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.
At Oakley, Mount Auburn, on November 20th, I saw a lovely specimen of this most gorgeous plant. Last spring Mr. Allan, the gardener, had a lot of seedlings, robust plants in good blooming order; some he grew in cold frames and others planted out in the borders; those in the frames gave most satisfaction. Seeds ripened by those plants were sown on August 4th, and the beautiful specimen just referred to is one of these late seedlings. It is growing in a cold frame, well packed around with dry litter and matted over when occasion requires to exclude frost. The earth in the frame is about fifteen inches beneath the glass surface, and the branches of the plant, about four feet in spread, are trained out horizontally about eight inches under the sashes. The plant is growing vigorously, and from every leaf axil arises a cluster of blossoms or buds. When we saw it, about a dozen clusters were fully expanded, and Mr. Allan assured us he had already cut off twenty-three clusters. The sunny position of the frame, the nearness of the Clianthus to the glass, and the cool temperature of the season, incited a brilliance of color not attained in the blossoms of spring and summer. .
The great difficulty in growing this Glory Flower successfully is its susceptibility to damp off at the neck and sensitiveness to root-mutilation in re-potting. To avoid these, Mr. Allan grows his seedlings in three-inch pots, and just before they would likely need shifting knocks off the bottoms of the pots, and without disturbing the roots in the least sets the pots to within an inch of their depth in prepared beds, where the roots can ramble at will. The little pot acts as a collar-guard to the plant, and no water is afterwards allowed to be given within that collar; thus although the roots may be well watered the neck of the plant is kept dry.
The Glory Flower is a native of the desert regions of Australia, where it assumes the form of a small scrubby bush or woody vine. Its leaves and young wood are thickly clad with white woolly hairs; its brilliant scarlet blossoms have a large black-purple 6pot at the base of the standard, are very showy, and vividly distinct from any other of our cultivated flowers. Although a true perennial, as a garden plant, it has usually given most satisfaction when treated as an annual.