The first time I saw the spectacular flowers covering the green fleshy leaves of calceolaria with a variegated cap, I was fascinated. Therefore, when in the near future I got to a flower shop, I returned home with a cherished pot in her hands. I did not immediately understand the intricacies of caring for calceolaria. She bloomed luxuriously, but then she became capricious. Later I learned that this plant is grown in indoor culture as an annual. And if you want, you can enjoy its bloom every year.
How to enjoy calceolaria bloom every year?
What kind of calceolaria is grown in rooms?
Calceolaria has been grown as an indoor flower not so long ago. Its homeland is considered the warm tropical forests of South America. About 300 species of this plant grow in nature. Among them are shrubs, semi-shrubs and herbaceous varieties.
At home, only a few miniature species have taken root:
- calceolaria mexican (Calceolaria mexicana);
- calceolaria purpurea (Calceolaria purpurea);
- calceolaria wrinkled, or Whole-leaved (Calceolaria rugosa);
- calceolaria tender (Calceolaria tenella);
- calceolaria crenate (Calceolaria crenatiflora);
- calceolaria hybrid (Calceolaria x herbeohybrida).
As a houseplant today, it is the hybrid calceolaria that is most often grown. It grows up to 35-40 cm. Above the light green leaves, flower stalks rise, on which buds of an outlandish color bloom.
Flowers can be solid colors if the room is too warm. If the optimum temperature for the plant (+ 15 … + 18 ° С) is observed, the spotting remains. There are also stripes on the petals, very small contrasting spots, a thin border along the edge of the petals. The palette is varied: from white to rich gold, burgundy or pale pink.
Under natural conditions, these plants are perennials. It’s a shame, but on our windowsills, calceolaria, as a rule, live and bloom profusely for only a year. Left for the next season, they just sit peacefully in a pot, releasing a few weak inflorescences or quietly die.
This would have happened with my specimen, if I hadn’t gotten the information on how to leave calceolaria on my windowsill for a long time.
Calceolaria purpurea (Calceolaria purpurea). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com hachadourian
Calceolaria tenella. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Jon Evans
Calceolaria crenatiflora (Calceolaria crenatiflora). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com World of Flowering Plants
Care and growing conditions for calceolaria
The plant belongs to the capricious species that immediately respond to changes in temperature, soil composition, violation of the irrigation schedule. It is worth adding to this that at the end of spring I was tortured to breed aphids, which did not want to part with the leaves of calceolaria. But the period of its flowering covered all the inconveniences and troubles associated with leaving.
I was lucky to get a calceolaria bush with already formed buds, they gradually opened, delighting with their appearance for a little more than a month. I carefully cut off the fading fragments with scissors.
Calceolaria buds form well at temperatures up to +18 degrees. If the room is warmer, then the plant will most likely drop the already collected buds and will not bloom. In the heat, pests are also activated, and the leaves begin to dry out at the edges.
The love for such cool temperatures is the main challenge when growing calceolaria in rooms. However, she is afraid of drafts. I had to put it in a cool dead-end corridor, having previously slightly shaded the window.
Humidity and watering
The southern beauty is sensitive to the observance of the humidity level, happily accepts a fine spray of water from a spray bottle. But! It is necessary to humidify the air around the calceolaria without water getting on the leaves, which can provoke their rotting.
I quickly got tired of spraying moisture, and I just put a few small containers of water near the pot. And then she moved the pot with the plant to a pallet of pebbles and moistened it regularly. It turned out to be more convenient and time-saving.
You need to water the flower regularly, with well-settled soft water. Excess water from the pan is immediately removed so as not to provoke root rot. Calceolaria does not like the drying out of the soil, it must be watered immediately, as soon as the top layer of the substrate dries out.
During active growth and flowering (about once every two weeks) I use complex preparations for indoor plants, such as Fertika, Slox-eco.
Read also our detailed material about the Calceolaria plant – bright shoes.
Despite its southern origin, the plant is afraid of direct sunlight and gets burned on delicate leaves. For calceolaria, the east or southeast side of the windows and the creation of diffused light are preferable.
But the duration of daylight hours is desirable at least 12 hours, so the plant in the winter will have to provide additional illumination with phytolamps.
Hybrid calceolaria (Calceolaria x herbeohybrida)
How to enjoy calceolaria bloom every year?
Leaving indoor calceolaria after flowering and waiting for it to recur next year is a thankless task. I tried to keep my very first, rich yellow calceolaria. I cut off the green part shortly after flowering and put the pot in a cool shed, away from the light. Occasionally dropped in and watered little by little.
After 3 months, the plant woke up, even threw out a few buds, but the flowering was weak, the color saturation disappeared, and the flowers themselves were significantly crushed. I realized that there would be no point in such overexposure, and I no longer left calceolaria for the new season.
But I loved this plant so much that, without buying a new flowering bush every year, I still admire its flowers. Do you know how? I grow calceolaria from seeds every year. In the spring, my windowsills are still filled with seedlings.
Reproduction of calceolaria from seeds
My favorite is the Dainty Mix Calceolaria seeds. She is not so capricious, seeds with different color of flowers and blooms 7-8 months after sowing. By the way, it also blooms longer than others, almost 2,5 months.
I sow in mid-March, along with tomatoes. In this case, the flowering of calceolaria occurs in the fall. Recently I learned that you can sow them in the fall, for spring flowering. I haven’t tried it myself yet. I suspect that in this case, backlighting will be needed in the evenings.
I sow the seeds in peat, without sprinkling them with earth, only moisten them. In order not to dive once more – immediately into separate cups with soil, one granule at a time. The seeds of calceolaria themselves are very small, resemble dust, so they are sold in a protective shell that gives the plant an initial supply of nutrients and increases the percentage of germination.
I cover it with glass or a transparent bag, periodically ventilate and moisten the crops. The optimum temperature for germination of calceolaria seeds is + 18 ° C.
Seedlings are born after about 2 weeks, sometimes – after three. For planting in a permanent place at the age of 1,5 months, I make up a mixture of leaf and sod land, peat with a small addition of coarse river sand. Calceolaria lives well in a soil mixture for geraniums. It is imperative to lay a drainage layer, since the flower does not tolerate high humidity and stagnant water.
After the transplant, I treat Calceolaria with Epin to enhance immunity and better adapt to the new place. To form a bush and remove excess green mass, I pinch once, leaving 3 pairs of leaves.
An interesting option turned out with the planting of several bushes in a long balcony pot. The flowering was abundant, and, moreover, different shades were caught.
After wintering and the awakening of my first calceolaria, I decided to root the cutting for the sake of experiment. I cut off a new shoot, held it for half an hour in Kornevin and planted it in wet peat, covering it with an inverted jar. The experiment failed. The stalk rotted at the base, although I tried to ventilate it and water it very sparingly. Apparently, this method is not for me.
During budding, it is important to ensure the calceolaria temperature is not higher than +18 degrees. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com gardentags
5 secrets of lush bloom “shoe”
My experience in growing calceolaria has exceeded 4 years. I plan to continue sowing it in the spring, as well as experimenting with the autumn planting. For myself, I deduced several rules.
- For a flower that is gaining buds, it is necessary to maintain the temperature no higher than +18 degrees;
- Water clearly on schedule in moderation;
- Hide from drafts and direct sunlight;
- 1 time in 2 weeks to treat with insecticides from aphids;
- Do not leave the flower for the second year, but sow with seeds again.
So far, I still manage to enjoy the rich colors of calceolaria every year, which I sincerely wish you.