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.
One of the most useful winter and spring flowering plants is the above. Coming in as it does when flowers, and especially white flowers, are getting scarce, it is the more useful, and is not cultivated nearly so much as its merits deserve. Not its least recommendation is the small amount of care required in its culture. After the plants have done flowering they should be cut back, and put into a vinery at work to break again into growth, in order to get cuttings. These should be taken off exactly as we do Fuchsias; and, in fact, the same treatment that we give to Fuchsias suits them exactly in the earlier stages of their culture. When rooted, pot them off singly into 3-inch pots; they are not particular as regards soil, the same used for Fuchsias and Geraniums will suit them nicely; keep them well pinched while they are young, as they are apt to get leggy. The next shift may be into 6-inch pots, which will be large enough to bloom them in the first year. They should be grown in a temperature of about 55° till the middle of May, when they may be gradually hardened off: and when danger from frost is past, they may be plunged out-of-doors, in a sheltered place, but fully exposed to the sun. They must be duly attended to with water, and occasionally pinched.
They may be brought under cover about the beginning of October, and the first batch will come into flower about the end of November. The old plants will bloom a month earlier, and by having successional batches of cuttings, they maybe had in bloom up to April or May. It is a most useful plant for cutting from, and its beautiful dark green foliage lends additional charm to it. It has also a very sweet perfume, somewhat resembling the smell of honey; and, by the way, the bees are very fond of it. The flowers stand well when cut; and the plants stand rooms well. There is another variety - viz., E. riparium; it is not so good nor so free-flowering, however, as the variety above-mentioned.
J. G., W.