A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 74 – Calibrachoa

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“Calibrachoa” – Summer 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

I don’t often say I hate a plant… But I can honestly say I am not a fan of calibrachoa… I swear when you see it at the nursery in the spring… It is in full bloom… A lot of money has been spent breeding this plant into the multitude of colors currently available… I guess that money has to be made back somehow…

I would be willing to bet a lot of people believe these to be dwarf petunias… After all they are commonly labeled “Mini Petunia” or “Mini-Tunia”… This couldn’t be further from the truth… In my own personal experiences this plant shares none of the same characteristics as Petunias… Where a Petunia is pretty bug resistant… Calibrachoa is one of the first plants eaten… Petunias bloom year-round… While Calibrachoa has a small window at the end of the season…

That is sort of the kick in the ass about this plant… It is really an autumn-bloomer… But when you buy it in the store it is often in full bloom regardless of the season… This is just one trick nurseries often use to get us to buy plants that we would not even notice…

Plants that bloom during a specific time of the year are triggered to do so by the sun… Throughout the course of the year the hours of sunlight we experience is constantly changing,,, For many Autumn blooming flowers this is triggered by the shortening hours of daylight… This trait is called photosensitivity and is a trait shared by many plants… All the nurseryman needs to do to get late-blooming flowers to open is modify the hours of available light in the greenhouse… For many temperate climate plants the magic number is 12 hours on and 12 hours off…

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“First Snowfall on Lilac” – Fall 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

The one redeeming quality of Calibrachoa is the little fact that it blooms well beyond the first snowfall… In fact… It takes a relatively hard freeze to kill it… In its native range of South America it is a tender perennial… Some might even consider it a tender evergreen… Either way… If you do decide to plant it… Which I won’t be doing again… You will at least have something to photograph well after the first snowfall…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calibrachoa

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

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