Calceolaria – “Pocketbook plant”

 

The Pocketbook plant or Calceolaria is a hardy annual.  It comes from Central and South America.

Pocketbook plant gets its name from the puffy, brightly colored flowers that look like pouches or slippers.  It can also be called lady’s purse, pocketbook flower, slipper flower or slipperwort.  Clusters of these glorious, pouch-shaped blooms grow on tall stems above soft, green leaves. The heart-shaped leaves are deeply veined with scalloped edges, and reach about six to eight inches tall with an equal spread.  They are a short-lived plant. They last for just one season and rarely rebloom.  They bloom in early spring or summer.

Calceolaria are not the easiest plants to care for. Keep the plant near a bright window but out of direct sunlight. If you only have a southern exposure, hang a sheer curtain between the plant and outdoors to filter the brightest rays.  Northern windows and tables away from the light source are more hospitable for these plants. When the plant is in full bloom, the large green leaves are mostly covered by the flowers.  When the flowers die out, the plant is near the end of its life.  As an annual, it is typically discarded after the flowering season.

  • Keep it at 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit to encourage fuller blooms.
  • It can be brought outside or kept on a porch in partial shade (no direct sunlight).
  • Fresh air is good but keep away from frequent drafts or exposure to strong winds.
  • Frequent misting is recommended.
  • Growing as an annual keep it in the same pot. You don’t need to transplant.
  • If any of the leaves or flowers start to die or turn dark brown, trim them off.
  • Trimming the withered leaves and flowers helps to extend the flowering season. Stems can also be trimmed back slightly.
  • Water generously when the top layer of potting mix is dry to the touch. Water directly into the medium.
  • They enjoy high humidity.

Pocketbook plants can suffer from over watering, fungus, aphids infestation, spider mites and whiteflies.

Resources:

Calceolaria Houseplants: Tips on Growing Pocketbook Plants

Pocketbook Plant

Calceolaria Plant Profile

Growing Pocketbook Plant:  Caring for the Gorgeous Calceolaria Flower

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