Blooming Plant of
Pocketbook plant, pocketbook flower, slipperwort, pouch flower,
slipperflower, ladies’ purse
This is a large group of plants consisting mostly of shrubs and
soft-stemmed perennials. The plants are popular for their
unusual flowers that are shaped like little slippers or bags.
of the flowers vary; some are up to 2 inches long
while most are about half an inch across.
The blossoms of Calceolaria are usually bicolored and are
available in various hues and combinations of yellow, orange,
red, rose, apricot, terra-cotta and brown. Some are splashed
with contrasting or matching colors.
Plants can bloom up to three weeks.
Calceolarias are available year-round.
1 Upon arrival, remove the plants from the shipping boxes
by grasping their protective sleeves and lifting the plants out.
2 Carefully remove each sleeve by tearing along the seam
upward from the bottom.
3 Inspect plant variety, size, color and quality.
4 Remove any damaged stems, leaves and blooms.
5 Inspect each plant for disease or damage. Isolate
diseased or damaged plants, and report them to the grower or
buying office immediately.
6 Determine water needs by pressing a finger into the
soil 1 inch or using a moisture meter.
7 Water each plant, as necessary, with room-temperature
water, and allow excess water to drain from each pot.
Keep the pots evenly moist, but allow water to drain.
light These plants do best in interior light levels of 200
foot-candles (bright light) or more.
Some Calceolarias are
sensitive to ethylene gas. The blossoms will wilt when they are
exposed, and the plant will not recover. Check with your
suppliers to make sure their crops have been treated with an
ethylene inhibitor at the farm or during transportation.
Maintain the plants at 65
F for best longevity.
CINERARIA MAGGOT (LEAF MINER)
This relative of the aphid makes whitish irregular markings, or
“trails,” on leaves. Affected leaves must be picked off and
This pest affects young
plants and can be kept down only by fumigating, vaporizing or
cleansing with a solution of safer soap.
If aphids infest the plants,
they will eliminate the rich, green coloring that characterizes
the foliage of healthy plants. Cleansing with a solution of
safer soap will control them.
ALTERNARIA LEAF SPOT
Dark brown to black spots
form on leaves. These enlarge to engulf large portions of the
leaves and can cause leaves to break from their stems. To
prevent this, remove infected leaves. Water in a manner that
keeps leaf surfaces dry. Maintain low humidity.
Roots and stems rot at
the soil line, and plants wilt and die. Plants need to be potted
in pasteurized potting mix. To prevent, avoid overwatering.
Discard the affected plants and pots.
Leaves can be mottled or
have yellow spots, dead flecks or line or ring spot patterns.
Plants can be distorted, have flower color-breaking or can be
stunted. Veins might be killed along with petioles and the
entire plant. Discard affected plants.
You can reach “Blooming Plant
of the Month” writer Steven W. Brown, AIFD,
or by phone (415) 239-3140.
Images courtesy of The John
Henry Company, Lansing, MI.
Some information provided by:
Chain of Life NetworkÆ,
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