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.
Dr. H. P. Walcott, of Cambridge, has succeeded in raising a large number of Chinese and Japanese Chrysanthemums from seed. Some of his seedlings are of good merit, especially a pale purple and a chestnut-colored Japanese, and a crimson and yellow reflexed Chinese flower. Now, raising seedlings of Chrysanthemums (C. Indicum) is no uncommon thing in Europe, but I have not heard of it before in America; still, seeds of it are advertised in some seedsmen's catalogues. Whence are the seeds obtained? From plants grown in the Channel Islands, the South of France and Algeria, but mostly from Algeria. But Dr. Walcott's seeds were raised, in 1880, in his own garden at Cambridge. This is the first instance of raising Chrysanthemum seeds in America that I have heard of; do any of your readers know of another ?
The seeds were sown out of doors in July ; they soon germinated, and by the end of August had formed nice little plants, which were lifted and potted into four and five-inch pots, and nearly all of them blossomed during the last two weeks of October and the first fortnight of November.
The Doctor tells me that the plants from which he saved the seeds, at and after blooming time, were kept in the greenhouse, where the atmosphere was as dry as he could keep it, without using unnecessary fire-heat. He considers that a dry atmosphere is essential to success.
On December 17th, the Doctor told me he had recently returned from a visit to Georgia, and was assured there that the cultivation of the larger Chinese varieties was on account of their hot, dry, summer weather - an impossibility. He further told me that he did not think he should be able to secure any seed from his own plants this season, nor did he find any of the plants in the Southern States with perfected seed; the moisture of their Novembers seems to be as fatal to the ripening of the seed as our greenhouse conditions are.