In the past two years, Superbells Calibrachoa ‘Cherry Star’ and Calibrachoa ‘Lemon Slice’ have changed our understanding of what color patterns are possible in calibrachoa. The breeding programs that generate the Superbells collection have always focused on innovative colors, and over the past few years, have developed some amazing mutations in color form.
For a breeder, mutation can be a great way to move groundbreaking breeding forward. They can offer shortcuts to new combinations, increasing disease resistance, overall performance and many other advances.
It is mutations of tissue layers within the flower that give ‘Cherry Star’ and ‘Lemon Slice’ a completely new look for the genus. While a muted star pattern has been on the market for a while, these new color patterns are sharp, distinct and heat-stable, resulting in colors that won’t fade as the summer heats up.
Innovation Sparks More Innovation
What is the value of innovative color forms? That is a question that almost everyone will answer differently. One plant breeder will tell you that innovation sets the bar and stimulates new breeding throughout the industry.
Other plant breeders see what is possible and make their own innovations. In the end, innovative breeding stimulates all levels of our industry, as well as improving the success of the consumers who ultimately enjoy the plants the longest.
All Superbells, including ‘Lemon Slice’ and ‘Cherry Star,’ have been trialed for resistance to major root pathogens. They have also been evaluated at trial sites around the world to determine outstanding garden performance, all before being released on the market.
They require full sun and a well-drained potting mix with a pH of 5.5 to 5.8. Constant feed of between 150 to 200 parts per million with balanced fertilizer is adequate during production. For the grower, both are easy to produce in small containers with an upright mounding habit and work nicely in combinations.
For the home gardener,’Lemon Slice’ and ‘Cherry Star’ provide a unique standout color, and a tough durable plant, that they can ask for by name. For most parts of the country, Superbells do best in containers and baskets that provide well-drained soil.