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.
As you ask for a paper on the culture of the above in your last number, I will state my experience with them. They are both stove-plants of easy culture. The Anthurium is of recent introduction, but it is now plentiful, and can be purchased at a cheap rate; it is, moreover, a most beautiful plant, and worthy of a place in the most select collection. As to culture, it requires to be carefully potted, using clean pots and a liberal proportion of drainage. The best compost for it is tough fibry peat, torn in pieces by the hand, and using only the rough portion of it; to this should be added some silver-sand, a small quantity of Sphagnum moss, chopped fine, and a few broken pieces of porous bricks or potsherds. Some fresh Sphagnum moss should be placed over the drainage. In potting give a liberal shift, and press the compost in firmly with the fingers: the plant should be slightly raised on a mound in the centre of the pot. The plant should occupy a somewhat shady position in the house, as exposure to the sun is injurious to it. Another recommendation to it is, that it is not only free in flowering, but the spathes last a long time in perfection. I had some last winter which were perfect for three months. Care must be exercised not to allow water from the syringe to touch them.
The plant alluded to above began to flower last year in October, and continued to throw up flower-spathes all through the winter in a temperature of from 55° to 60°, and at midsummer it had upwards of a dozen flower-spathes on it at one time. As to watering, it is simply impossible to state how much a plant would require - it all depends on surrounding circumstances. The Anthuriunm should be kept rather moist during active growth, but on no account allow the plant to be sodden. It ought to be allowed a season of rest in autumn when other flowers are plentiful; it will then produce its flowers freely during winter and spring. When at rest little water will be required, but do not allow it to become quite dry: it may be kept in a lower temperature, but I have not ventured to place it in the greenhouse during rest. Always use water that has stood from twelve to twenty-four hours in pots near the hot-water pipes. There are a great many different forms of it in commerce. A neighbour pointed out three distinct varieties to me in his plant-stove, and they were all different from the variety that I cultivate. By far the best variety I have seen in London this season was exhibited by Messrs Veitch of Chelsea; the spathes were very brilliant, and were 6 inches long by 3 inches.
Those who do not possess this plant should purchase it, and stipulate that the best variety only be sent.
Allamandas are very handsome stove climbers and a noble feature in large houses. Their glossy green leaves and large rich lemon-yellow flowers are exceedingly effective. In small houses they have room to develop themselves to a very limited extent, and ought to be grown in pots, although where there is plenty of room I prefer planting them out. A. cathartica is a very free-flowering species, either grown in pots or planted out; it will produce five flowers for one of A. Schottii, but Schottii has the largest and best flowers. A. grandiflora, A. nobilis, and A. Hendersonii are all very desirable species of more recent introduction, and are now grown in preference to A. cathartica and A. Schottii. A. grandiflora makes a very fine exhibition plant. All the species strike freely from cuttings in sandy loam. The best compost for growing them in is turfy loam two parts and turfy peat one part, using it rather rough; enough sand should be added to keep it open: in this they will flower profusely either planted out or in pots. There is a plant of A. cathartica planted in the stove here which produces hundreds of flowers annually, and is in flower from June to October, when the plant is severely pruned, as the thick green leaves keep the light from plants underneath.
They require plenty of water when growing, and a limited supply when at rest during winter. J. Douglas.