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Calibrachoa, a flower that adorns many balconies and terraces, is striking in its lush cascading beauty. More recently, this plant, completely covered with small bright bells, was considered by many flower growers to be a petunia. Calibrachoa could also be found under this name in books on floriculture, in which until 1990 it was attributed to the genus Petunia. Later, breeder scientists identified chromosomal differences between these cultures regarding the DNA structure. Based on these studies, it was proved that plants are related to Petunia Calibracho, but at the same time they are completely different. It will be useful for novice gardeners to learn about their external differences, as well as how to properly care for and grow calibrachoa.
What does calibrachoa look like?
Outwardly, the flower is very similar to petunia, in particular, the shape of the flowers resembling gramophone. Their size is small, no more than 2.5-3 cm in diameter, but this is fully compensated by their large number. A million bells - this is how the name of one of the species (Million Bells) sounds in translation. This name fully characterizes the appearance of the flower, which, when grown in hanging pots and flowerpots, forms bushes with long, drooping stems (about 0.5-1 m), decorated with a chic scattering of bells.
Advice! You can distinguish calibrachoa bushes from Petunia bushes by the flowers that have a two-color color. Regardless of the main color of the corolla, its "neck" is always brown or yellow.
Initially, Calibrachoa could only please gardeners with a purple color, which is native to her. Over time, the plant attracted the attention of breeders, and they developed many hybrids in a wide range of colors. Now you can find calibrachoa with corollas of white and yellow, red and pink, crimson and brown, blue and light blue. And also a variety of shades of these colors. There are also terry varieties, but in terms of the splendor of their flowering, they are very inferior to simple types of calibrachoa.
Description of calibrachoa
Calibrahoa is a perennial crop of the genus Solanaceae. In the wild, Calibrachoa bushes are found in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay. As a garden plant, hybrids of natural species are grown, which are annuals. The branches of the plant are long drooping, therefore they consider it ampelous.
Calibrachoa is quite easy to confuse with petunia, especially for gardeners who are starting to grow this variety of flowers for the first time. Distinctive features of the species are:
- small flowers;
- the throat at the base of the bell, the so-called throat, differs sharply in its color, most often it is bright yellow or brown;
- the veins in the center of the flower are of a more saturated color (compared to the main color);
- the leaves of the plant are small (length - 30-40 mm, width - up to 10 mm), oblong, their surface is covered with a thin, short, hard pile, which is also on the lashes;
- stems are dense, branched, prone to lignification, about 0.5-2 m long;
- the trunk of the plant has an external resemblance to a shrub.
Attention! When buying seedlings, small flower size is not a direct indication of Calibrahoa. There are miniature petunias, in particular the Shock Wave variety, which also has a rather small bells.
Calibrachoa varieties with photos and names
Thanks to the active work of breeders, a huge number of varieties and species of Calibrachoa were bred - both simple, and hybrid, and terry. Many of them have similar features, characteristics and colors, so sometimes even a sophisticated florist can find it difficult to understand the variety of varieties, not to mention amateur florists.
Crave Strawberry Star
New for 2017 among ampelous plants. A distinctive feature is white and pink bell flowers. The yellow center of the corollas is separated from the petals by a stripe of bright pink color.
Bloomtastic Rose Quartz
Bloomtastic Rose Quartz was introduced in 2018. Breeders compare it with rose quartz, thanks to the delicate pink color of the petals, which are separated from the center of the flower by a wide purple belt. The core of the flower is characteristic yellow.
Volcano sunset cultivar
Volcano sunset is distinguished by an unusual color palette of corollas - yellow, pink, scarlet and orange. The neck is traditionally yellow. Sprawling bush, about 50 cm in diameter. The variety is unpretentious in care.
Tropical sunrise variety
A new variety that strikes with its bright striped color. The petals are decorated with yellow, scarlet and pink lines that merge towards the center. The neck of the flowers is yellow.
Hula Lavender variety
Strongly branching bushes, unpretentious to care for. The length of the lashes is 0.5-0.6 m. The flowers are small, lavender at the edges, purple to the center. The throat (neck) is yellow.
Chameleon Indian summer cultivar
Chameleon Series, translated as Indian Summer. The peduncles of the variety have a bright color, which changes depending on the agrotechnical conditions of cultivation and care (watering, lighting, dressing). The neck of the flower is yellow.
Calibrachoa in landscape design
Calibrachoa is prized not only for its beautiful and rich appearance, but also for its versatility. Spherical bushes can be used for landscaping balconies and verandas, terraces and ridges. It becomes a real decoration of the garden, alley or facade of the Kalibrachoa building when planted in pots, grown in hanging baskets and flowerpots. The falling cascade of small bright flowers mesmerizes with its delicate beauty. Original compositions can be created by planting several varieties of various colors together.
If the branches of Calibrachoa are not cared for and periodically cut off, they can grow quite long. Landscape designers often use this feature of the variety when creating cascading compositions and beautiful living arches, which are gaining more and more popularity in recent years.
