Plant of the Day (POD) – Strawberry Punch Calibrachoa

Today’s plant of the day is Strawberry Punch Calibrachoa

Strawberry Punch Calibrachoa

Strawberry Punch Calibrachoa is a relative of the Petunia, keeping the beauty of its cousin while losing some of the less desirable traits. Strawberry Punch is hardier and perks right back up after the rain, while also forgoing the sticky stems and steady growth even when stressed. Calibrachoa will flower from spring until right before the frost, one of the longest blooming seasons for an annual. Lastly, the bright color and pleasant fragrance will attract hummingbirds into your garden!

Growth:

Strawberry Punch Calibrachoa is a very small and compact plant, growing up to 10 inches in height. They prefer to be well watered but only when the top 2″ of soil have dried, otherwise you can cause root rot and kill the plant. Calibrachoa grows best in raised beds and planters with drainage and will need care for in ground planting due to the threat of root rot. If you would like to, trim back the foliage shortly before planting to stimulate growth and create a fuller plant.

Maintenance:

Unlike Petunias you don’t have to deadhead or pinch back our foliage. To optimize growth and blooms, use a liquid organic fertilizer once  a month to supplement nutrients. You can tell if you have a root rot problem if the plant is wilting even though it is being watered. Additionally, dont be afraid to give your Strawberry Punch Calibrachoa a hair cut late in the summer, late July or early August to create a compact manicured aesthetic. One last tip, if you are using fertilizer and the plant begins to yellow, this can be due to a high or low PH in the soil. You can ammend this problem by using Chelated Iron to adjust the PH level as necessary. Chelated iron is widely available at gardening stores and comes in different levels for adjusting PH up or down. If you are not using fertilizer and the Strawberry Punch Calibrachoa is yellowing, this may be due to a lack of nutrients in the soil and you should just apply a water soluble fertilizer to the soil.

Cool Fact: Strawberry Punch Calibrachoa is part of a flower group called the “Super Bells”

Alex

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