This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
These are some of the most beautiful and interesting plants of the New Holland genera, and most of the species are well worth cultivating. The following account of the method of growing and flowering is from practical experience. Propagation is generally done by cuttings in spring when the young shoots have made wood about an inch long. The shoots intended for cuttings should be taken off with a sharp knife, with a small portion of the old wood attached generally termed "a heel," with as few leaves taken off as possible. Insert the cuttings in pots half filled with broken crocks, over these place a little moss to prevent the soil getting into the drainage. Fill the pot to within an inch of the rim with a mixture of peat and sand, then fill it up with pure sand The cuttings are inserted about half an inch apart, leaving room for a bell glass to cover them. Water them slightly with a fine rose to settle the sand about them, and then plunge them over a little bottom heat. The glass should be wiped every morning if damp. Water when required with a fine rose. Take care to keep the sun off them, else your former labor will be in vain. They will strike in a very short time, and when well rooted into the peat, pot off into two inch pots and shift as often as required.
The soil I prefer for potting, is two parts good turfy peat, one of decomposed cowdung, and one of sand and charcoal. These are well mixed together, but not sifted. I dislike sifted soil for all pot plants; I use it as rough as possible, for if the soil is open and porous, the plants will then thrive better, growing strong and healthy. If it is close, they will not be so healthy.
The flowering season of the Chorozema is from January to the end of March. I prefer shifting them as soon as they are out of flower. I give them a large shift, and plenty of drainage, using oyster shells and charcoal with a little moss over the charcoal. After potting them, give the plants a good watering, soak the soil well through. I give the large leaved specimens plenty of weak manure water through the summer months. Great care in watering is requisite in the autumn, as the plants are then in a state of repose; if it is not done carefully the roots will rot, and the plants become sickly and die. Keep them shaded during the summer, as the sun is very injurious to the young shoots and foliage. There are not many species belonging to this class of plants, but all are very beautiful and well worthy the greatest care that can be given to them. I will name a few which I know and can recommend.
Chorozema Laurenceana, a beautiful species when well grown, a hybrid of Mrs. Lawrence, of Ealing Park. C. varium, a very pretty species; the plant is a very robust grower, and I believe a native of New Holland. C. varium ilicifolium is also a pretty species, color of flower scarlet, but small; I believe also a native of New Holland. C. Dicksonii is a stiff growing little species, forming a beautiful plant, and very distinct color, scarlet and yellow. C. ovata, a lovely species when well grown. It makes a fine show, being bushy, with large scarlet flowers. C. Henchmanii, one of the best of the whole genus; when in bloom it is a mass of scarlet flowers, if well grown, but is one of the most difficult plants to cultivate. C. spartioides is a splendid climbing species. The flowers are large and yellow. It is a scarce plant and very difficult to cultivate as a handsome specimen, but is well worthy the greatest care; the flowers are yellow; it is a free bloomer. C. angustifolia is a slender grower, but very distinct, and deserves a place in every collection.
These are the species I am best acquainted with, and I can recommend them to the attention of cultivators.