CALCEOLARIA (Slipper Flower)

The Slipper Flower was a favourite bedding plant in Victorian times but it is no longer popular. You will find only one or two varieties listed in the seed catalogues and some books on garden annuals don’t even mention them. But the bright masses of pouched flowers provide a colourful display all summer long when planted in tubs, window boxes or flower beds.
VARIETIES: Sowing a C. multiflora seed mixture will produce plants with large flowers in varied and brilliant colours; these hybrids are more commonly used as pot plants than bedding ones. The old yellow Bedding Caleolaria was C. rugosa – a much improved modern hybrid is ‘Sunshine’.
SITE & SOIL: Any reasonable garden soil will do – thrives best in full sun.
PLANT DETAILS: Height 1 ft. Spacing 9 in. Flowering period June – October.
PROPAGATION: Follow the Half Hardy Annual technique (page 82). Usually bought as bedding plants – propagation from seed is not easy. In autumn pot up plants and overwinter under glass.