Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Cherry Star’ is new from Proven Winners for the 2011-2012 season. This calibrachoa has a great upright, mounding habit with medium to medium-high vigor. The rich cherry color of the flower petals is dissected by a bright golden star that runs from the petal’s edge to the center of the flower’s throat. This distinct star pattern is very stable throughout the growing season.
As with all Superbells, the quality of the liners and the resistance to fungal diseases makes this series relatively easy to grow. There are, however, seven steps to follow to produce a great crop:
The 7 Steps
- Calibrachoa, in general, is sensitive to pythium, phytophthora and thielaviopsis. Superbells have a higher level of tolerance to these diseases than other calibrachoas on the market. It is always wise to drench with a broad-spectrum fungicide shortly after planting, use sterile growing medium and start on a clean, disinfected bench.
- The largest cultural issue with this crop is maintaining a constant pH level between 5.5 and 5.8.
- Use a balanced liquid feed at 150 to 200 ppm nitrogen with a full assortment of minor elements. All calibrachoas seem to require slightly more iron than other crops. This calls for an adjustment in your feed program to include iron at 1 to 2 ppm.
- Water just enough to keep plants moist, and be especially careful in the early season not to overwater the crop. This is even more important when Cherry Star is in the crucial rooting phase of production, or when the crop has just recently been pruned and shaped.
- Grow in a well-lit area to best control stem stretch, as well as to create a denser canopy and increase flowering for containers 6 inches and smaller.
- A pinch is required at transplanting only. For hanging baskets and containers larger than 6 inches, give a soft pinch at planting and trim around the container just prior to hanging.
- To produce the best containers, it is necessary during certain times of the year to augment your cultural schedule with the application of plant growth regulators. A good starting point for Superbells Cherry Star is to apply 4 to 8 ppm Sumagic, or a B-9/Cycocel (2,500/750) tank mix at the point of basket hang or four weeks after transplant. Applying 500 ppm Florel will promote branching, but expect it to delay flowering, if only slightly.
Learn more about Cherry Star from Proven Winners’ Rick Schoellhorn in the video below.