Garden Plant of the Month for April: Million Bells
If you’re looking to add an instant touch of summer to your garden or terrace in April, the colourful Million Bells is an amazing garden bloomer. The trumpet-shaped flowers resemble those of the petunia, but are a bit smaller.
The Million Bells (Calibrachoa) is ideal for hanging baskets, window boxes and pots, and it also does very well in borders amongst groundcover. Wherever you place the Garden Plant of the Month for April, the colourful trumpets perform a summer samba and it will last well into the autumn!
The Mexican Antonio de Caly Bracho was the first person to describe the plant in the 18th century and that’s why the botanical name is Calibrachoa, though in Europe we just call it the Mini Petunia. The plant is common in South America, where it is native to a region stretching from southern Brazil to Peru and Chile. There are some 30 species, in colours such as red, orange, yellow, pink, white and deep purple. The Million Bells bloom for just one season, but does so for an incredibly long time: from April until October. Not only is it lovely to look at, but it’s also good news for butterflies and honeybees who like to come and feed on the nectar.
If you think that the Million Bells is going to be demanding, fear not! Wilted flowers drop off of their own accord and new flowers take their place automatically. Ideally, the Million Bells should be placed in a sunny spot to produce the most flowers. Then it’s only a question of regular watering so that the soil doesn’t dry out. If you treat the plant to some plant food once a fortnight, you will be rewarded with extra-profuse and lengthy flowering.
More information about the Million bells and other garden plants can be found at Thejoyofplants.co.uk.
Published on: 7 April 2016