This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
Lovers of the Cineraria will not be displeased to hear that their favourite will stand forcing, and that, for the future, as fine a show of Cinerarias may be obtained at Christmas, with a little extra trouble, as ever graced a May fete. Mine will be the task, through the ensuing season, to point out the way of attaining it. All devotees of Flora should now bear in mind the old adage, "When the day lengthens, the cold strengthens;" therefore be prepared to resist it. Take advantage of all fine days to look over the plants in the frames or pits, pick off all decaying leaves, and keep down insects; give air at every opportunity so as to keep the foliage as dry as possible, but do not neglect the roots, if they want water; on these two points will hinge the future health of the plants. A. Kendall.
Queen Elizabeth's Walk, Stoke Newington.
The extraordinary mildness of the season has produced a corresponding vigour of growth; and where strict attention has been paid to air and water, the plants will have amply repaid the labour bestowed upon them. Shift those plants that are becoming too large for the pots: where this is inconvenient, a larger supply of water must be given. A little weak manure-water occasionally given will greatly assist them, both in bringing out their colours and maintaining the plants in health; indeed, the most trying season for all plants is when they are in full flower, if we except the time of perfecting their seed. Watch narrowly for the green-flv and the mildew. Fumigate, or sprinkle with a solution of tobacco, for the first. All amateurs who grow but a few plants would do well to keep the following receipt by them. Pour one quart of boiling water upon one ounce of shag tobacco; let it stand until cold, and then strain and bottle it for use: it will keep good for a twelvemonth, if not wanted. One sprinkling of this will destroy the green-fly (Aphides) upon any plant without the least injury to the plant itself.
The best method of applying it, is to take the plant in one hand, and holding it with its head downwards, with a feather or brush, to sprinkle the tobacco-water upon the under parts of the leaves, or, if the plants are not in flower, all over them. This, if the tobacco-water is perfectly clean, will not want washing off again. For the mildew, dust the under sides of the leaves with sulphur. Those who grow seedling Cinerarias will do well to attend to the following caution. Never let a plant that you take a fancy to perfect its seeds until you have obtained a duplicate: many a fine flower has been lost to the world by so doing; for Nature's grand effort is to perpetuate its kind by seed, and when this is fully accomplished, it leaves a weakness in the parent that is seldom overcome. Queen Elizabeth's Walk, A. Kendal.
Stoke Newington, Feb. 17.
Cinerarias should now have plenty of air by night as well as by day, when it can be safely given them; shade from brilliant sunshine, for they love the shade, particularly when in flower; give sufficiency of water; beware of letting them droop for want of it, for so sure as they do, so surely will aphides attack them; but do not go to the opposite extreme, or they will turn sickly, and die of a dropsy. To those who intend to grow seedlings, I would say, select the very best parents that can be procured. Let form be the first consideration, habit of growth the second, and colour the third: unless these points are attended to, it will be in vain to expect a first-class flower; no, not one in ten thousand. How often have my expectations been disappointed from seed most carefully saved! how, then, can any one expect success where no care at all has been bestowed in the matter? In the next Number I will endeavour to point out what really constitutes a good Cineraria. A. Kendall.
Queen Elizabeth's Walk, Stoke Newington.
Plenty of air, shading from bright sunshine, watering, and keeping down insects, are the only things now required. Stoke Newington. A. Kendall.
Plants going out of flower should not receive too much water; you should rather endeavour to bring them gradually to a comparative state of rest. Watch those that are seeding, and carefully preserve the seed in a dry place. Plants still in full flower will want as much care and water as ever. Q. Elizabeth's Walk, Stoke Newington. A. Kendall.