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.
The Musk (Mimulus moschatus) is such a universal favourite, that one is often surprised pains are not taken to make it much more attractive in form than is usually seen, instead of its being allowed to grow weakly and straggling, and of a kind of consumptive appearance. It is really capable, with some assistance, of doing much more than people appear to imagine. The root3 of Musk, like those of the common herb Mint, run under the surface of the soil, which, by continued watering, loses the nourishment so essential to the plant. Cuttings, as a general rule, make much better plants than those obtained by a division of the roots; and cuttings strike easily enough if taken early and placed in pots. To grow the Musk finely, a vigorous young cutting, well rooted, should be taken and planted in some soil, about 4 inches deep, in a flower-pot that would hold half a peck, and then placed in the warmest part of the greenhouse, where it will grow rapidly. As the plant makes growth, the leading shoot should be pinched out, to induce the plant to make side growth; and as this growth develops, more soil should be added, until the pot is filled to within an inch of the top: by this time the pot is well filled with roots that have struck out from all parts of the plant thus buried, hence it grows more vigorously than when it has only a few roots running under the surface.
A number of neatly-cut sticks should now be placed some 10 inches apart all round the edge of the pot, and be drawn and tied together at the top, thus forming a cone about 18 inches high above the rim. Some fine matting or bast should then be passed round each stick, commencing at the bottom; and as the plant continues to grow, place these bands round it to keep the foliage inside. As the flowers make their appearance they should be pinched off, until the plant has quite filled the space enclosed by the sticks, which will not occupy long, for the plant at this stage may almost be seen to grow, and then it should be allowed to bloom at will. A frequent turning of the pot will prevent the foliage from being drawn on one side by the sun or light. The shoots that find their way forth through the sticks can be allowed to fall down round the pot, which will soon be almost invisible. The whole then presents the appearance of a floral pillar, about 2 feet in height, covered with flowers of a larger size than those generally seen in the Musk plant, and not a stick of its support visible. By this time it requires a little assistance with clear manure-water, not too strong.
Frequent syringings of the plant with chilled water is of great and essential service.