Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
If there is been one plant that has impressed me the most it has to be calibrachoa today on Southern Gardening.
It seems like I have lots of favorite plants, and I do. With all of the new selections coming out each year it’s difficult to have that absolute favorite flowering garden plant. Known botanically as Calibrachoa, Millions Bells have been showing up at local garden centers for the past couple of weeks.
Typically considered a flowering annual I have observed Million Bells that over wintered on the coast. The flowers are funnel form and are very similar to petunias. But when petunias start to fade in the middle of the summer, especially in the coastal region, Million Bells flowering keeps going strong. These Million Bells are spectacular in a hanging basket, container, or the landscape. The colors are bold and flashy and include rose star, terra cotta, apricot, mocha, and strawberry. These plants will grow 10 to 15 inches tall and wide in uniform mounds and are well branched.
Million Bells should be grown in the full sun for best flowering performance. Keep the soil or potting media moisture consistent. In containers or hanging baskets feed using water soluble fertilizer once a week in the regular irrigation to maintain the flower production. For landscape planting use a couple of tablespoons of a good garden slow release 14-14-14 fertilizer and sprinkle around the base of each plant. Million Bells require little maintenance beyond feeding and watering.
Deadheading is not necessary as the plants are self cleaning. And if the plants get a little unruly simply prune back to keep the plant neat in appearance. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.