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.
Mrs. B P. wishes to know of a white climber for her conservatory, I think S. floribunda will answer her purpose. Equal parts of turfy loam and peat with sand to insure porosity will form a good compost for this beautiful climber, as it makes rapid growth. Attention must be given to shifting before the roots get overcrowded. Finally it may occupy a 15-inch pot. As growth proceeds the shoots must be regulated by pruning and training, and it will soon cover a large extended trellis or rafter. Towards the end of the season, less moisture should be supplied in order to render the wood more firm; and to insure success in flowering it, attention must be given to keep it free from insects, as it is subject to scale and thrip.
In the Gardener's Monthly for April, 1880, page 106, Mrs. M. W., asks for information concerning the Stephanotis floribunda.
The Stephanotis is a native of Madagascar, and belongs to the natural order Asclepiadacese. It has the milky juice of many of the individuals of this order, but the flowers are more attractive and much larger than is common in the group of plants composing it. The Stephanotis is an evergreen climber, with dark green shining leaves, from the axils of which are produced large clusters of cream white wax-like flowers of the most exquisite fragrance, and as their texture is very firm, they last for a considerable time. The Stephanotis loves a high temperature, and it can be grown in perfection in a house where a temperature of 75° to 80°, and a moist atmosphere can be maintained during the season of growth. It also requires to be kept cool and dry during the winter months, or while it is dormant, to flower it to perfection. When grown as a house plant, the Stephanotis is very subject to the attacks of the mealy bug, and on this account should be planted where it can be freely and frequently syringed. A compost composed of two-thirds ordinary potting soil and one-third well rotted stable manure, with a good portion of charcoal broken rather small, will answer very well.
Care must be taken to give good drainage, as the Stephanotis soon suffers if water is allowed to stand around its roots.
For the open air during the Summer season, the Stephanotis is a desirable addition to the class of summer climbers; for this purpose the soil should be made rich and deep, by digging it to the depth of two feet at least, and working in a good portion of well rotted stable manure. The plants should be strong and healthy when planted out, which should not be done until all danger of frost is over, and after they become established they should be examined occasionally, and the young shoots trained and tied up to their place, and in the event of drought, a thorough watering is of benefit to them. If planted in a moist situation, and in a position fully exposed to the sun, the growth of the plant will be most luxuriant, and flowers will be produced in great abundance. The Stephanotis can be propagated by cuttings or by layers, but as it does not strike easily from cuttings, layers will be preferable. In layering, cut a notch close under a joint, bend the part cut into a pot, and fill with soil. The layers will sometimes root in a few weeks, and at other times they,require a month or two. As soon as they are well rooted, take them off and shift them as often as necessary. Such plants if well rooted and kept moderately dry, can be preserved in a common greenhouse through the winter.
The Stephanotis is also propagated by cuttings of the ends of the flowering shoots and planting them in sand under a hand glass. When grown inside, an occasional washing of the leaves and stems of this plant is necessary to remove the insects to which it is unfortunately very subject.