This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
We remember having heard some one say he could not flower the Blue Mexican Lily. It must have been a man, for all the ladies succeed with it. We have hoped before now that Miss G. or some of our other good friends of the fair sex would have been moved by the spirit of Flora, to relate their experience, for the benefit of the sterner creatures, but as they have not, we venture to give the following from the Dublin Gardener's Record.
"What a fine old plant this is for the conservatory in August and September, and what a grand effect it produces, with its beautiful umbels of bright blue, standing boldly erect among other plants, contrasting well with everything around them, and at the same time being strikingly conspicuous. Although old as this plant is, we seldom see it used so frequently as it should be, and yet it is not from any difficulty there is attached to its cultivation, for it is the most easily grown plant I know of. It may be propagated by division of the roots, off-sets, or seed. From the latter, by sowing in a pot any time between March and June, so that the seedlings may acquire sufficient strength to resist the changes in Winter. Plunge the pot to the rim in gentle bottom heat, and keep the soil constantly moist, both before and after the plants appear above ground. Pot-off as soon as the seedlings can be conveniently handled, and attend afterwards to watering, shading, etc, as is usually done with such seedlings. Division of the roots and off-sets are a ready means of extending the stock.
For a compost, a light loamy mixture, with sand incorporated to extent of one-third of the bulk, will do.
In the general culture, little need be added to the attention generally demanded by free-growing plants. They all delight in high living. A rich heavy loam, with a third of well-reduced cow manure and sharp river sand thrown together, without riddling, will make them grow strongly and well. Admit air abundantly, administer water copiously in the growing season, adding a stimulant in the shape of a little guano to the water, when the flowers are in the process of formation; and wherever situated, air plentifully supplied ought never to be neglected when the flowers are expanding, else the flowers will be deficient of their bright blue, so much appreciated, as well as in good substance. When the flowers have dropped, cut down the stems half-way and prevent seeding, unless particularly wanted, when one crown will be enough to leave. The plants should be allowed to stand in a good position in a vinery or other glass structure in the Autumn, in order to have the crown well matured for the following season. They may then be allowed to go quietly to rest, by withholding water to a considerable extent, permitting the soil to get almost dry in their pots during Winter. The plants will then be quite indifferent wherever they are placed.
If below the stage of a greenhouse, they must be turned on their sides towards the sun, in order that the water from other plants may not saturate them".