The spectacular Calceolaria plant is grown as a beautifully flowering and ornamental deciduous plant in indoor conditions. This crop can be either a shrub or an herbaceous plant, and it is related to the Norichneumon family. Calceolaria is native to South America, where it grows in humid and warm climates. Depending on the region and variety, Calceolaria is cultivated as an annual or perennial.
In nature, the bush reaches a height of about 0.
6 m. Ornamental varieties cultivated at home are rather low (20 to 30 centimeters). This plant has flowers of an original shape, which are similar to slipper flowers. In Latin, the name Calceolaria translates as "slipper-like".
During flowering, a large number of bright flowers appear on the bush, which are highly decorative.
But before you decorate your home with this plant, you should take into account that it is quite demanding to care and growing conditions. Therefore, it is not recommended to grow it for beginners.
Calceolaria is characterized by rapid growth. In just one season, the young plant reaches the size of an adult bush. Flowering lasts from the last weeks of spring to the first weeks of fall.
This plant is classified as a perennial.
- Temperature. The indoor Calceolaria feels best in a cool environment.
- Humidity of the air. Needs high air humidity, and spraying the bush itself with a sprayer is not allowed.
- Lightness. Grows best in bright sunlight. The shrub should not be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods.
- Watering. Water regularly and in moderation.
It is harmful both to the plant if the soil becomes too dry and also if the substrate becomes stagnant. It should be loose, nutritious, well-drained and neutral.
- Fertilizer. Fertilization is done in the spring and summer period with a frequency of once every 1.5 weeks, using a mineral complex fertilizer.
- Transplanting. Transplant a recently purchased flower if the pot does not fit its size. Also, transplanting is necessary for seedlings that have grown strong.
- Propagation. By cuttings and seed.
- Care features. Cultivated indoors and outdoors as a perennial or annual.
Calceolaria home care
Calceolaria home care
As a rule, the house calceolaria flowers in May and blooms in September. However, the start and duration of flowering depends largely on when the seed is sown and also on the keeping conditions. If the plant is healthy and kept in a cool place it will look very showy and its flowers will have a pleasant fragrance.
Different species differ from each other in the color and shape of the flowers. In most species, however, the flower has a similar structure: the double-lipped corolla is decorated with two or three stamens, which are arranged in a four-membered calyx.
The lower lip is inflated and large, and the upper one is a small globular shape. Externally, the flower shape is very similar to an unusual slipper or open purse. The height of the flower stalk and the number of flowers in the inflorescence depend on the species and cultivar.
A single bush can produce 30-50 flowers. After pollination, capsules are formed with many very small seeds inside.
Propagation after purchase
If you decide to cultivate your Calceolaria shrub for one season, then the plant only needs one repotting. It is recommended to carry out this procedure immediately after purchasing the flower. Repotting will allow you to find the most suitable pot volume and to replace the substrate with a more nutritious one.
This culture is highly demanding in terms of temperature regime at home. In order for the bush to bloom lushly and for a long time, it should be kept cool throughout the year. However, for not every florist this condition is feasible. Optimal temperature conditions for calceolaria:
- in the daytime - no warmer than 20 degrees;
- at nighttime - no warmer than 15 degrees.
The minimum temperature for this plant is 16 degrees during the day and 10 degrees at night.
If it is too warm in the room, the buds will fall off and the bush will flower very quickly.
This plant needs high humidity when growing in room conditions. A humidifier or sprinkler can be used to keep it at an optimal humidity level. Remember that you can only humidify the air around the shrub. Spraying water on the plant itself is not allowed as this would damage the corolla of the flowers.
Calsiolaria should be shaded from direct sunlight as otherwise it can cause burns on the leaves and causes the flowers to fade very quickly. However, for the bush to develop and grow within the norm, it should be provided with bright diffused light and long daylight hours. During the growing season, the bush can be moved to a new location with more suitable light. It needs artificial light to flower in the fall and winter.
Make sure the potting soil mixture is moderately moist, but do not allow water to stagnate in it.
Make sure that you moisten the potting soil mixture so that no water gets on the plant. Bottom watering can be used, but don't forget to pour out the excess liquid from the tray.
To ensure increased air humidity, it is advisable to put pre-moistened clay peat, sphagnum or peat cushion in the tray. Place the selected material in a deep tray and put the container with the flower on top.
Pour calceolaria well-drained or filtered water close to room temperature.
Pot size is chosen according to the stage of flower cultivation:
- Sow the seeds in low trays or containers. They are covered from above with glass or film to create a greenhouse effect that allows the seedlings to appear faster.
- Small cups or pots that reach about 70 mm in cross-section are used for picking the mature seedlings.
- After the seedlings are 1 month old, they are transplanted into permanent pots of 0.8-1.
Pots of plastic or ceramic can be used for planting adult Calceolaria. It is important that the bottom of the container has holes for drainage.
A well-drained, loose and light substrate is used for sowing the seeds. You can, for example, use a store-bought potting soil sold at a specialized store.
Or you can prepare it yourself by combining sand and bedding peat in a ratio of 1:7. Do not forget to mix 1 kg of ready-made substrate with 15-20 grams of chalk, wood ash or dolomite flour. It is also advisable to add some crushed activated charcoal.
Adult bush is recommended to plant in a soil mixture consisting of peat, leaf mulch and sod soil, which are taken in equal proportions. In order for the substrate to pass air better, a little sand is added to it.
Remember that if you have prepared the substrate with your own hands, it is necessary to disinfect it. To do this, use a solution of manganese potassium, or place the substrate in an oven, where it is calcined at a temperature of 90 to 100 degrees.
