This exotic-looking plant is native to Mexico and parts of South America, and it’s related to the familiar houseplant, kalanchoe. The slipper plant gets its common name from its unusual flowers, which resemble slippers. If you’re looking for a conversation piece for your indoor garden, slipper plants are definitely worth a try. Keep reading to learn more about how to grow and care for slipper plants. Slipper plants are easy to grow and care for, as long as you provide them with the right conditions. The following tips will help you get started:
1. Planting the Slipper Plant
Slipper plants can be grown from seed, but it’s easier to start with a young plant. Look for slipper plants at your local nursery or garden center. Choose a healthy plant with robust leaves and stems. When you’re ready to plant, choose a pot that is slightly larger than the one the plant came in. According to Thespruce, Use a well-draining potting mix, and water the plant thoroughly before planting. You can plant slipper plants outdoors in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. Choose a location that gets partial sun to full shade. If you live in a hot climate, it’s best to plant your slipper plant in a shady spot.
2. Watering and Fertilizing
Watering is probably the most important factor in growing slipper plants successfully. They like to be kept moist, but not soggy, and will rot if left too wet. The best way to water is to use a drip system or soaker hose, which will keep the roots moist without wetting the leaves. If you water from above, be sure to water early in the day so the leaves have time to dry before nightfall. Fertilizing is also important for healthy growth. Use a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20, and apply it according to the package directions. You can also use a slow-release fertilizer, which will last for several months. Apply it in early spring and again in mid-summer.
3. Temperature and Humidity
Slipper plants prefer warm temperatures and low humidity. In the wild, they grow in hot, dry climates. If you live in a cooler climate, you can grow your slipper plant indoors. Place the plant in a bright spot near a window, and keep the temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If the air in your home is too dry, you can raise the humidity around your slipper plant by grouping it with other plants, or by placing it on a pebble tray. A pebble tray is simply a shallow dish filled with gravel and water.
You can prune your slipper plant to keep it compact and control its size. Prune in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. Remove any dead or damaged leaves or stems, and cut back any leggy growth. You can also pinch back the tips of the stems to encourage bushier growth. You need to take extra care when pruning slipper plants, as they can be easily damaged. Use sharp, clean pruning shears, and make sure to sterilize them between cuts to prevent the spread of disease.
6. Disease Control
You need to control the temperature and humidity around your slipper plant to prevent disease. If the air is too wet, the plant can develop fungal diseases like powdery mildew or root rot. According to Wolrdofsucculents, To prevent these diseases, make sure the plant has good air circulation and keep the leaves dry. If your plant does develop a disease, you can usually control it with a fungicide.
7. Propagating Slipper Plants
Slipper plants can be propagated in a number of ways. The most common method is division. This can be done in early spring or late fall. Carefully dig up the plant and divide it into several sections, making sure each section has a good root system. Replant the sections and water the well. Another method of propagation is by seed. This can be done indoors in late winter or early spring. Sow the seeds on the surface of a moist, well-drained potting mix and cover with a thin layer of soil. Keep the soil moist and provide bottom heat if possible. The seeds should germinate in 21-30 days. Once they have germinated, transplant the seedlings into individual pots and water the well.
8. Potting & Repotting Slipper Plants
When you first get your slipper plant, it will probably be in a small pot. You’ll need to report the plant every year or two to give it room to grow. Choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the one the plant came in. Use a well-draining potting mix, and water the plant thoroughly after repotting. You can also divide an overgrown slipper plant to create new plants. To do this, carefully remove the plant from its pot and divide it into smaller sections. Replant each section in its own pot. The pot should be big enough to accommodate the roots without being too large. Water the plants well after repotting or dividing them.
9. Overwintering Slipper Plants
Since slipper plants are tropical or subtropical in origin, they will not survive outdoors in most winter climates. If you want to overwinter your plants, you will need to bring them indoors. The best way to do this is to pot them up in a well-draining potting mix and place them in a bright, sunny spot. According to Myplantin, Water them regularly, and apply a balanced fertilizer once a month. In the winter, you can reduce watering and fertilization to once every two months. If you have a greenhouse, you can overwinter your plants there. If you live in an area where the winters are not too severe, you can leave your slipper plants outdoors. Just make sure to bring them indoors if there is any chance of frost or freezing temperatures.
Slipper plants are easy to grow and care for, as long as you provide them with the right conditions. With a little effort, you can have a beautiful plant that will thrive for years to come. You can use the tips above to get started, and soon you’ll have a healthy, vigorous plant that’s covered in blooms.