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.
Now that the flowering season for these plants is with us, I beg to offer a few remarks upon their culture which may benefit some of your amateur readers.
Any ordinary garden soil may be used in which to strike cuttings, made light by the addition of silver sand and leaf-mould, and Cocoa-nut fibre will be found very useful to mix with the soil. The cuttings should be taken about November or December, and inserted either singly in 2½-in. pots, or two in a 3-in. pot. The pots should be placed on ashes in a cold frame, and kept close till rooted, giving air only to prevent damping off. Short cuttings from 2 in. to 3 in. long will be found the best.
When rooted, which will be about February or March, they should be potted singly into 6 in. pots. More care should now be taken in preparing the soil. A good compost may be made of three parts loam and one part decayed manure or leaf-mould, and enough silver sand to keep the whole porous. In potting, place an oyster shell in the bottom of the pot and place the crocks on it, or a little broken charcoal over the oyster shell make a capital drainage.
If the plants are wanted for specimens, the shoots should be stopped when about 6 in. in length. The extreme point of the shoot only should be taken out, as by doing so a larger number of shoots are secured. It should be so managed that the plants are repotted about a fortnight after the stopping. The plants should be potted finally about the end of May or early in June, and the shoots should not be stopped after their final potting. The plants should now be placed on coal ashes, in order to keep worms out of the pots, and strong stakes driven into the ground, and wire or string tied from stake to stake to secure the plants from strong winds. The plants will be greatly benefited by syringing the foliage during the hot weather. Chrysanthemums are very liable to the green fly, and they must then be dusted with tobacco powder, which will effectually kill the fly. Manure water should be given when the pots are full of roots. About the beginning of September the flower-buds will show themselves, and the plants should be carefully gone over and disbudded, i.e., with a sharp knife take off all buds except the centre, or crown bud, on each shoot - as by doing this only good blooms are secured.
The plants should be removed to the greenhouse or afforded some temporary shelter on the approach of frost.
Cuttings may be inserted in February or March, and will make good plants for ordinary purposes. They should be potted singly into 3-in. pots, and kept close till rooted, and then treated as above described. For these plants 8-in. pots will be found large enough for them to flower in, and by careful cultivation good blooms may be had. - Gardening Illustrated.
Deciduous Ferns, like the Leucostegias, when denuded of their fronds, do not, as a matter of course, require the soil being kept nearly so moist, yet it sometimes happens that with a knowledge of this they are allowed to get too dry at the roots, by which they are very much injured. - T. Baines, in Garden.
Gleichenias, if kept where there is a night temperature of 50° and a little warmer in the daytime, and plentifully supplied with moisture at the roots, will continue to make growth through the winter. Treatment like this is more applicable to plants that have been used for exhibition or other decorative purposes through the summer, and consequently not been able to make so much growth during the warmer season, as plants that have been managed in a way that would enable them to grow on uninterruptedly. - Garden.