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.
Having purchased a young plant of this last spring, I cut it down and after it started I shook it out and re-potted, giving a liberal shift, using a compost of rich, decomposed, turfy loam, leaf mould and a sprinkling of coarse sand. It started into vigorous growth, requiring a liberal supply of water at the roots. Towards October it showed signs of flowering. I then gradually withheld water and removed the plant into a grapery at rest, giving it only sufficient water to keep the foliage from wilting ; at the same time the flower spikes kept lengthening until the 1st of February, when fire-heat is applied to the grape vines; then it pushed along and is now in flower. The color of the flower is light lavender, beautifully veined and penciled with rich purple, and borne on racemes from the end of each shoot, the number of flowers being in accordance with the strength of the shoot. A large plant, well flowered, must be a beautiful object; it is very easily propagated ; young wood roots freely in a gentle bottom heat.
The flowers will be found very useful for florist's work, using the entire spike or singly.