The mode of cultivating this class of plants is perfectly easy; three things chiefly have to be attended to. First, the manner of propagation. Second, the most suitable soil. Third, the requisite temperature. There are five methods of propagation practised: by divisions, suckers, layers, seeds, and cuttings.
Dividing the Roots. - This may be done either with a kind of knife, if the plant is small, or a spade, if it is strong and large. The best time for doing it is when the tops are just beginning to grow after having been cut down.
The roots may be divided in the spring, or almost any time (with some species) during the summer, after flowering. The month of August is a proper time for many kinds, as the divisions will take strong hold before winter, and be prepared to flower strongly the next year.
Suckers. - These may be taken up at any time when they appear, but the most usual time is when the plant is beginning to grow.
Seed. - Sow, for the most part, in early spring, in light soil, and plant out in the following autumn in the situations where they are to flower. Many of the fine double and other varieties never produce seed.
Layers and Cuttings. - Thrifty, succulent shoots, if partly cut through, and pegged down, and covered with earth, will take root, as is the case with the Pinks and Carnations. Cuttings of many plants will take root, with proper care.
Soil. - Different species of plants require rather different kinds of soil; but a light, rich loam will suit the greater part of plants.
Temperature. - Hardy, half-hardy, and green-house plants require similar care, except the amount of protection or quantity of heat, to bring them into the most perfect state.