.

Continue reading to discover the most effective ways to avoid dying calibrachoa and the best way to keep your calibrachoa alive so it can be regenerated and display blooms…

Calibrachoa Dying of Root Rot (Calibrachoa Leaves Turning Brown)

The most frequent reason why the reason your Calibrachao has stopped growing is due to excessive moisture in the area around your roots.

Calibrachoa are indigenous of South America and Mexico where they thrive in well-drained soil, open spaces and full sun.

If the soil around roots are kept damp or boggy , this creates conditions for fungal illnesses like root rot, which thrives in soil that is too damp and isnt able to drain properly.

The signs of a calibrachoa affected by root rot include the leaves turning brown and the flowers changing (perhaps the color of yellow) with a drooping look.

Calibrachoa thrives on the dry and soak style of watering. They are hydrated regularly once a week, and the soil is allowed to dry slightly (without drying out completely) to ensure that the roots dont get sitting in soil that is constantly damp.

This method of watering mimics the conditions found in calibrachoas natural habitat.


Your calibrachoas soil could be too sloppy due to:

  • Trays are used under containers or pots. Calibrachoa thrives in containers and pots, however when you put an ice cube or drip tray underneath the pot, this stops excess water from flowing out after rain or watering and results in the soil becoming saturated, which is the reason for root rot.
  • Containers and pots that do not have drainage holes in their base. Calibrachoa requires good drainage of the soil otherwise the plant will die. If the pot or container is designed to look attractive, it might not necessarily have drainage holes at the bottom, so that the excess water cant escape and the roots get root rot, and the plant becomes brown, then dies.
  • Calibrachoa dies in hanging baskets. Calibrachoa is a great plant to hang in hanging baskets because it is tolerant of the soil drying out in between sessions of watering. But certain hanging baskets may be covered with plastic sheets or some other material that could hold too much water, which makes the soil overly sloppy and the plant wilts then turns brown before dying again because of root decay.
  • Calibrachoa is dying because of excessive watering. If youre constantly watering your Calibrachoa it is way too often for the plant to flourish and bloom. Reduce the amount of frequency of watering to just once per week (2 or three times per week during the heatwave or drought period to hang baskets) to mimic the typical humid conditions in the natural habitat.

If the caliberachoa is suffering from severe root rot, its very challenging to salvage it, so prevention is more effective than cure.

It could also show signs of stress like an appearance of drooping when its stressed by water and can be rehabilitated by creating better drainage conditions and then water it less frequently.

To revive a plant called a calibrachoa it is essential to:

  • Take any drip tray or saucers that are under pots, allowing the excess water to drain away to ensure that the roots of the calibrachoa arent buried in a muddy soil.
  • If your calibrachoa is located in a hanging container, take the membrane of plastic in the bottom, as it could hold excessive water.
  • Protect the calibrachoa from rain and avoid irrigation for at least one week.
  • Maintain the plant in full sunlight and dont use fertilizers. Cut off any yellow or brown leaves using a sterilized pruner. Clean the blades with an alcohol-soaked cloth disinfectant following each cut to avoid spreading fungal spores onto otherwise good plant tissues.
  • Plant calibrachoa in a multi-purpose compost since it is able to hold enough moisture for the plant to flourish and yet is an arrangement that allows the excess moisture to flow away from the roots, thereby preventing the soil from becoming over-watered.
  • If you plant calibrachoa on garden boards, make sure to amend the area by adding compost in order to mimic the soil conditions they prefer. Avoid planting it in clay soils because clay holds too much moisture, which can cause root rot, which causes a dying calibrachoa. If your garden is comprised of boggy or clay soils you can plant the calibrachoa in pots as it is much more easy to create drainage conditions in containers and pots instead of in the garden soil.

If you adhere to the most effective methods of care and find the perfect amount of watering to ensure that the soil is able to dry out, this greatly reduces the chance of root rot. The calibrachoa will begin to show signs of improvement within a week, in the event that it is stressed by water.

It is nevertheless important to note that calibrachoa that has been in soil that is saturated for a long period of time isnt able to revive.

Calibrachoa Dying Due to Under Watering (Wilting Foliage and Flowers)

The main reason for the dying of calibrachoa is due to excessive watering and moist soil. But the plant can also become brown and then wilt, revealing shrinking leaves because of under irrigation.

Calibrachoa needs a balance of soil moisture, which is best achieved by cultivating the plant in a good compost in containers, pots and hanging baskets , and then watering by giving it a good soak at least once every week.

If there is an extreme heat wave or windy conditions, or when the soil is too sandy (or hard and stony) then the requirements for water in the calibrachoa could rise.

