If you like petunias then you will adore these little trailing gems. They are highly floriferous, with bright single-tone or multi-tonal patterned blooms. Similar to petunias but smaller and more delicate. A very popular trailing plant for hanging baskets or container displays.
Family: Solanaceae (nightshade)
Botanical Name: Calibrachoa
Common Names: Million Bells, mini petunia
Foliage: Mid-green, oval leaves. Deciduous.
Flowers: Small (2-3cm) trumpet-shaped flowers. single or double forms available.
Flowering Period: Free-flowering, up until first frosts. Wide range of colours and patterns available.
Soil: Moist but well-drained, fertile soil.
Conditions: Best in full sun. Grow in a west or south facing aspect, in a sheltered possition.
Habit: Compact trailing.
Type: Tender perennial, usually grown in the UK as a half-hardy annual.
Origin: South America
Hardiness: Tender in most of the UK, protect from frost.
Plant in a well drained soil, in a sunny but sheltered position.
Usually grown in hanging baskets,
pots and containers. Where they can be grown individually
or as part of a mixed display. Also suitable as low
growing edging plants or for walls and raised borders,
where they can be allowed to spread-out and trail down.
Water well in dry spells and protect from frost.
No need to dead-head.
Generally pest and disease free
Take 6-inch (15 cm) long tip cuttings (softwood) of greenhouse grown plants in the early spring and root in a misted propagator. Alternatively sow seeds thinly in trays undercover. Do not cover seeds as they require light to germinate. Keep moist and germinate at around 20-25°C (75°F).
Pot-on and hardened off before planting out, after all risk of frost has passed.
There are several varieties available from garden centres and online growers, usually as pot grown or plug plants. Average height: 4 to 8in (10-20cm).
'Mini Famous PinkTastic' has double bicolour rosebud blooms in pink and white. Available from Thompson and Morgan.
Minitunia 'Kabloom Mixed' has wide mix of colours and tones. Available from Thompson and Morgan.
'Cabaret Collection' in a range of bright colours. Available from Brookside Nursery.
'Carnival Mix' in a vivid colour range. Available from Suttons.