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.
This is essentially a lady's flower, both for hair and dress, combining purity of color with delicate fragrance. Some can scarcely command a bloom of this plant at all, others flower their plants twice a year, and some four times, which means never-out-of-bloom. Some force them into flower with bottom heat, and others starve them - that is, they rest, them in a pit or greenhouse, and flower them in a stove. When there is such a diversity of opinion, how is any one to decide correcty?
"There are at least two, if not more, varieties of E. amazonica, or the species are confounded. There is a kind which commences growing in December or January, and this has very much stouter petioles, and very much shorter, with considerably broader and thicker leaves, deeper in color, and has larger heads of bloom, and more numerous blooms than a variety which commences growing or flowering in May, and which is remarkable for its long leaf petioles, its thinner-textured, smaller and paler-colored leaves, and smaller flowers with a paucity of them. Is not the former E. grandiflora syn. amazonica, and the other E. Candida? I think so.
"In January the bulbs are to be shook out of the soil or the soil removed, and four or five of the largest potted in a 10 or 11-inch pot, and draining well, using a compost of three parts turfy loam and one part each of well-rotted cow dung and fibrous peat, and pot so as to just cover the bulbs. Three bulbs may also be placed in an 6 or 9-inch and one in a 6 or 7-inch pot. Place in a warm stove - 60° to 65° at night, 70° to 75° by day - and keep very moist, and in March or April they should flower; and for blooming they may be placed in a cooler house, and afterwards be returned to the stove, when the plants not unfrequently flower again in July. It is better, how-ever, to rest the plants for a time after flowering, say six or eight weeks, in a cool stove or a cold pit after May, which by judicious air-giving is a stove, watering only to prevent the leaves flagging, and introducing to heat again, when the plants will flower in August or September. Plants may be had in b.loom at almost any time by growing them in brisk heat and affording abundant air-moisture and water; and when the growth ceases rest them near the glass in a warm greenhouse (55°-50° min.) with water only to keep the foliage from flagging, and with a syringing overhead once a day they will scarcely need water until required for starting.
The rest should not be less than six weeks. Another mode of culture is not to dry the plants at all, but, after flowering, or when the growth is complete, to place them in a house of about 10° less heat than that in which they are grown, but light and airy, and by no means so dry as to affect the foliage; and with ten weeks of this cool treatment to return them ■to heat, giving plenty of it, for they enjoy strong moist heat and liberal watering during growth, and after flowering and completion of growth rest in a cooler house. - G. Abbey." [We give the above from the Journal of Horticulture, as supplementary to an excellent article by Mr. Taplin in one of our former numbers. Few people here seem to grow it well.- Ed. G. M.]