Scientific: Calibrachoa hybrids
Common: million bells
Family: Solanaceae
Origin: South America, primarily Brazil

Pronounciation: ca-libra-KO-a

Hardiness zones:
Sunset All (depending on use)
USDA All (depending on use)

Landscape Use: Mesic and oasis landscape design settings, cool season annual in Phoenix, strong floral accent, delicate planter beds close to human traffic, patio containers, hanging baskets, window boxes, raised planters.

Form & Character: Low mounding and spreading, trailing, tropical, festive, bright, a real attention hog.

Growth Habit: Evergreen, short-lived perennials that grow as winter cool season annuals in Phoenix. Two to 3 feet in diameter, no more than 18 inches tall.

Foliage/texture: Greenish, slightly pubescent and viscid, oblong to nearly lanceolate, tender to 1 inch long, nearly sessile, slightly aromatic; medium texture.

Flowers & fruits: Fused petals (stamens supressed within calyx), many colors and series available. Because these are hybrids they produce little to no viable fruits.

Seasonal color: A myriad of flower colors are available, all of which are spectacular giving this wonderful plants proclivity to flower like crazy.

Temperature: Tolerant to 28oF (light frost); suffers when temperature exceeds 105oF. This means that it's "game over" time starting in May through October.

Light: Full sun to partial shade.

Soil: Well drained, light and porous soil is best, but will tolerate most any soil conditions. Adding organic matter to raised planter beds will increase vigor, plus fertilize lightly as needed.

Watering: Regular irrigatons if winter rains are inconsistent.....a real issue in the desert Southwest.

Pruning: Little to none, only sometimes heading back (or pinching back) to control shape as the growing situations warrant.

Propagation: Mostly clonal, asexual propagation techniques to preserve phenology. Easy, like petunia, to vegetatively propagate by softwood cutting. Most selections sold today are patented.

Disease and pests: None that are significant if cultured right. Excessively damp soils can lead to root rot diseases.

Additional comments: These are small petunias on steroids!! Easy to care for. Not demanding. Will attract hummingbirds. Million bells are wonderful, cool season annuals for Phoenix landscapes.

There are currently 28 recognized species of Calibrachoa. The million bells that are cultivated and sold today are typically a mixture of several Calibrachoa species that have been hybridized and screened for expressed phenotypic traits such as unique flower color. Calibrachoa was named by Vicente Cervantes after Antonio de la Cal y Bracho, a 19th-century Mexican botanist and pharmacologist (source Wikipedia).

Petchoa is a hybrid genus derived from crossing the genetically similar Calibrachoa and Petunia.