Sunday, March 20, 2016

New Annual Flowers for the 2016 Growing Season - Calibrachoa

It’s time to rev up my blog again.  I have been planting seeds and rooted cuttings have started to arrive.   One of the most popular of these cuttings is calibrachoa (spell check makes it very hard to write that word). This plant features loads of small bell-like flowers that resemble miniature petunias. The original species is native to South America, but all calibrachoas are now hybrids and there are hundreds to choose from.  

Last year I ran out of calibrachoas (often requested as “million bells” by customers) in the middle of May, so this year I will double production, as well as introduce some new varieties. 

The Callie series are nice for hanging baskets and I have used the Callie Light Blue (above) for two years in front of the Cabot Village Store.    This year I am adding Callie Dark Blue and Callie White

I have had good results with the Noa series of calibrachoas, so I will add from that line  Noa Sunset,  Noa Mega Pink and Noa Cherry Blossom. All three of these scored high in last year's trial gardens.



                                                              NOA CHERRY BLOSSOM
       Photos courtesy Danziger Flower Farm

I seem to have selected a lot of new very bright flowers when pondering the orders this winter.   Among them are Aloha Tiki Neon and Minifamous Cherry Red.



While Calibrachoa is closely related to petunias, in 1985 it was determined that this plant had 18 chromosomes, while petunia had 14.   In 1988 wild samples were collected from South America and, after breeding, the first 'Million Bells' was released in 1992.   Their trailing habit make them ideal for hanging baskets, containers or as a small area ground cover.  They are actually a tender perennial, so can also survive low temperatures. 

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