20
December
2011

New Superbell® Calibrachoas

superbellssweettartWe will have two new Superbell® Calibrachoas this season—both bi-colors with yellow throats.

‘Superbells® Cherry Star’

‘Superbells® Sweet Tart’

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‘Cherry Star’ is a strong red with a tight yellow throat. Five yellow stripes radiate out from the throat, forming a thin-armed star in the center of the flower. It is a bold red with yellow accents that should work well in combinations because you can play off the colors very easily.

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‘Sweet Tart’ is a pink cousin of ‘Cherry Star’ with a big yellow throat. It displays a softer blending of the colors that lends plenty of yellows and pinks to a basket or container. We’ve seen it at trials, and we grew some samples last year that did pretty well. Sometimes the new introductions are not stellar, but this one looks like a solid performer.

Both colors should offer the usual Superbells® performance and habit that we expect from the series. Genetically this is good, because we like to grow the plant; honestly though, we have mixed feelings toward the Superbells® series in the independent channel. Orders for the series have gone into decline, especially for the standard colors that buyers can find from other series, such as Mini-Famous.

We don’t think the issue lies with the Superbells® material, per se; we see it more as a marketing problem. Since the Home Depot deal was struck, Superbells® have become the “box store Calibrachoas” and we have seen buyers looking for alternatives ever since. For the standard colors, Superbells are good—but so are a lot of other series. It’s in the unusual offerings that Superbells® still maintains an edge for independents, because the box stores simply don’t know how to sell the unique varieties.

That’s how we see these two new Superbells®: edgy and different. They offer a look that will stand out in a garden center and cultivars that won’t show up in a chain store because they are not the typical, standard varieties.

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