Colorful & Durable Calibrachoas
I have highlighted many calibrachoa introductions in my previous articles for their unique flower patterns and summer performance. The current plethora of calibrachoa varieties offers a multitude of patterns, colors and plant habits. The attributes include daylength neutrality, heat tolerance, flower stability and floriferousness. We now have multiple series, collections and standalone varieties from a multitude of flower breeders that provide application in bench-run production programs, multiple container sizes, combinations and basket programs.
The varieties I am highlighting in this article include current and new calibrachoas and were entered in many of the trials I visited in August and September last year. My main focus was varieties that demonstrated bright, vivacious and impactful colors and, most importantly, durability and prolific flowering throughout the summer trial season. It is axiomatic that we will continue to see breeder developments in color patterns, increased flower size, disease resistance, plant habits, daylength neutrality and improved summer performance.
1. ‘Bumble Bee Hot Pink’
The calibrachoa Bumble Bee series — comprising Blue, Pink, Orange and the new Hot Pink for 2022 — offers a distinctive star-shaped pattern, vibrancy, durability and a densely branched trailing habit. Pink and Blue were formerly part of the Can Can series, which was discontinued in 2020. This new series is differentiated by ostentatious and colorful new patterns resulting in outstanding retail appeal.
‘Bumble Bee Hot Pink’ (pictured at top) was in multiple trials, and was a standout with its conspicuous yellow star-shaped throat and bright pink petals. It was in beds, containers and baskets, and I was impressed by its consistency, color stability, uniformity, floriferousness and durability in the southern trials in early April in Florida and later in August and September in North Carolina and northern trials. This series has production application in quarts, hanging baskets and combinations. The accompanying photo was taken in the container trial at Metrolina in early August, and it was one of the most eye-popping calibrachoa varieties in the trial.
2. ‘Rainbow Tiger Tail’
Dümmen Orange continues the recent development and introduction of polychromatic and iridescent calibrachoas with the new Rainbow series. There are seven multicolored varieties available for 2022: Bermuda Blue, Calypso Coral, Flamingo Flair, Orange Oasis, Parisian Pink, Pink Pepperberry and Tiger Tail.
All the varieties were well represented in trial sites throughout the country last summer. The flower colors are impacted by the interplay of light, humidity, temperature, and day length as you would expect in different regions. I highlighted the unique color pattern of Parisian Pink in my Costa trial article last summer, and all of the varieties manifested sharp contrasting multicolored flowers in the trials. Tiger Tail was one of my favorites with its hot, vibrant petals with orange tones. This is a vigorous, early-flowering series with application in mixed containers and baskets. The timing of the series is consistent with the Hula and Aloha Classics. The photograph was taken at the Plantpeddler trial in mid August.
3. ‘Chameleon Blackberry Pie’
The calibrachoa varieties I have focused on in this article were grown in containers, baskets or beds at multiple trials. ‘Chameleon Blackberry Pie’ was one of my favorites because of its distinctive color combination of plum and purple petals, white stripes and a yellow throat. In the trial beds at Metrolina, where this photo was taken in early August, it manifested superior heat tolerance, exceptional flower stability with minimal color fading, and a floriferous flower canopy. Blackberry Pie also received a superior rating in the calibrachoa basket trial at Raker- Roberta’s the first week of September.
4. ‘Superbells Double Lemon Chiffon’
Proven Winners offers seven varieties in the Superbells Double series. They are impressive with stable colors, fully double flowers, floriferousness and exceptional heat tolerance. Double Chiffon was introduced in 2019 and is an incredibly weather tolerant and prolific flowering variety. This was a top performer in the monocultural basket trial at the Dallas Arboretum in late July and at the Raker-Roberta’s trial in early September. It manifested brightness, floriferousness, minimal spent flowers and a colorful canopy. This variety is rarely used as a single component in containers or baskets but offers exceptional value in mixed containers and baskets. It is an important component and works well in a wide ranging color palette. Adding lighter or darker accents creates balance and visual impact. The accompanying photo was taken at the Raker- Roberta’s trial.
5. ‘Ombré Pink’
We continue to see the development, trialing and introduction of multicolored, chameleon-type flowers to the calibrachoa genera. Danziger augmented this class with the Ombré series, introduced in 2021. There are four varieties in the series: Blue, Blush, Yellow and Pink, which I have highlighted in the article. Ombré Pink, pictured here in the Raker-Roberta’s trial, was outstanding the first week of September with a mounded habit, dense foliage, large flowers, a prolific flower canopy and excellent heat tolerance. The pastel yellow flowers with pink blush petals were eye-popping. The color pigmentation in this series, as with other multicolored calibrachoa varieties, is impacted by regional environmental conditions.
