April 19, 2014
One of the flowering plants that is sure to attract a lot of attention this year in the garden centers is calibrachoa. This relative of petunia is commonly called million bells and certainly lives up to this name. Today I'm at JDS Nursery and it's easy to see that Calibrachoa is one of those must have landscape plants for splashes of color throughout the summer season. There are several series that offer plenty of options when it comes to color. The Noa series of flowers are beautiful with contrasting petal and center colors. Noa Papaya is a bright vermilion and Noa Apricot is mellow amber with a dark eye. I really like the Early Bird series with the clear bright colors of red, yellow, and white. Calibrachoa should be grown in the full sun where the plants will produce an incredible number of one-inch wide funnel-shaped flowers. Though calibrachoa really put on a floral show with literally hundreds of flowers, they are self-cleaning. I consider this an important consideration because deadheading is not required. The growth habit of calibrachoa is suitable for the landscape, but they really excel in containers and hanging baskets. The spreading habit and trailing stems will sprawl over the container edges. And if they get a little unruly, simply prune back to keep them neat and tidy. Be sure to keep your plants watered and fed, fertilizer every other week with water soluble fertilizer using 1 tablespoon per gallon. If you follow these two suggestions the flowering with be unbelievable. This year be sure to have calibrachoa in your landscape and garden. With its prodigious flowering I know you won't regret it. I'm horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.