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.
To begin with propagation, select strong healthy leaves, cut the strong ribs in several places, lay the leaves flat in a convenient sized pot or seed pan and cover the several cut parts with a little white silver sand, using a compost of sand and peat mould.
When struck and swelled to the size of a pea, pot off in two inch pots, using a compost of dead leaf mould, light loam and sand in equal parts '> grow them on through the season and most of them will flower the first year.
To commence the second season's growth ; in potting Gloxineas the principal part of the old soil should be removed carefully with the hand, retaining all the fibrous roots as far as they are alive, put into as small pots as possible, setting them in a dry part of the stove. Attend to watering, but this element must be supplied cautiously at first, taking care not to water over the crown of the plant, but around the edge of the pot. As the plant advances in growth it may occasionally be syringed with tepid water. When the pot becomes filled with roots, shift the plants, using the same soil as before. As the spring advances the plant must be started into active growth by being placed in the warmest part of the stove; but it will be necessary that they should have air at all favorable times. Particularly attend to watering at this time, as they are very impatient of drought at this stage of their growth. When the plants have filled the pots with roots they may receive their last shift. The size of pots may be regulated by the size of the plants, allowing plenty of room for the plants to develop; otherwise a profusion of bloom and large flowers cannot be expected. Manure water may be used to great advantage at this season.
I should have mentioned that it is particularly necessary to drain the pots well with broken crocks and rubble with a covering of rough soil, as nothing is more injurious than | stagnant water at the roots.
When the flowering season begins and the flowers expand, remove the plants to the greenhouse, taking care to shade them from the sun. When the flowering season is over reduce watering by degrees until the roots are in a state of rest for three or four months at least. Be careful not to over-dry them, as by such practice, I have often found they do not break the next season.