In the Garden: Calibrachoa spring preview

Published: Feb. 21, 2020 at 4:18 PM EST
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It has been very cold lately, but spring is on the way and it's time to start planning our gardens.

Last summer, gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi and Sharon went to Pleasant View Gardens in Loudon, New Hampshire, where they display new varieties of plants that will be available for the first time, including some bright new Calibrachoas, one of the most popular plants for growing outdoors in containers.

Sharon: These are gorgeous! And every time I think I've seen the most spectacular superbell possible, somebody creates a new one!

Charlie: There's always a new Calibrachoa out there!

Sharon: And they are more beautiful than the last ones!

Charlie: And people know these from garden centers because they've been around for years, but like you said, new ones are always coming out.

Sharon: And they're easy!

Charlie: They're easy to grow and even though you can grow them in the ground, they really shine when you grow them elevated in a hanging basket, or in a window box. Any place where they can cascade out.

So the newest thing are the doubles. There are a whole bunch of new ones. This is a double "Loveswept." This is a double that has a little white edging on it around the pink flowers. There's a "Double Amber," which is kind of a nice, soft color. "Double Blue." For a little deeper color, try "Double Red." You get the idea. The doubles go on and on, and there's even a light-colored "Double Chiffon" which I really kind of like because there is just a little hint of color to it.

Sharon: It does.

Charlie: But then there are other ones that are really nice. There is the "Star" series. There is the "Rising Star," there's the "Evening Star," there are a number of different stars and these all have a little bit of a different star shape center to the flower.

And of course, as you go through, you'll start seeing some of the ones you might be recognizing from before, like the "Slice series" such as "Lemon Slice."

Sharon: I know I love that one.

Charlie: It's one of my favorites. But they have a new series out called the "Holy" series! There's "Holy Smokes," "Holy Cow" and "Holy Moly!" So you can see those are kind of splashed with color, which is kind of fun.

So you can really see that they’ve been playing around with the colors, but the thing about the Calibrachoas, the superbells, is if you treat them well, if you water them well, fertilize them regularly, like every time you water them, they are going to look like this. And they’ll look like this all through the season. And if they get a little ratty, don’t be afraid to cut them back because they’ll fill back out again, and they can look like this right up until frost.