Calibrachoa, also known as million bells, is a popular ornamental plant valued for its abundant, vibrant, trumpet-shaped flowers and easy-to-grow nature. This versatile plant is a must-have addition to hanging baskets, containers, and landscape designs. With an array of colors, including red, pink, yellow, white, and purple, calibrachoa adds a burst of color to any garden setting.
Native to South America, calibrachoa is a perennial in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11 but is grown as an annual in colder climates. They are compact, mounding, or trailing plants, typically reaching 6-12 inches (15-30 cm) in height and spreading up to 2 feet (60 cm) in width. Their low-growing habit makes them an excellent choice for ground covers, border edges, or cascading over walls.
Calibrachoa's blooms appear from spring to fall, providing a long-lasting display of color. The flowers resemble those of petunias but are smaller in size, around 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) in diameter. The numerous flowers attract pollinators, such as butterflies and hummingbirds, making calibrachoa a valuable addition to pollinator-friendly gardens.
These plants prefer well-draining soil and can thrive in various soil types, including sandy and loamy mixtures. Calibrachoa needs at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight daily to produce an abundance of flowers, although they can tolerate some shade, especially in hot climates.
One of the most significant benefits of growing calibrachoa is their low-maintenance nature. They are self-cleaning, meaning the spent blooms drop on their own, and deadheading is not required. To promote vigorous growth and encourage more flowering, fertilize the plants with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
In summary, calibrachoa is an attractive, low-maintenance, and versatile plant that adds a splash of color to various garden settings. Its long blooming season, drought tolerance, and easy-care nature make it a popular choice for gardeners of all skill levels. Whether planted in hanging baskets, containers, or landscape designs, calibrachoa is sure to brighten up any outdoor space.