Calceolaria is a herbaceous, abundantly flowering plant that is grown in room culture as an annual or biennial. It conquers with its distinctively shaped bright double-lipped flowers, and the lower lip is large, swollen, spherical, and the upper lip is extremely small, barely noticeable. By their outward resemblance, the people called them “shoes” or “wallets”.
Calceolaria. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Mark Kent
Description of calceolaria
To the genus Calceolaria (Calceolaria) belongs to about 400 species of the family norichnikovye. In English taxonomy, Calceolaria (Calceolariaceae). The homeland of plants is South and Central America. Translated from Latin, the word “calceolaria” means “little shoe”.
Representatives of the genus are grasses, shrubs and shrubs with opposite or whorled leaves. Flowers with a four-membered calyx and a bright two-lipped, swollen corolla (the lower lip is usually larger). Stamens 2 or 3. Fruit – capsule.
Many types are decorative. When creating numerous garden varieties of calceolaria, we used hybrids of the species C. corymbosa, C. arachnoidea, C. crenatiflora, etc. Hybrid calceolaria with yellow, orange, red, purple flowers, as well as with a spotted or shaded corolla, are grown in cool greenhouses, propagated by seeds cuttings.
Calceolaria is one of the favorite spring flowering plants, although it is rather difficult to grow and breed it indoors (the plant prefers cool rooms). Calceolaria flowers are very peculiar in shape – blistery and two-lipped (the lower lip is large, swollen, spherical, and the upper lip is extremely small, barely noticeable). Flowers are often covered with various spots and dots. The flowering period lasts from March to June for one month. The plant has from 18 to 55 flowers.
Features of growing calceolaria
Temperature: Calceolaria loves a cool room, 12-16 ° C. In too warm rooms, it drops buds or flowers.
Lighting: Preferred bright diffused light, cannot tolerate direct sunlight. It is good to place on the windowsill of the east, north or northwest window.
Watering: Abundant, earthen lump should not dry out.
Air humidity: Calceolaria requires very high air humidity, for this pots with plants are placed on a wide tray with pebbles or expanded clay. The pubescent leaves of calceolaria do not like getting water on them, so they spray this plant, trying to keep moisture only on the flowers.
Transfer: Soil – 2 parts sod, 2 parts leaf, 1 part peat and 1/2 part sand. After flowering, the plant is discarded.
Reproduction: Seeds, sown in May-July, without sprinkling with soil on top and with a double pick. Calceolaria seeds germinate at a temperature of about 18 ° C. However, growing calceolaria at home is a rather troublesome task, it is easier to purchase an already flowering plant.
Calceolaria prefers diffused light; the plant is shaded from direct sunlight. Suitable for growing near western and eastern windows. At the southern windows, calceolaria should be shaded from the direct sun using a translucent fabric or paper (gauze, tulle, tracing paper). Grows well at the north window. During the flowering period, the plant needs a little shading. In autumn and winter, you can use additional fluorescent lighting.
The temperature of the content of calceolaria in all seasons is preferable to be moderate, in the region of 12-16 ° C.
During flowering, the plant is watered regularly, with soft, settled water, as the upper layer of the substrate dries up, preventing water from stagnating in the pan. After flowering, watering should be reduced, occasionally moistening the soil and preventing the substrate from completely drying out. When new growth begins to grow, watering is gradually resumed.
Calceolaria needs high humidity. It is not recommended to spray the plant.
To ensure sufficient moisture, the plant pot is placed on a tray filled with water and pebbles or wet peat, expanded clay. It is advisable to grow calceolaria in pots inserted into planters. The space between the two vessels is filled with peat, which must be constantly moistened.
Feeding begins two weeks after planting in pots and continues until flowering. They are fed every 2 weeks with mineral fertilizers.
After flowering, calceolaria can be cut off and put for 1,5-2 months in a cool, shaded place, occasionally moistening the soil (the earthen coma must not be allowed to dry completely). When the shoots begin to grow, the plants are placed in a lighted place where they bloom. Flowering begins 2 months earlier than in plants grown from seeds, but they stretch out somewhat and lose the decorative effect inherent in young calceolaria. Therefore, it is better to grow it annually from seed.
