Calceolaria Ultimate Growing Guide

Do you want a beautiful and vividly colored home plant? If that’s so, Calceolaria is the perfect genus.

What Is Calceolaria?

CalceolariaCalceolaria, also known as pocketbook plant, slipper flowers, or lady’s purse, are ornamental species which contain pouches at the bottom of the flower resembling slippers or purses.

This genus has approximately 300 distinct species, however the ones that are often accessible commercially are grown and the herbaceous perennial hybrids are sold as annuals. Because of their beautiful and unique flowers, some botanical amateurs mistake them for an uncommon species of orchid.


  • They feature brilliant yellow and orange petals, occasionally with red spots.
  • Generally only survive one season before needing to be replanted since they seldom rebloom.
  • Calceolaria has no specific pH requirements and grows effectively in a pH range of 5.8 to 6.2.

These flowers enjoy a calm, not excessively bright environment and are typically marketed for indoor display. In the appropriate conditions, they may also be grown outside as seasonal bedding plants. Because they are not tall blooms, you must ensure that they are not dominated by other species planted beside them. Throughout the winter and early spring, potted plants are commonly available for purchase in the United States. If you’d like to increase their bloom time, you’ll need to provide the proper circumstances and care for them. If they obtain this, the plant may remain in bloom for several weeks.

How To Grow Calceolaria?

Calceolaria are often planted in pots indoors, despite the fact that they can occasionally be used as bedding plants.


  • They prefer to be placed in a cool environment with indirect sunshine.
  • They must be watered on a regular basis
  • Their potting material must be light and rich.

Calceolaria may be grown both:

  • Indoor
  • Outdoor

How To Grow Calceolaria indoor?

Since this annual may be grown both indoors and outdoors, it is most commonly used as a potted houseplant.

You must properly research its native habitat to know how to cultivate Calceolaria. So, it is native to Central and South America’s colder plains, where water and strong sunshine are scarce.

Note: Plant care on a budget works best when you strive to recreate its natural environment.

Place the plant near a bright window but away from direct sunlight.

Does your main window have a sunny southern exposure? Put a transparent cover between the plant and the outside to block the sun’s beams. Also remember, northern windows and tables distant from the light source are more friendly to these plants.

Plant care on a budget means keeping a close eye on the water supply. These plants do not tolerate excessive wetness on their roots. After thoroughly watering the plants, allow the pots to dry in the sink for about 10 minutes. Let the soil dry up completely before watering more.

Despite the fact that it is a delicate perennial, it is cultivated as an annual. You may not be able to produce a fresh set of flowers once the old ones have died. It is preferable to simply appreciate these unique blooms while they are in bloom, then compost them once they start to dry and wilt.

How To Grow Calceolaria Outdoors?

Even though it is often cultivated as a houseplant, it may also be utilized as a bedding plant in the garden. This tiny plant may reach a height of 10 inches, so position it towards the front of the flower beds.

  • Add a fair amount of compost to the soil to help with drainage.
  • Space the plants approximately a foot apart.
  • Grow these plants in the early spring
  • Nighttime temperatures must range from 55 to 65 degrees F.

When the summer heat approaches, remove and substitute them with a plant that is resistant to heat.

Below are also a few factors you must consider:


Calceolaria is a perennial plant, however it is generally grown for one year and then abandoned or renewed from seedlings.


A well-drained potting medium is ideal for growing your Calceolaria. Make absolutely sure the pot you use has adequate drainage.

Also, have you been planting Calceolaria in flower beds? Don’t forget to add compost or peat moss to the soil as it might assist to lengthen the bloom time.


The secret is to find the proper mix.

Overwatering may cause problems on the plant’s roots, yet allowing it to become too dry will result in severe withering and petal loss. Once the top part of the potting mix is extremely dry, water the plant well. Make completely sure you water straight into the media.

Note: Watering over the head of your Calceolaria might cause gray rot on the leaves.


Feeding Calceolaria every day with a dilute solution of a balanced fertilizer may be useful in extending the bloom time. It isn’t necessary, though, with such a species with a short lifespan


This plant thrives in a sunny, northern window that receives indirect sunshine rather than direct sunlight.

Too much shadow, on the other hand, will typically result in a shorter bloom time and wilting petals.

Hint: Avoid southern exposure unless you can block the strong rays.