Fertilizer in the soil mixture is made in conjunction with watering with a frequency of 1.5-2 weeks. A mineral complex for flowering plants is best for Calceolaria (follow the instructions on the package).
After transplanting the bush, do not fertilize the substrate for 15 days.
To keep the Calceolaria always neat and pretty, it is grown for one year, after which the old bush is discarded and replaced with a younger one. As a rule, only the recently purchased bush is transplanted. Also transplant seedlings or rooted cuttings into separate pots.
Transplanting is done very carefully, while trying to keep the earth clump intact.
Young plants are recommended to be transplanted at the beginning of the spring and older plants in the fall, when they have finished blooming.
Calceolaria. Transplanting seedlings. Result of transplanting.
When the Calceolaria blooms, the bush is completely cut back, then it is put away for 6-8 weeks in a shady place where it is always cool.
Water the plant at this time very sparingly and rarely. However, do not allow the substrate to dry out, as this can cause the bush to die. When the young shoots appear, the container with the flower is put in its permanent place. The second time the shrub blooms earlier than the first, but it will stretch out its stems more quickly and will lose its beautiful appearance in a relatively short time.
Growing from seed
The process of growing indoor Calceolaria from seed is rather complicated.
It usually takes 8 to 9 months. Grow the flower through seedlings.
Fill a box with soil mixture and level the surface well, then moisten it with a sprayer. Spread the seed evenly over the surface of the substrate, then press it down gently. It is not necessary to cover the seeds with soil.
Cover the seeds with a moistened cloth, and cover the container with glass or film. The optimum temperature for the emergence of seedlings - about 20 degrees, and still need high humidity. Do not forget to ventilate them in time and remove condensation from the surface of the cover.
Before transplanting seedlings into a permanent pot, they are subjected to picking at least twice. As a rule of thumb, planting into a permanent pot is done 6-8 weeks after the last picking.
The timing of sowing the seeds determines when the bushes will flower. If sown in the last days of June, the young bushes will bloom in early spring. If you sow the seeds in the last days of winter, you will not see the first bloom until fall.
"Little Slippers" decorate your garden. Calceolaria cultivation: From seed sowing to flowering
Spring cuttings are propagated in the first or last weeks of spring or summer.
Rooting of cuttings is a rather complicated process and therefore it is recommended to use growth-stimulating preparations.
The cuttings are planted in a fertile soil mixture. It will need high humidity, so be sure to cover it with a cut plastic bottle or glass jar from above. The roots will grow back in about a couple of months. During the rooting period the cuttings need heat (20 to 25 degrees), high humidity and diffused bright light.
Once the cuttings begin to grow actively, the cover should be removed. Multiple cuttings are planted in one pot to make the Calceolaria more dense and showy.
If not provided with optimal growing conditions for home Calceolaria, it may not only lose its decorativeness but also die. The most common mistakes made are:
- Dry room air and excessive heat (above 18-20 degrees). This causes the buds to begin to fall off, and there is an early aging of the bush.
- Scarce lighting. This results in poor flowering.
- Excessive wateringwith cool maintenance and regular spraying of the bush. This is a favorable environment for rot.
The most dangerous to the plant are spider mite, aphids and whitefly.
Species of Calceolaria with photos and names
There are more than 300 species of Calceolaria. They differ from each other in structure, size and growth of the bush, and also in color and shape of flowers, leaves and inflorescences. However, not all species are widely distributed. At the same time, only a small fraction of these species are grown in indoor culture.
Those species that are most popular with florists will be described below.
Calceolaria hybrid (Calceolaria herbeohybrida)
This species has many varieties that have the same form of flowers, but differ in color and various inclusions of other colors: divisions, dashes or blotches. Varieties also differ in the size of peduncles and inflorescences, but any of these plants is highly decorative and has spectacular flowers of rich color, which can be very different. The plant reaches a height of 15 to 40 centimeters and is decorated with greenish leaf plates. This species and its varieties are the most popular in room culture.
The best varieties are Dundee, Star Rain, Tiger, Aida, Dervish.
Calceolaria mexicana (Calceolaria mexicana)
The species has strongly branching stems. They are decorated with small inflorescences, and the flowers are rather large (about 50 mm). The plant reaches about half a meter in height. The lantern-like corollas have a deep yellow coloration.
Calceolaria purpurea (Calceolaria purpurea Graham)
This species differs from the others in that the flowers have a strongly elongated lower lip and are also colored a purple-red or purple hue. The opposite surface of the serrated leaf plates has a pale lilac hue.
Calceolaria rugosa (Calceolaria rugosa)
Long upright shoots (0.2 to 0.5 m) are decorated with small wrinkled leaves and many dense inflorescences consisting of small corrugated flowers (10-25 mm in cross-section).
Outwardly, the inflorescences resemble rich yellow clouds. The flowers are decorated with dots of brown. Varieties: Goldbucket, Sunset.
The soft shoots reach about 0.6 m in height, their surface is pubescent with small hairs.
The shape of the wavy pubescent leaf plates is ovate. They are almost sessile at the top of the shrub, but at the roots they are long-petioled. The inflorescences are shield-shaped, and they consist of large yellow flowers with brownish-red mottling. The corolla shape resembles a shoe, and the upper lip is pouch-like.
Calceolaria spiderwort (Calceolaria arachnoidea)
The bush is low (no higher than 0.
3 m). Flowers are of a deep purple color. The species is extremely rare.
Calceolaria. Growing for March 8.