Growing conditions for calibrachoa
Favorable growth and comfortable development can be ensured by Calibrachoa, subject to certain important conditions regarding, in particular, cultivation and care:
- The area intended for planting flower bushes should be sunny, protected from drafts and strong winds. Indoor cultivation involves placing flowerpots and flower pots on the south or southeast side.
- The daytime temperature should be at least 22 ° C. The threat of late spring frosts must be avoided.
- With an aggressive daylight, the Kalibrachoa bushes should be shaded, since not only the leaves, but also the flowers, can simply burn out.
- The planting tank must be equipped with a drain, at least 5 cm high.
- Refusal to introduce hydrogel into the soil during planting, since the plant does not need excess moisture during the rooting period.
Advice! Do not plant Kalibrachoa bushes in shaded areas, as this can significantly impair flowering.
Growing seedlings of calibrachoa from seeds
The best results are obtained by growing Kalibrachoa seedlings by planting seeds in peat tablets. Soak them first. Experienced flower growers recommend keeping the seeds for about a day in a stimulating solution (Zircon or Epin).
Peat tablets should also be soaked. To do this, they are placed in boiling water, holding in it until they cool completely. Then one seed is buried in each such tablet and the crops are placed in a film shelter.
Crops must be provided with high-quality care and a long daylight hours of at least 16 hours. For this, crops should be highlighted. It is important to maintain a sufficient moisture level when growing seedlings. After a few days, the film or glass should be removed. To take care, and in particular to feed the seedlings, should be started after the appearance of the first pair of true leaves. Complex fertilizers can be used to feed young plants.
You can also sow Calibrachoa seeds in soil mixtures, using special boxes or containers for growing. At the same time, the seeds are placed on the surface of the soil. Sowing is done quite tightly, at the rate of 50-70 seeds per 1 m2 sown area.
How to plant calibrachoa
Calibrachoa can be grown outdoors - in flower beds and flower beds, as well as indoors, using containers, pots, flowerpots, baskets and pots. Flowering bushes look most impressive in suspended structures. Caring for such plantings is quite simple.
Attention! Not the best place to grow Kalibrachoa shrubs is the open balconies on the upper floors of high-rise buildings. Strong gusts of wind can cause irreparable harm to flowering plants - disheveled and even tear fragile stems and flower petals.
When to plant calibrachoa
Calibrachoa is very fond of warmth, therefore, it is recommended to plant bushes in open ground in spring, in mid-late May, when the threat of return frosts has passed. The air outside should warm up well, at least to 23 ° C. Seeds, for seedlings, are recommended to be sown in winter, in January.
How much to plant calibrachoa
One Calibrachoa bush that has reached a large size needs free space. The volume of capacity required for planting is calculated by the number of planted specimens. One seedling requires 1 to 2 liters of fertile soil. Adult bushes need at least 3 liters of land.
Soil preparation for planting
Calibrachoa soil needs nutritious, therefore, when planting bushes, it is necessary to add humus or compost to it. Also, the soil should be as light as possible, preferably with a lot of baking powder. The optimum is a mixture of leaf and sod land, sand, peat and humus.
Step-by-step process of preparing the soil for planting:
- Sift the earth through a sieve, thereby giving it a loose structure.
- Sand is added - 25-30% of the total mass of the soil.
- A baking powder (for example, Agroperlite) is mixed in - 30% of the total mass of the substrate.
- Water abundantly.
- Transfer the prepared soil to the planting container, pressing slightly to prevent possible sagging of the roots.
How many pieces of calibrachoa to plant in pots
Only one calibrachoa bush should be planted in each flowerpot or pots. If you plan to get a chic spherical Calibrachoa, then 7 plants can be planted in a flowerpot with a diameter of about 35 cm.
How to care for calibrachoa
When growing Calibrachoa, it is important to provide the flowers with complete and proper care. Their comfortable development and lush flowering directly depends on the timely implementation of such agrotechnical measures:
- top dressing.
Watering and feeding
Calibrachoa responds well to a care event such as spraying. Therefore, it is recommended to carry out water procedures for growing a flower daily. Watering is also necessary regularly, but at the same time it should be moderate. It is carried out under the root of the plant, 1-2 times a week. In the summer, in very hot times, the plants should be watered a little more often, but the portions of water should be small. The soil should be moist, but not excessively moist, as this can provoke rotting of the root system.
Advice! Cultivation in the hot summer period involves regular spraying of Calibrachoa bushes. It must be carried out as often as possible, from 2 to 4 times a day. It is important that after irrigation the bushes are not in direct sunlight.
It is difficult to imagine complete care without top dressing. It is recommended to carry them out with mineral and organic fertilizers, alternating them every 7 days. It is not recommended to feed Calibrachoa with manure, as it provokes the occurrence of fungal diseases that affect the root system. Feeding can be carried out on the sheet and at the root. If you are lagging behind in growth, you can feed the plants with stimulating solutions. Nitrogen fertilizers will promote the growth of stems, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers will promote bud formation.
How to properly form calibrachoa
Calibrachoa bushes need to be pruned and pinched regularly. It is also important to carry out care by promptly removing wilted buds. Thus, it is possible not only to improve the appearance of the flower, but also to significantly extend the flowering period.
