This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The showy Clerodendron (C. speciosissi-mum) forms a dwarf branching plant, growing from four to six feet in height with large cordate leaves and a furrowed almost square stem. It is also one of the most distinct and prettiest species, and produces its flowers in large terminal panicles on healthy and well grown specimens from July until October. The flowers are of a vivid scarlet color, the single flowers being over an inch and a half in length, and as the large panicles are thrown up well above the foliage they render the plant remarkably attractive. The flowers last for a considerable time.
Propagation is effected by cuttings of the young wood, and if the young plants are repotted as often as necessary and liberally treated, they will form flowering plants in the course of a year.
It is a plant of easy culture, and in the mixed border is peculiarly attractive; when grown for this purpose it can be planted out in good rich soil about the tenth of May, or when all danger of frost is over. Water freely in dry weather, and on the approach of frost take the plants up carefully, pot them, and place in a greenhouse having a temperature of 50° or 55°. When they have ceased flowering the plants can be placed under the stage if the room is desired for other purposes. While in a dormant state give but little water.
If grown as a pot plant it must be given an abundance of room for its roots, good drainage, an abundant supply of water during its season of growth, and a compost of two-thirds well rotted sods and one-third manure well mixed. During the summer season plunge the pot in a sunny position, give it a watering of liquid manure water once a week, and it will produce its scarlet panicles in such beauty as to surprise all who are so fortunate as to behold it.
When the plant is grown in the greenhouse during the winter season it is unfortunately very subject to the scale, mealy bug and red spider, so that great care will be necessary to keep these pests in check.