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Calceolaria is a perennial plant, but more often grown as an annual. The height and width of an adult calceolaria is about 20-30 cm. Calceolaria is usually bred because of its elegant, eye-pleasing flowers. The flowering period of calceolaria occurs in April-May and lasts 3-5 weeks.
Lighting and temperature of growing calceolaria
Calceolaria does not like direct sunlight and high temperature, therefore it is recommended to keep the plant in a light or semi-shady, non-hot room, the air temperature in which is in the range of 14-16 ° С. High temperatures (20-25 ° C) lead to rapid aging of the plant, as well as its defeat by pests. In the summer, find a shade-protected shade for the calceolaria on the balcony or in the garden. As for winter, the calceolaria will feel comfortable in a bright room, the temperature in which is 8-12 ° C. This plant is ideal for growing on windows facing the east, west or north side.
If you decide to put a calceolaria near the south window, shade the plant from direct sunlight.
A slight shade is necessary for the calceolaria and during the flowering period. In autumn and winter, you can provide the plant with additional illumination using fluorescent lamps.
Calceolaria can be called a lover of moist air. In order to ensure a comfortable level of humidity, place a flower pot on a pan with expanded clay or gravel, half filled with water. It is categorically not recommended to spray flowers and leaves of calceolaria - on the leaves of the plant there is a soft edge, and getting drops of liquid on them is extremely undesirable. Pots inserted in flowerpots are ideal for growing calceolaria. To fill the space between the two vessels, peat is used, which needs constant moisture.
During the flowering period, the calceolaria needs regular watering with well-maintained soft water. A signal about the need to water the flower is the drying of the upper layer of the substrate. Make sure that the water in the pan does not stagnate. After flowering, calceolaria is reduced. Humidification of the soil occurs occasionally in order to prevent complete drying out of the substrate. With the beginning of regrowth of a new shoot, watering begins to gradually resume. In winter, calceolaria prefers moderate watering.
Calceolaria is fertilized with fertilizers once every 10 days using a solution of mineral fertilizers. It is advisable to start feeding calceolaria 2 weeks after the plant has been planted in a pot. Fertilizing plants continues until the beginning of its flowering period.
Calceolaria bushes are formed by pinching, while the lateral shoots that grow from the axils of the leaves are removed. Before budding, during a period of intensive growth, in some cases, pinch the calceolaria, leaving at the same time two or three pairs of leaves, from whose sinuses lateral shoots grow. Thanks to this, the plant grows well and blooms more abundantly, however, the diameter of the flower will be less than during pinching.
As already mentioned, often calceolaria is grown as an annual plant, but you can save it for the next year. To do this, at the end of the flowering period, the calceolaria is cut off and left for 1.5-2 months in a cool darkened place, periodically moistening the earthen lump to prevent complete drying of the soil. As soon as the young shoot begins to grow, a pot with a plant is placed in a lighted room, where the calceolaria blooms again. However, the beginning of flowering occurs 2 months earlier than those plants that were grown from seeds, and flowering itself is rather weak. Calceolaria is noticeably extended and is no longer as decoratively attractive as young plants.
The most favorable soil composition for calceolaria is 2 parts of leaf, 2 parts of sod, 1 part of peat and 0.5 parts of sand.
Calceolaria propagation occurs through seeds. Outwardly, the seeds of this plant are quite small and dusty. They need to be sown without sprinkling ground in sandy, light soil. Humidification of the sowing is carried out using a spray gun; Until the first shoots appear, it is necessary to keep the crop in shading and constantly maintain its wet state. However, do not forget about ventilation to prevent decay.
Shoots will appear in about 2 weeks. The first dive of plants occurs at two weeks of age. After 1.5 months, the formed seedlings of the calceolaria should be transplanted into pots of 7 cm in size and put in a lighted place. After 2 months, the plants are again transplanted into pots of 9-11 cm in size. Before performing the second transplantation, pinch the calceolaria, leaving two or three pairs of leaves, from which the young shoots grow from the sinuses.
The ideal temperature for the germination of calceolaria seeds is 20 ° C, after transplanting the plant will feel good at 14-16 ° C.
Unusual Calceolaria Flower
Calceolaria will begin to bloom 8-10 months after sowing.
Reproduction of shrubby calceolaria is carried out using cuttings. After the old plants are cut short, they release a lot of side shoots, from which the cuttings then form.
The optimal time for grafting is August or February-March. If you want the plant in the pot to be quite bushy, plant several cuttings in one pot at once. After 3-4 weeks, they will take root.