This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
Allow me to say a few words in favour of the Petunia as an object for pot-culture, for with care it may be grown in pots sufficiently bushy to render it one of the handsomest plants in the greenhouse. To have plants in perfection in May or June, I take cuttings early in February of the plants which flowered last year, and which were cut back in order that they might furnish cuttings for next season. These are struck in a little bottom heat; and as soon as they are ready, they are potted in small pots, in leaf-mould, loam, and sand. They are then introduced into a temperature of 55° or 60°, where they remain until they get well started, after which they succeed in any light part of the greenhouse. I stop at two or three inches high, in order to get as many shoots as I want for tying out, which are generally ten or twelve. About this stage of their growth they want repotting. I shift into pots six inches across, using peat, loam, and leaf-mould, in a roughly chopped state. In this they grow strongly, and soon require sticking.
This latter is effected by placing a few small sticks round the side of the pot, and one in the centre; to these I train the young shoots.
When the plants have filled the pots they now occupy with roots, they should be repotted once more into twelve-inch pots, using the same compost as before. I then get some nice straight sticks two feet long, and removing the small ones, replace them with these, leaving the one in the centre a little longer than the others. The side-sticks are inserted in a slanting direction, following the sides of the pots. The shoots are carefully trained to these sticks; and by the time they reach their extremities, they are covered with flowers of good size, the plants are healthy and stout, clothed with green foliage from top to bottom, and, trained in the above manner, they look better than when trained on wire trellises.
Those who have not a stove or cucumber-frame to start them in early, should not attempt to strike cuttings before March, for the cuttings root more freely as spring advances.
Warrington, Jan. 15. Edward Green.