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.
At this season the Calla will be growing vigorously, and will need water more abundantly. A saucer of water under the Calla is much relished by this plant. It is sub-aquatic in its nature. Other plants have saucers under them in order to keep the water from dripping on the floor; but water should not be allowed to stand in them. The Calla flower is liable to the attacks of green fly, as indeed are many plants which grow in windows. There are many remedies which gardeners use in greenhouses that are applicable in rooms. The best thing for the room gardener is to take the pots to a back kitchen, or, if not frosty, to the open air, lay the pots on their sides, and syringe with warm soapsuds.
Basket plants often suffer from too much or too little water. If from too little the leaves curl or fall, and the plants have a dried up appearance. If too much, they get yellow and drop off. As a rule, a basket in a warm room should be taken down once a week, and soaked in a bucket of water, then drained and hung up again. Every day during the rest of the week a little water may be given the plants, and something put under to catch the drip. Some baskets have no provision for the escape of moisture. These are dangerous. Still some people manage to watch closely, and do well with them. Fern cases do best when given a little sun; for, though ferns are supposed to grow naturally in shady spots, it is because there is generally a more humid atmosphere there. If they can get this moisture, they rather like light.
Insects are apt to be troublesome in greenhouses - particularly red spider, green fly and mealy bug. A free use of the syringe is a good preventive. Tobacco smoke, in two or three light doses, is still the best thing for the green fly. The red spider, fortunately, shows his depredations more villianously than most insects - light yellow lines or spots marking almost at once the scenes of its depredations. If one has good eyes, the finger and thumb will keep him down, as a slight and rapid passing of the finger over the leaves easily crushes his little body. When he becomes an "army with banners" more scientific approaches must be made to give any show of success. It is not often, however, that one who thoroughly understands plants suffers much from insects. He or she seems to have an intuitive knowledge on the first appearance of an insect enemy that something is wrong, and the foe is subdued before it has time to leave an extensive progeny behind.