July 24, 2017

Ringing a Million Bells

Calibrachoa 'Callie Light Blue II' - Million bells

Janine Pineo Photo | Calibrachoa ‘Callie Light Blue II’ – Million bells

They may look like a petunia and may even be in the same Solanaceae (nightshade) family, but Calibrachoa is its own genus with its differences found in its chromosomes. With the common name of Million Bells, this plant more than lives up to the moniker by producing cascades of flowers. While it can often be seen in hanging baskets – a great effect for its trailing habit – Calibrachoa also can be used as a groundcover, as seen in this documented test at Cornell University. It flowers best in full sun, with the number of blooms decreasing the more shade it receives. Pictured is Callie Light Blue, a cultivar introduced back in just 2007. Most of the varieties for sale are patented because they are grown vegetatively and not from seed. So you likely can only find the newer, better-growing varieties at local nurseries. One last good thing about Calibrachoa is that you don’t need to deadhead. For that alone, you should ring a million bells.