Miniature petunias are really Calibrachoa; also known as the million bells. Let’s be serious though don’t they look like mini petunias? They caught my attention last summer while browsing the nursery and I simply couldn’t resist incorporating a couple 4 inch plants.
Calibrachoa is an annual that blooms during the late spring, summer and fall seasons. If you place them in your greenhouse or indoors prior to the first freeze you can easily care for them during the winter and enjoy once again the following planting season.
I brought my plants indoors last fall and they grew back twice the size in the spring.
These plants grow good in full sun and I noticed last summer a little shade was a bonus. Their growth exploded when I placed them in an area where both conditions were available.
Another bonus is they’re perfect for container planting; because of this it’s easy to find the right type of lighting for maximum growth. Make sure to provide planters with good drainage as they can root rot from over watering.
They come in a variety of colors, the most common are red, purple, white, pink, and orange. I recently saw pale yellow in a hanging basket; they were so pretty. Have you noticed additional color varieties at the nursery?
Similar to petunias the calibrachoa has a sprawling grow out and trails beautifully. Their flowers can be two toned and sometimes deeper colored towards the center and fading as they reach outward.
Originally they were discovered in South America in the 19th century. This was around the same time petunias were recognized. Can you imagine seeing forest areas where these grow naturally? That would be neat!
Plant care is pretty easy, water before the soil dries out and don’t forget they’re prone to root rot. Fertilize in the middle of summer, this will increase growth for additional lush flowers and beautiful green foliage.
Trim off any dried stems and if you plan to house through winter indoors cut the plant back to the base and water when needed. They will go doormat indoors and watering shouldn’t be needed as often.
These fancy plants names are impressive but I still like calling the Calibrachoa a miniature petunia.