The first pinching is performed when growing seedlings, in order to stimulate the growth of side shoots. Pruning begins as soon as Calibrachoa ends its first flowering period. After wilting, all peduncles are cut off. Such care provides the plant with additional strength for the formation of young shoots, as well as new buds.
Growing and caring for Calibrachoa (photo) involves a procedure such as rejuvenating the bush. To this end, in the middle of summer, it is recommended to cut all its stems in half. Thanks to this, the Calibrachoa bush will become much more lush. The number of peduncles will also increase significantly.
Rooted cuttings of Calibrachoa should be transplanted after 14 days. The tops of young bushes must be pinched. Rooting of Kalibrachoa bushes in a permanent place is carried out after 1.5 months. Good care for transplanted seedlings is just as important as for mature plants. Seedlings in open ground are moved at the end of spring.
Calibrachoa can be stored during the winter period. In the cold period, the faded plant needs rest. Therefore, in the fall, flowerpots with flowers should be brought into a cool room, where they should be stored until spring. The optimum air temperature for wintering bushes is 5-10 ° C. At the same time, it is important to minimize maintenance activities such as watering and feeding.
With the onset of spring, it will be possible to cut off the tops from the grown bushes and root them again. Thus, it is possible to keep your favorite Calibrachoa varieties year after year.
How to propagate calibrachoa
Reproduction of Calibrachoa can be done in two ways:
- Vegetative (cuttings).
Cutting is considered the simplest and most effective propagation method, which allows you to get young bushes with characteristics that are fully consistent with the parent plant. Cuttings are prepared in late summer or early autumn. To do this, cut off the apical branches from the mother bush, 4-5 cm long. A prerequisite is the presence of 5-6 leaves on the cuttings, but only two upper leaves should be left. The prepared branches are immediately planted in the ground. The distance between the cuttings should be at least 2 cm. The containers are placed in a warm and sunny place, equipped with a mini-greenhouse. The cuttings should be periodically ventilated and watered, avoiding waterlogging.
Growing calibrachoa from seeds is not practiced by flower growers very often. Due to the fact that this procedure is quite laborious. And it is not always possible to obtain high-quality planting material.
Diseases and pests
Calibrachoa is distinguished by a fairly high resistance to the occurrence of diseases and pests when grown, both in the house and in the open air. But violation of the rules of care can lead to the occurrence of such diseases:
When the first signs of the disease appear, the Calibrachoa bushes should be treated with fungicides. Also, these drugs can be used to prevent the development of diseases.
The following pests can pose a threat to weakened Kalibrachoa bushes:
To combat harmful insects, insecticides such as Fitoverm and Actellik can be used.
What colors does calibrachoa match?
With proper care, the Calibrachoa flower feels comfortable and looks great both in single and in group plantings. It can perfectly coexist in hanging containers with other plants of contrasting shades. The variety is harmoniously combined when grown together with such garden crops as verbena, ivy, lobelia, pelargonium.
Advice! You can, for example, plant a beautiful pot of calibrachoa, balsam and fuchsia, or combine calibrohoa with sweet peas and chlorophytum.
When growing Calibrachoa in the open field, you can create a gorgeous flower garden by choosing the following garden plants as companions:
- perennial geranium;
- evergreen angelonia;
- decorative nettle;
- decorative sedge;
Caring for and growing for calibrachoa is not difficult at all. This is evidenced by numerous reviews of gardeners who love these ampelous plants for their incredible beauty and unpretentious care. The cultivation of this flower helps to show creative imagination and creativity to the maximum, turning any corner of the personal plot, terrace or city balcony into a beautiful floral oasis.
Reviews about the cultivation and care of calibrachoa
Tatiana, 45 years old
I think Calibrachoa is the best plant for a flower bed and a flower garden. It pleases with its lush flowering, which lasts almost the entire summer season. The flower is completely unpretentious to care for, does not need frequent watering. I grow Calibrachoa outdoors as I live in a private house. Many of my city friends practice growing a flower on balconies and window sills, and are also very happy with the result. I recommend Calibrachoa to everyone.
Olga, 38 years old
I love Calibrachoa very much. I like this flower more than petunia. And everyone who at least once sees this waterfall of miniature flowers, I am also sure, will not remain indifferent. Plant this miracle in your flower bed and admire the mesmerizing flowering all summer. I will tell you right away that care for these flowers is minimal. The only condition is timely watering. Also, do not forget to periodically remove wilted flower stalks, shape and pinch bushes. I feed my flowers with a complex mineral fertilizer, according to the manufacturer's recommendations. That is, in principle, all the care that is necessary when growing Calibrachoa.
Olga, 50 years old
Calibrachoa is just a riot of colors. A wide selection of varieties of a wide variety of shades: purple, pink, scarlet, blue, and yellow. Yes, you can't list all of them. I love to look at this cascading flowering waterfall. I often catch the glances of passers-by on my balcony. A truly mesmerizing sight. Growing Calibrachoa is my favorite hobby, and caring for it is just a joy.