Hanging baskets with Calibrachoa are more susceptible to drought due to their higher exposure to the wind and having smaller soil capacity as compared to containers and pots.

Be aware that if the pot or container is completely dry then the soil that you put in it can be baked hard, causing water to flow off the surface , rather than absorb in the soil.

Make sure to water the soil around your calibrachoa in a slow manner to ensure that the water permeates the surface, rather than flows off and into the sides of the container away from the roots.

There are many variables that affect the frequency of watering (such as temperature, rainfall and humidity) however in warmer regions or when there is an extreme heat wave, its recommended to water your calibrachoa each 3 to 4 days in order to ensure the proper balance of humidity.

If you believe that drought is the cause of your calibrachoa dying , then check the soil up to a finger depth. You can also monitor the soils water content throughout the week. You should take a drink as soon as the soil is dry.

This will help you determine the frequency at which you should replenish the basket or pot specific to your climate to ensure that the calibrachoa will recuperate.

A dying Calcachoa with the leaves that are wilted should be able to recover from drought in one week, provided that you have determined the ideal frequency of watering for your climate.

Calibraocha Leaves are Turning Yellow

If the leaves of your calibrachoa have turned yellow, this is a sign of that there is a deficiency in the nutrients within the soil.

Calibrachoa grows rapidly and requires extra nutrition in form of fertiliser in order to develop, flower and keep the leaves from becoming yellow.

This is a typical issue when growing calibrachoa in containers, smaller pots and hanging baskets since smaller pots are less able for soil, and the roots are less accessible to nutrients.

How to Revivify Calibrachoa by Using Yellow Leaves

To bring back the yellowing of your calibrachoa It is essential to fertilize your pots of calibrachoa when the leaves begin to turn yellow using a half strength all-purpose fertilizer.

To grow calibrachoa in pots, I would recommend using an all-purpose fertilizer like miracle-gro because it has all the nutrients needed by calibrachoa in the correct amount to prevent problems that come with excessive fertilizer that can cause the roots to be burned by your plants.

To ensure optimal flowering and keep the leaves turning brown, apply an application of liquid fertilizer every two weeks to ensure that your calibrachoa is in top condition.

If a deficiency in nutrient is the cause, the calibrachoa will grow quicker and heal from its yellow appearance over the next two weeks.

Calibrachoa Dying in Cold Weather

Calibrachoa is indigenous to warmer regions in South America and it is not averse to frost, though it may occasionally withstand a slight snow (Hardy within USDA zone 9-11)

So calibrachoa is generally regarded as an annual plant suitable for hanging pots and baskets in cool climates where frost is common in winter. They fade in winter, and the leaves often turn into black.

But you can also protect the calibrachoa in cooler climates by growing in pots, then moving them to a greenhouse heated for the winter months and then bringing them back outside once the danger of frost is gone.

The horticultural fleece is also a great way in protecting the cold-sensitive calibrachoa from freezing nights and frosty days.

Calibrachoa Requires Full Sun

If your calibrachoa is showing low, spindly growth and little flowers and appears unhealthy, then it needs more sunlight.

Calibrachoa are adapted to grow in open areas with warmer climates and areas with at least six hours of sunlight in their home South American environment.

To make sure that the calibrachoa is in good health and displays the most beautiful flowers, it is essential to place your calibrachoa in the most sunny part of your garden.

The longer hours of sunlight also aid in reducing the risk of root rot by increasing transpiration, and also ensure that the plant is healthy , so its more resistant to diseases.

Transfer pots and containers to an area with full sun . Find hanging baskets that are in an area of sunshine to regenerate the calibrachoa.

Key Takeaways:

  • The reason for dying of calibrachoa is typically due to fungal illnesses like root rot, which is caused by excessive moisture around the roots. Calibrachoa needs the soil to dry between periods of watering. If the plant is excessively watered or is in a soil that is boggy, the leaves will turn brown and then wilt, which results in dying calibrachoa plant.
  • The yellow leaves of the calibrachoa plant are caused due to a deficiency of nutrients. Calibrachoa is a large feeder because of its rapid growth. It requires fertilizer every four weeks to avoid the yellowing of leaves and encourage flowering.
  • Calibrachoa is susceptible to dryness that causes leaves to turn brown. Calibrachoa in hanging baskets and pots may be susceptible to drying out too fast in hot temperatures. Increase watering frequency to every 3 or 4 days during dry and hot conditions.
  • Calibrachoa comes from South America and prefers full sunshine and well-drained soil. Calibrachoa that is shaded too much typically is not growing well and has a few flowers. Make sure that the plant is in full sun to allow it to grow and show flowers.


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)