This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
This is the season when many things will require repotting. Many have a set time and season to do this; but some things require repotting at various seasons. The best time is just before they are about to make a new growth. Camellias, Azaleas, and many plants, for instance, start at this season. It is not necessary to repot as often as some think, especially if bloom, and not very large specimens, is chiefly wanted. If the pot is very full of roots, and the plant growing weak, it may need repotting.
In potting, see that some provision is made for allowing the water to readily escape, by putting broken crocks over the hole. Use soil rather dry, and ram it firmly about the old ball. Prefer pots only a little larger, to very large shifts, as less liable to accidents. Trim the plants in a little, if unshapely, to encourage the new growth where wanted.
Many who have but small houses and wish to have a variety, are troubled with valued plants becoming too large. To keep them low, as soon as the plant has matured its growth, cut it down as low as may be desired. As soon as it shows signs of breaking forth into a new growth, turn it out of the pot; shake or tear away the old ball of roots, and put it into a small pot as it can be got into, and when it grows again, and fills the pot with roots, repot again as before.
Sometimes the plants get '"sick," which is known by unhealthy, yellow leaves. This is usually by over-watering, generating a gas, or as gardeners term it, a "sourness," destructive to the roots. The remedy is to cut the plant back a little, shake out the soil, and put the plant in a small pot with new soil, and place the plant n a house only moderately warm, and which is naturally moist, so that the plant can live for a while without requiring much water. It will generally recover.
Window plants are as much appreciated at this season as at any time of the year. There are few things more beautiful than the old classes of roses - the Bourbon and China. We have seen some beauties in windows recently, and wonder they are not more grown. In another case we saw a handsome Chorozema cordata. Usually, Australian plants do not thrive in our climate, but this plant was simply plunged in partial shade in summer, rewarding the owner with its pretty brown and purple butterfly-like flowers all winter. This, and many other window flowers, are liable to sutler from the minute insect known as red spider. Very minute whitish green spots on the leaves usually indicate the insect's existence. It is best to lay the plants on their sides, in the open air, and treat them to a powerful syringing with strong soapsuds, and while still damp, sprinkle a little sulphur on them from a pepper box. Red spiders do not hanker much after sulphur. Sometimes window plants suffer from mildew, and sulphur is a good remedy for it also.