This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
This is one of the most brilliant and effective of winter-flowering plants. It produces its warm orange-scarlet spikes of bloom about the begin-ing of November under ordinary plant-stove treatment. And they are not only among the most brilliant of stove-flowers, but they last for weeks in bloom in a moderately dry atmosphere. It associates well with softer colours, and no stove should be without a few plants of it. Being rather stiff and erect, it is very effective mixed with plants of a more loose habit, such as Calanthas, which are generally in bloom at the same time. The Aphelandra has the additional recommendation of being easily grown. After it has bloomed it should be rested till the middle of February, by being kept moderately moist in a temperature of 60°. At the above date, turn the plants out of their pots, and slightly reduce the balls, giving them a very moderate shift, and using a compost composed of equal portions fibry loam and peat with a little silver-sand. Throughout the summer it should be kept near the glass in a moist stove-heat, and be syringed freely overhead every fine day. It is a comparatively slow-growing plant, and one that does not require large pots. Plants in 6-inch pots will yield ten and twelve of its most beautiful bloom - spikes.
A. nitens is also a most effective plant, producing rather longer spikes of bloom. It does with the same treatment as auruntiaca.