Calceolaria’s curious pouch-shaped flowers have given rise to several common names for these hybrid plants, among them pocketbook plant and slipperwort.
The brightly colored flowers are often yellow spotted with red or brown, but orange and red varieties with darker blotches are also available. Flowers are normally borne in spring, in clusters on tall stems that rise above the roughly heart-shaped, light green, downy foliage.
The soil needs to be kept moist at all times since these plants are difficult to revive if they are ever allowed to dry out. The flowering season will be extended if they are kept in moderately cool conditions.
Calceolaria ‘Anytime Mixed’ is an early-flowering strain that if sown in summer will produce flowering plants in early winter. However, as its name implies, it can be sown virtually all year- round and will flower four to five months later.
HEIGHT To 18in/46cm.
POTTING MIX Soil-based with added coarse sand.
PROPAGATION Can be raised from seed sown in summer and fall for flowering the following spring; best left to professional growers.
KEEPING PLANTS Once flowering has finished, discard the plant.
Calceolaria PLANT CARE
- Bright light but no direct sunlight.
- Keep in a fairly cool room at about 45°F/7°C at night, 50°F/10°C during the day.
- Water plentifully and regularly.
- Provide humid conditions by standing the plant on a tray of wet pebbles or peat moss.
- Always choose a plant with plenty of unopened buds. The flowering season should extend for about a month under the right conditions.
- Check the undersides of the leaves regularly for aphids and spray with a contact insecticide if they are present.
- Keep in a cool location that is free from drafts.