This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Having been successful in flowering some of this genus, a few remarks may be of interest to some who grow it. C. grandiflorum, which J. B. asks about, is one I never had anything to do with, and which I believe is a shrub, also nanum; all the others being climbers.
One in particular of the climbers I consider well worthy of cultivation - it is C. atropurpu-reum. This ought to have a pocket built for it and planted out, allowing it to run up a pillar or rafter; fill the pocket with a compost of sandy peat and loam, one part of the former to two of the latter, adding a little sand. Planted in this it will make very vigorous growth, which ought to be well exposed to the sun, so as to ripen the wood well before winter. Give plenty of water when growing, and use the syringe freely, as red spider is a great enemy, and the mealy bug delights to sport amongst the leaves. As the wood ripens in the Fall, give less water, but never allow it to get dry at the root, as it is an evergreen. When growth commences in spring, the branched panicles of reddish purple flowers will begin to show themselves, and by May will be gorgeous. It often flowers twice a year.
[A correspondent some months ago made inquiry about the culture of these beautiful plants, and we are therefore especially obliged to Mr. Meston for his contribution. - Ed. G. M.l