This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
There is not much requiring special care in the greenhouse. The Camellia is very apt to drop its buds if the atmosphere is too dry; but generally dropping follows any cheek to the roots by which the regular flow of moisture to the bud is stopped. This may be either too little or too much water; if too little, of course there is not enough moisture; if too much, the fibers are liable to have their points injured, and thus are unable to draw moisture to the bud. Usually the last bad results follow from over-potting. With a large mass of soil, water is apt to not pass readily away, when the soil "sours " as it is termed. A pot full of roots will seldom drop the Camellia buds for any other cause than too little water.
A great enemy of the Camellia is the red spider. The leaves indicate its presence generally by a brown tinge, when the pocket lens which every gardener of course carries, readily detects. All plants are more or less liable to these insects, as well as the green fly, mealy bug, and scale. The best way to keep them down is by a free use of the syringe in fine days, using water in which some sulphur has been strewn. Tobacco smoke is still the best cure for aphis. Scale is a very troublesome pest; water heated to 130° is still the best. This injures very tender leaves, but the scale is rarely on such, it usually keeps to the branches or in thick leathery leaves.
Tree Carnations, - these are now indispensable winter flowering plants, want a very light place to do well. They do not generally care about very large pots - about rive or six inches - but they are very much benefited by rich manure water.
The \Calla lily is now extremely popular. This also loves light. It must have a good supply of water, and good soil to flower well.
Towards Spring the Cineraria comes in remarkably well for cutting. This is a " queer" plant. It is one of the easiest to suffer from frost, and yet will not do well in high temperature. It also requires much light, and to be very near the glass. So also of the Pansy and Violet, although some frost will not hurt these.
If Pelargoniums are wanted to flower well next May and June, they should be attended to and grow well through the winter. They want a rather warm house to keep them growing, and should be pinched back as they grow, to keep them bushy.
A good supply of young Fuchsias should be coming on now; repot as their roots fill each pot, let them not want moisture or light; do not pinch oft* their tops, but let them grow rapidly. The temperature in which they are grown should not exceed 55°. A turfy loam, moderately enriched with well decayed manure, and well drained with charcoal, suits them admirably.
It is too soon for Window Plants to get into trouble yet. They generally look well till after New Year, after being brought in during October. But soon, over-watering, or under watering, or the effects of minute insects, or waste gas from the burners, or sulphurous gas from the heaters or stoves will begin to tell and there will be trouble. As these are about all the difficulties in window-plant culture one soon learns to avoid them; and indeed nothing but a real love of window-plant culture will enable any one to learn. It is what the best of magazines, with the smartest of editors cannot teach. It is a good season to watch for coming troubles. As soon as the slightest thing seems wrong, search at once for the cause of the trouble. They are often but small, and easily remedied at the outset.