Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Calceolaria Uniflora var. Darwinii Actually Growing?

Out of all the Kevock goodies I am probably most worried about keeping the Primula Melananthes alive. But Calceolaria Uniflora var. darwinii comes a close second. It came with a tiny tiny rootsystem (they have very shallow roots) and as with the Primula Melananthes it looks mighty fragile. Finding a good description how to grow on the net is also challenging. I went with Kevock's advice to keep it in a acid soil, and tried to find that precarious balance between well draining and moisture retentive by mixing in both plenty of peat and small pebbles. Apparently it does not like to dry out (and their shallow root system makes this extra important) so I regularly supply some water to keep the roots moist. They are from the mountains of Argentina and therefore are not particularly fond of heat. I'm in a coastal climate where it does not get very hot for very long so that should be OK. What I can't find out is how much sun it likes. One source suggested they are almost in perma shade while others say they like it sunny. For now my plant gets quite a bit of sunshine but by no account much. When it starts heating up I might move it to a more cool and shadowy position.
Though it does not yet look like it's thriving I did find the start of a new rosette forming under one of the leaves. I can't say for sure it hasn't been there since the beginning, but for now I am taking it as a sign that it slowly but surely settling in in it's new home.

Update; Calceolaria in flower

1 comment:

Guanako said...

I've seen them recently myself on a mountain near El Calafate. There was just gravel surrounding the plants, hardly any other vegetation and nothing to protect them from sunlight or wind. I don't know how high the temperatures can get in high summer, on that day it was rather chilly up there.

There was a second species of Calceolaria on the same mountain which grew in the shade of bushes but had much smaller flowers. This might be the reason for the confusion about different growing conditions.