When Proven Winners sent me some Superbells® Holy Moly!™ Calibrachoa hybrids to trial last spring (2015), my first thought upon opening the crate filled with potted plants was “Wow! These are well named.” With bright yellow petals covered in splashes of neon pink, the flowers practically glowed. In a container planting, these plants need to be the stars of the show. Adding a ‘thriller’ and some ‘fillers’ might be just too much. So I skipped both in this recipe and opted for two other types of trailing ‘spiller’ plants. The result let the calibrachoas shine while the overall effect was lush rather than bright and busy. The bonus in this container recipe is that it’s fast growing–just what you need when you want a large container planting that looks nonchalant and you want it now, now, NOW!
- A: Lava Rose coleus (Solenostemon hybrid)
- B: Superbells® Holy Moly!™ (Calibrachoa hybrid) – New for Canada in 2016
- C: Heartleaf ice plant (Aptenia cordifolia)
Although all three plants are heat tolerant and thrive in full sun (calibrachoa hybrids can be particularly good at delivering super colours even when temps sizzle), you can get away with this container recipe in spots that are in shade for part of the day. My container was positioned against a wall facing southeast, putting it in shade by around three in the afternoon.
Some things to keep in mind with this plant combo:
- Superbells® Holy Moly!™ actually has more to offer than eye-catching two-tone blossoms. The plants are specifically screened for resistance to Thielaviopsis root rot. The literature that came with these plants touted them as delivering “masses of colour throughout the season” and I wasn’t disappointed.
- Heartleaf ice plant is a native of South Africa and can tolerate dry soil conditions. In fact, too much moisture and a poorly draining pot can contribute to root rot in these plants. The flowers open in the sun and close up at night. They’ll stay closed on cloudy days. Be very careful with this plant if you live in California where it’s considered an invasive with the status of “wildland weed red alert”.
- Root rot can be a problem in container plantings and even if you choose plants that are screened for resistance to it, good drainage is always important. For this combo, let the top of the soil go dry between waterings.
Try this trailing spiller combo and let me know if you can find a faster growing container recipe!