6. ‘Tik Tok Blue’
The flower patterns in calibrachoa continue to become more eye-catching and diverse with multiple breeders introducing stand alone colors and series. Dümmen Orange offers eight series of calibrachoa including the Tik Tok series — comprising four varieties — which offers one of the most intense starburst patterns in the market. The flowers are large, the colors are stable, and all the varieties manifested excellent heat tolerance in trials last summer. It is a vigorous series recommended for mixed containers and baskets. The photograph is from the Colorado State trial in mid September.
7. ‘Cabaret Good Night Kiss’
I highlighted the eye-catching flowers and excellent performance of Good Night Kiss in the Costa trial in 2020, and it was entered in multiple sites again last year. It was recognized as a top performer in the Colorado State trial and was one of the most prolific flowering calibrachoas in the Mast Young Plants and Raker-Roberta’s trial. The flowers are attention grabbers with distinct dark centers, yellow throats and deep pink to purple outer petals. This variety matches the Cabaret series with a mounded habit and dense foliage and is applicable in containers and basket programs. The photo is from the Mast trial on the first day of September.
8. ‘Cabrio Amethyst’
The Cabrio series is composed of eight colors that offer daylength neutrality and a uniform and mounded habit. I was impressed last summer with the color saturation and richness of the petals of ‘Cabrio Amethyst’ in multiple regional trials. The flower color was stable, the flower canopy was prolific, and
it manifested excellent heat tolerance in the Metrolina trial in early August and the Raker- Roberta’s calibrachoa basket trial the first week of September, where the accompanying photo was taken. This is an important complementary and analogous color in many early season Kwik Kombos. The entire series has been a strong performer in trials and spring programs. ‘Cabrio Eclipse Light Rose’ will be introduced for 2023.
9. ‘Candy Shop Milky Pink’
Westhoff offers the largest selection of multicolored, fluorescent, brushwork patterned calibrachoas in the industry. This color variability trait provides high ornamental value for the Calitastic, Caliplosion, Chameleon and Candy Shop series. The transitional flower colors provide the grower with diverse color mixes for creating exciting designer combinations in baskets or mixed containers. ‘Candy Shop Milky Pink’ is one of 10 varieties in the series, which includes four new varieties for 2022. This current variety demonstrated the unique brushwork flower pattern, polychromatic colors, semi-trailing habit, and prolific flowering we expect from this series. There were many Candy Shop varieties in the summer trials, and Milky Pink, pictured here in the Plantpeddler trial, was one of my favorites because of its bright pink petals, white stripes, yellow throat and its prolific flower canopy.
10. ‘Eyeconic Cherry Blossom’
Danziger offers five series of calibrachoa, and the Eyeconics offer a series with a stunning multicolored pattern and a distinctive eye. ‘Eyeconic Purple’ was introduced initially, followed by Compact Sunset and three varieties for 2022: Pink, Peach and Cherry Blossom, which I have highlighted in the article. Cherry Blossom was in multiple trials and manifested vibrant and striking flower color at the Plantpeddler trial where the accompanying photo was taken. It was a standout with its yellow throat, cherry eye center and light pink blush petals. The series has great application in mixed baskets and combinations. ‘Eyeconic Apricot’ will be introduced for 2023.
11. ‘Minifamous Uno Double White+Pink Whirl’
The Uno series offers a diverse selection of core colors, doubles and stars. This is a medium to compact series with applicability in quarts, combinations and baskets. I selected this variety based on its large double flowers, contrasting white petals with pink centers, and cascading habit. The reflective quality of white enhances the pink fleck and creates a classic color combination. The Uno and the more vigorous Neo series offer the largest selection of double calibrachoas in the industry. I highlighted the uniqueness and performance of Uno Double PinkTastic, a FleuroStar winner, when it was introduced. Selecta One considers Double White+Pink Whirl the sister to this variety with similar flower size, vigor, habit and whirl pattern. There are 10 diverse double varieties in the Uno series. The photo is from the Plantpeddler trial in early August.
12. ‘Chameleon Atomic Orange’
This article would be incomplete without mention of the Chameleon series that introduced the horticultural world to calibrachoas with transitional multicolored petals. This series offers over 18 varieties and three mixes for 2022. The range of colors is extraordinary and offers the grower and consumer a creative color palette for quarts, mixed containers and baskets. When I visit garden centers in the spring season I am impressed with the creative combinations that growers offer that incorporate many of the varieties in this series.
The Chameleon series has been well represented in trials since its introduction to demonstrate the color range, floriferousness and summer performance. I chose Atomic Orange to highlight because of its vibrancy, excitement and color association with summer heat. The flowers with orange shades and yellow centers were striking, manifested a prolific flower canopy, and demonstrated excellent heat tolerance. The accompanying photograph was from the Plantpeddler trial in early August.