Few things are necessary for the successful cultivation of house plants. A patient, untiring spirit is most important. The other requisites are plenty of sunlight, fresh air, and water when they need it. It is better to give a good supply of water when called for by drooping leaves, than to give a little at a time often. Never leave pots to set in water in saucers except for the calla lily. To repot, turn plants upside down on the left hand, rap pots sharply with stick; this will loosen it from the ball of earth; lift it off, and place the plant in a pot two sizes larger, or in the ground. Do not leave the soil too rich with manure but well mixed, and composed of sod-soil, wild or leaf-mold, and well-rotted stable manure. Cut plants back pretty closely when you change them, and they will thrive better afterwards. Water well-at first, then only moisten slightly until they begin to grow. A good rule for watering plants is once a week in winter if the weather is mild, or when it has moderated, have a gallon watering-can filled with blood-warm water, stir in a tea-spoonful of aqua ammonia, and as you set the plants in a convenient place (I set mine on the kitchen floor), pour in pot a plentiful supply of this warm water, and after this, sprinkle well with warm water without ammonia. In summer two or three times a week is the rule. Ivies need large pots, and should be repotted every year in the summer time.
A good way to start slips is to partly break off the slip, but do not entirely sever it from the parent stock, leaving it hanging for ten or twelve days; then remove, and plant in a box of half sand or brick-dust and half leaf-mold, and it will be well rooted in a week. Do not water too freely, or the slip wilt rot. This is better for both slip and plant, as the slip will get nourishment from plant while healing over, and its removal will not weaken the plant so much. Hyacinths are very attractive flowers for window-gardening, and at the same time require very little care or trouble. Get the bulbs in the fall before frost from any good florist (Vick is my favorite),, and keep in a cool place until December, then plant each one in a four-inch pot with soil one-fourth sand, one-fourth well-rotted manure, one-fourth garden or sod-soil, and one-fourth broken bits of moss and leaf-mold; water thoroughly at first, and set in dark closet until the first of January, then bring to light and give plenty of water. A very good way is to set half a dozen or more pots in a large dripping-pan, pour hot (not boiling) water in pan, and let set for one hour. After they are done blooming, let them dry out gradually. They will not bloom the second season as well as the first - M. E. C.