What are the care for calceolaria?

Calceolaria is a herbaceous plant that produces very, very showy flowers, with colors as cheerful as yellow or orange. They are so curious that they are very reminiscent of the little shoes that babies wear, which is precisely how it is popularly known. But how do you take care of it?

If you have just bought one and have no idea what the Calceolaria care is, I invite you to continue reading: this way you will make it last longer .

Origin and characteristics of Calceolaria

Known as Zapatitos de Venus, Portamonedas, Pulicua, Zapatitos de la Virgen, flower clog, capachito or topa-topa, it is a genus of lively, annual plants and shrubs native to Mexico and South America. The most common species in stores do not grow more than 35cm tall, and are grown as a seasonal plant since they are very sensitive to cold.

The leaves are simple and arranged alternately. Its color is green or dark green, and its margins are slightly serrated. The flowers are usually grouped in cyymose inflorescences, although they can also be solitary, and are brightly colored, such as red, orange or yellow. The fruit is a capsule that has 4 valves, with small and linear seeds.

How to care for the Calceolaria plant?

If you want to have a copy of the Virgin’s shoes, we recommend providing the following care:


  • Exterior: nothing else bought we have to place it in a very bright area, but where it can be protected from direct sun.
  • Interior: the room should be bright, but there should be no drafts (neither hot nor cold), as otherwise its leaves would yellow and fall.


  • Pot: fill with universal growing substrate mixed with 30% perlite.
  • Garden: grows in soils rich in organic matter, well drained.


If we talk about irrigation, it has to be frequent but avoiding waterlogging. Thus, in general, we will water 3 times a week in summer and every 4-5 days the rest of the year. To avoid problems, it is very important to use rainwater or lime-free water. In the event that we cannot get it, we can fill a container with tap water and let it sit overnight.


Image – Wikimedia/ XenonX3

During the warm months, and especially in the flowering season, it is convenient to fertilize it with fertilizers for flowering plants that are already prepared in the nurseries. Another option is to give it liquid organic fertilizer, such as guano, but regardless of what we use, we have to follow the instructions specified on the package.

Planting or transplanting time

In spring. In the event that it is in a pot, it is highly recommended to transplant it, planting it in a larger one about 4 centimeters; and if you want to have it in the garden, make a planting hole of about 40 x 40cm, and fill it with universal substrate mixed with 30% perlite.


It multiplies by seeds in spring, following this step by step:

  1. The first thing to do is choose a seedbed: it can be a seedling tray, a pot -with holes in its base-, milk containers or glasses of yogurt previously washed and with a hole made in its base,… or any other similar thing.
  2. Then, fill it with substrate for seedlings and water thoroughly, making sure it is very moist.
  3. Then, place the seeds on the surface, making sure they are as far apart as possible. In this sense, the ideal is not to put more than 2 in each seedbed or alveolus, since calecolaria has a high germination rate… and it is important that they all grow .
  4. Now, if you want, it is a good time to sprinkle a little copper or sulfur. This will prevent fungi from damaging them, but it is not essential.
  5. Lastly, cover them with a very thin layer of substrate.

What you will need is to leave the seedbed outside, in semi-shade, and keep the substrate moist (but not waterlogged). In about 10 days they will begin to germinate.

When they reach a size of about 5-10 centimeters, and especially if you see that the roots come out through the drainage holes, you should move them to larger pots or the garden.


You don’t need it. You just have to remove the withered flowers and dry leaves, each time they are seen.


Calceolaria does not resist cold or frost.

What uses is it given?

It is a very decorative plant, ideal for growing at home or in the garden. As it is small, it does not take up much space, so it is interesting to make compositions of plants with showy flowers that reach a similar size.

In addition, they are easy to obtain, as their seeds germinate quite easily as long as they are sown at the right time (spring).

Where to buy?

Get seeds from here.

Did you know Calceolaria? What did you think of this curious plant?

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