Calibrachoa with their colourful flowers that appear in masses are sold as an annual in most climate zones. The varieties we see are hybrids and are sometimes called Million Bells.
They common name comes from the masses of flowers that appear from spring through summer.
What we see today is a relatively new plant, it has been developed over the past 20 – 30 years from a few single colours, to the multi colours we see today.
This is a plant that has a naturally trailing habit and is at home in containers and hanging baskets as well as in the garden border..
Low growing to around 10 – 15cm (4 – 6 inches) and spreading to twice this, the flowers remind us miniature petunias. In warmer climates it can also be used in the garden border, best placed near the front.
Care and Growing Conditions
A humus rich well drained soil, and a position where it gets a good amount of light is essential.
The secret to keep this wonderful little plant flowering is fertiliser and good moisture. Make sure you use a low nitrogen fertiliser, high nitrogen fertilisers can inhibit flower formation.
This is a plant that is grown as an annual in most climate zones so it will not come back each year in these areas.
In warmer zones it can be grown as a perennial.
You do not really need to cut these plants back as they tend to drop the spent flower heads, However you can give them a light prune or trim if you don’t mind a week or so with fewer flowers. Pruning will make the plant develop a more bushy or dense growth habit.
Usually sold as an annual, they are available from nurseries and garden centers in spring ready for planting out.