Temperature And Humidity

To improve the longevity of your Calceolaria, it requires two most important things:

  • Proper temperatures.
  • Proper hydration.

They prefer mild spring conditions; excessive heat can rapidly destroy the plant. Although they like moderate weather, they are also highly cold susceptible. Are you trying to plant them as a spring bedding plant? Be sure the final frosts have gone.

To ensure a healthy bloom phase, daytime temperatures should be between 55 and 60°F. Any higher than this, and the flowers will die off soon.

These plants also thrive under heavy humidity. If you’re watering to assist boost humidity indoors, avoid spraying directly on the plant. This can cause gray rot to develop on the leaves.

Despite the fact that it enjoys fresh air, make certain that it is not exposed to an excessive amount of cold air. .

Calceolaria demands a high degree of humidity in the room. It is best to spray the air surrounding the calceolaria on a regular basis without harming the plant itself. It is also ideal to set the pot in a pan filled with moist moss.


From June through September, the seeds are efficiently propagated by seed. Because the seeds are so tiny, they are best mixed with talc and poured over the soil’s surface. It is recommended to sprout calceolaria seeds in peat tablets.


  • May be done from July through November.
  • Temperatures must range from 68 to 71 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The seeds germinate in 10 to 12 days.

After the second leaf appears, the seedlings are transplanted into 8-cm-diameter pots. The ideal temperature after transplanting is 57-59 ° F. Calceolaria can develop in as little as three months.

Summer propagation of Calceolaria should be undertaken only by the most committed gardeners since it is extremely difficult. Even if you buy a perennial type, the cuttings rarely survive the winter.

At the conclusion of the summer, cuttings can be used to propagate the plant.

Further Instructions:

  • For the finest flowers, grow calceolaria in full sun or part shade (morning shade and afternoon sun). Tip: Provide at least 6 to 8 hours of direct light.
  • Since it prefers cold temperatures, you may relocate it to progressively shady areas as temperatures rise to keep your plant comfortable for as long as possible.

Calceolaria is not meant to be consumed by humans or animals.

Tips For Growth

  • Use sub-irrigation for calceolaria whenever feasible, especially after the blooms are apparent during development.
  • If plants are watered from above, allow plenty of time for the flowers to dry before packaging them, since moist flowers might become contaminated during transportation when they are contained in boxes.


Pruning calceolaria isn’t essential, but you could still cut faded flower stems to keep the plant looking good and stimulate reblooming more promptly.

Growing From Seeds

Getting a potted plant home is far more frequent and easier than trying to cultivate Calceolaria from seed. Given that they often only endure one season, seed propagation will only interest the most dedicated species lovers.

You must also be warned that seeds produced from a mother plant will not reproduce their bloom and may not produce any blooms at all. From approximately June or July through October, seeding is allowed.

What do germination seeds require?

  • Warm temperatures
  • Plenty of sunlight
  • No covering

Seedlings require continuous, very little moisture after germination to avoid damping off fungal issues. Be careful not to let the soil dry up.


  • The plant may be cultivated in the open air.
  • It’s necessary to get rid of fading peduncles and damaged leaves.
  • You must get plants with a modest number of blooming flowers and a large number of buds.
  • If all of the criteria are met, the calceolaria will bloom for a month.


  • Aphids are the most typical pests, and as a result, the plant usually dies after blossoming.
  • Nematodes, which are also impacted by whitefly, can damage the root system.
  • Viruses can weaken the margins of the leaves and create yellow stains to develop on them.
  • Gray rot can be produced when water flows on the leaves or petals.
  • Calceolaria may abandon all buds when exposed to dry, hot air at temperatures over 64,4 ° F.
  • Cervical decay is possible.
  • In low light environments, there may be some bloom.

Why Should You Plant Calceolaria?

  • Calceolaria is a lovely annual flower that can brighten up your patio, balcony, or other outdoor living area.
  • Pocketbook plant is a crop that may be described as “cool,” not only because of the air temperatures maintained in the greenhouse to produce it, but also because of its distinctive blooms!
  • Since calceolaria is a tiny plant, it’s perfect for adorning tabletops on balconies, patios, and terraces in the early spring, before more typical flowers appear.
  • It also pairs nicely with pansies, violas, sweet alyssum, and dianthus, so you can plant it by itself or combine it with other flowers to create lovely springtime pot gardens.

The Bottom Line

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