Since the plant quickly loses its decorative effect with age, it should not be transplanted, but should be replaced with a new one.
Reproduction of calceolaria
Calceolaria is propagated by seeds.
For autumn flowering, they are sown in March, for spring – in June.
Small seeds (in 1 g about 30 thousand pieces) are sown on the surface of the substrate, they are not covered with soil. Crops are covered with paper, which is periodically moistened. When the seedlings grow two true leaves, they dive. At the same time, for the preparation of the earthen mixture, take 2 parts of humus, deciduous and peat soil and 1 part of sand.
Calceolaria seeds germinate well on peat. In order for the plants to bloom in mid-March, seeds are sown on July 5-15 in litter peat, previously disinfected from rot by heating to 90-100 ° C. To reduce acidity, ground chalk is added to the peat (15-20 g per 1 kg of peat). For 7 parts of peat, take 1 part of sand. Mix the substrate well. Seeds are sown randomly, without sprinkling with peat. The crops are covered with plastic wrap or glass.
If condensation forms on the inside of the glass or film, the shelter must be turned over, preventing moisture from entering the plants. In the future, it is necessary to ensure that the peat is always moist.
After the formation of the rosette, the plants dive a second time, transplanted into 7-centimeter pots and put on light windows. In September, they are transplanted again into 9-11 cm pots. Before the second transplant, the plants are pinched, leaving 2-3 pairs of leaves, from the axils of which lateral shoots appear.
Calceolaria bushes are also formed by pinching, that is, removing the lateral shoots that grow from the leaf axils.
In January-February, they are transplanted into large pots with a heavier and more nutritious earthen mixture. For grown plants, a humus, slightly acidic (pH about 5,5) substrate is suitable. To compose the substrate, you can take 2 parts of sod, humus and peat land and 1 part of sand with the addition of complete mineral fertilizer at the rate of 2-3 g per 1 kg of the mixture. Calceolaria blooms 8-10 months after sowing the seeds.
Possible difficulties in growing calceolaria
Every year, the plants are replaced – they are propagated by seeds or they acquire already flowering specimens, without leaving them for the next year.
At high temperatures and lack of moisture, the leaves wither and the plant ages quickly.
Types of calceolaria
Calceolaria Mexican – Calceolaria mexicana
All types of calceolaria, due to their too bright colors, are difficult to combine with other plants. Calceolaria Mexican is no exception. Its small, with a diameter of only about 5 mm, light yellow flowers look spectacular only in a border with ornamental plants or in a composition located on the bank of a stream. In these cases, their corollas look like small Chinese lanterns.
Depending on the conditions, calceolaria bushes can reach a height of 20-50 cm. Naturally, in a humid, shaded place with fertile soil, they will be taller. In nature, this species grows on the wooded slopes of the mountains of Mexico, so it prefers warmth. However, bright sunlight is well tolerated only with abundant watering. Plants usually bear abundant fruit, producing many seeds.
Calceolaria wrinkled – Calceolaria rugosa
The original ornate plant, similar to a cloud of yellow drops, was brought to Europe from Chile.
A perennial herb, grown as an annual, has an erect, highly branched stem 25-50 cm high. Small leaves form a rosette. The flowers are small, 1,5-2 cm in diameter, pure yellow, with brown dots in some hybrid forms. With normal sowing, flowering lasts from June until frost. For early flowering in April, seedlings are grown in containers.
Goldbukett – large-flowered strong plants 25-30 cm high.
‘Triomphe de Versailles’ – small-flowered fast-growing plants 35-50 cm high.
Sunset (Calceolaria x hybridus) is a bright and elegant plant for home and garden! Each rosette of leathery dark green leaves forms up to 10 short peduncles with yellow, orange or red bell flowers. Height 15-20 cm. Withstands frosts down to -5 ° С.