This section is from the book "The Gardener V2", 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.
Although this plant is not new, still it is one that can never be altogether uncared for. To those who have to provide a great many plants for winter and spring decoration, it is especially valuable. It continues flowering for three or four months without interruption, bearing several singularly beautiful white flowers on each plant. A charming floral spectacle is presented in early spring when a number of blooming plants are nicely arranged among a variety of others in a conservatory. Even when not in bloom the pleasing foliage has a happy effect, mixed with other plants; also, it is of easy growth. It can be grown in a 12-inch pot, placing three or four plants in a pot, or, individually, in smaller ones. The greatest care required during its growing season is to have it plentifully supplied with moisture; and as it is a gross feeder, it should occasionally have some liquid manure. As soon as the pots get filled with roots, they should be set in saucers of water, with a little manure in them as well, and be kept in them while flowering, so that the spadix and foliage may attain a full and fine development. By the commencement of summer, the flowering season should have ended.
Then the plants should be allowed to dry off gradually, under the influence of the sun, for the space of two or three months, so that the roots may get well ripened. Early in autumn they should be shaken out of the pots, removing all the small stems, and saving only the larger ones for potting as occasion may require. When they have been thus prepared, they may be potted singly or otherwise, as before mentioned. A compost of decomposed turfy loam, with a good proportion of cow-dung and a little sand, will be found to answer well. Before they have been potted, they may be removed to a frame or pit to be gradually kept moving in growth till the season of flowering comes again in the early spring. The Richardia should not be potted too firmly, and care should be taken to have the plants secured from injury by frost. If it is required to bloom earlier than usual, it may be subjected to a gentle heat.
Although the Richardia is a plant that does admirably well as I have described, yet, treated as a conservatory plant, it is a subject that will stand a variety of usage. I have seen it growing beautifully in the great conservatory of Chatsworth, which is kept as a tropical house, in a piece of water imitating part of a quiet natural rivulet. All the year round it seemed to be without its season of rest, throwing up its grand snow-white flowers in midwinter. In addition, it is a very worthy subject for window cultivation - a department of gardening now receiving some merited attention at the hands of the ablest horticultural writers. R. M.