Calceolaria is a flowering plant that can be grown just about anywhere. There are many types of these plants, some with colorful flowers and others with unique petal shapes. If you’re looking for a unique flower to grow as a houseplant, look no further than calceolaria.
These plants thrive in humid environments so they do well indoors or outside (but only when it’s warm out). They also need at least six hours of sunlight each day so make sure to place them where they’ll get plenty of light!
Despite being somewhat demanding, this plant, also known as the pouch flower, the pocketbook plant, and poor man’s orchid, is worth the effort it takes to grow. Read on to find out the best kind of calceolaria to grow in your home!
With more than 300 plants to consider growing in the calceolaria genus, it might be easy, as a gardener, to find yourself overwhelmed with all the options! Here’s a breakdown of your choices so that you can find the perfect plant for your needs.
1. C. adenanthera
Native to Ecuador, this type of calceolaria isn’t the most common variety you will find – however, if you want to do your part in promoting biodiversity, it’s one you should consider growing! It’s listed as vulnerable and it can be somewhat difficult to find seeds for it.
However, its vibrant yellow flowers are worth the effort it takes to secure some.
2. C. australis
Another variety that is native to Ecuador, this kind of plant can also be somewhat difficult to find, as it is also listed as threatened by the IUCN,
Like C. adenanthera, it has vibrant yellow flowers in pitcher-like shapes.
There are many other types of calceolaria that are native to Ecuador as well, including several that are rare and/or difficult to find. Some other options of Ecuadorian calceolarias to grow, if you can find them, include:
- C. bentae
- C. brachiata
- C. commutata
- C. dilatata
- C. frondosa
- C. gossypina
- C. harlingii
- C. lanata
- C. lavandulifolia
- C. martinezii
- C. obtusa
- C. zamorana
3. C. crenata
Without a doubt, C. crenata is one of the most popular types of calceolaria to grow. Native to the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Andes, it can grow to more than three feet tall and has an elegant branching habit. With soft, cordate leaves, it’s the perfect specimen for growing indoors.
It produces small clusters of delicate yellow flowers, typically blooming from spring to summer in its native habitat (though it can often bloom during other periods if you are growing it indoors).
This is the plant most often referred to as slipperwort since its flowers look much like tiny little slippers.
4. C. crenatiflora
Also known as the pocketbook plant, C. crenatiflora is a tender herbaceous perennial. It is often grown as a half-hardy annual or as a houseplant.
Though it can be quite demanding, requiring slightly humid conditions, well-draining soil, and temperatures in the low- to mid-60s, its unusual yellow flowers are worth the effort. You can purchase a potted plant in the springtime and force it to bloom.
5. C. grandiflora
Another species that is native to Ecuador is C. grandiflora. This plant can be grown as an annual, biennial, or perennial. It has opposite leaves or basal rosette along with slipper-like purple, yellow, or red flowers.
A diverse species, it is one of the largest varieties and can be grown as a shrub.
6. C. helianthoides
This species of calceolaria is endemic to Ecuador and has delicate purple flowers.
7. C. hyssopifolia
This unique variety of calceolaria looks more like hyssop, a shrub in the mint family than it does its own genus. One of the larger species in this genus, it has flowers that are a pale yellow and whiter toward the base.
8. C. integrifolia
Also known as bush slipperwort, this shrub is best grown outdoors in warmer climates. It grows up to six feet tall, so while it can be grown inside as well as a houseplant, you will need quite a large container.
If grown outdoors, this plant requires a frost-free location in full sun to partial shade. Since it is somewhat delicate, it does need some protection from the wind as well.
It has leaves that are veined, somewhat sticky, and puckered in appearance. The flowers, like those of many types of this plant, are yellow and grow in clusters.
In general, this plant flowers from spring until fall. It has received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
9. C. tomentosa
A perennial plant, C. tomentosa is one of the few types of this plant that is native to Peru instead of Ecuador. It has yellow tubular flowers and soft cordate leaves that are relatively wide.
It can easily grow to about three feet tall, large enough to make a statement indoors but not so big that it overwhelms your living space or requires a special type of container.
10. C. uniflora
Last but not least on this list is C. uniflora. Also known as Darwin’s slipper or C. darwinii, this plant of many names is a perennial plant that is native to Tierra del Fuego in the southern portion of South America.
As a mountain plant, it can tolerate slightly cooler conditions than the other plants on this list. It grows to around four feet tall, making it the perfect specimen for indoor planting. Its flowers are typically a mixture of yellow, white, and a dark reddish-brown.
Which Type of Calceolaria is Right for You?
If you’ve been considering growing calceolaria and want to know more about it before buying your plants, then hopefully this article has been helpful in shedding light on the many varieties of calceolaria that are out there.
There’s no single best variety of this plant that’s perfect for everyone. Instead, you’ll need to consider how much time you want to devote to growing and caring for it and what kinds of conditions you have available.
Whether you want to add color to your home in the winter or simply add diversity to your indoor garden, any type of calceolaria should help meet your needs quite nicely.
*image by 1980monako/depositphotos