This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
This is one of the oldest of winter-flowering plants, and is the most suitable for conservatory decoration, at that season. It is highly ornamental when the plants do not exceed twelve or fifteen inches in height, and as much in diameter; but specimens from six to seven feet in height, and from three to four feet in diameter, and covered all over with spikes of brilliant scarlet flowers, produce a very fine effect. The manner in which these growing specimens are grown is exceedingly simple, and can be briefly described. The cuttings are struck in the autumn, wintered in a greenhouse, and potted off singly into thumb pots in February, using a compost consisting of three parts loam and one part leaf-mould which suits them admirably. When they are well established in the small pots, they are gradually hardened off, to admit of their being planted out in an open border by the end of May. A rather shady situation is selected and they are allowed to grow naturally, and by the autumn, they are usually three or four feet in height, and well furnished with side-branches to the ground.
Early in September they are taken up with a good ball of soil, and transferred as quickly as possible into ten or twelve-inch pots, large enough to take the ball of soil, without injur- ing the roots. As a rule, pots of the smallest size possible are' used, as the plants bloom profusely when they are confined at the roots. Managed as' above directed, and placed in a greenhouse when potted, they begin to flower in December, and they are then removed to an intermediate conservatory, where they continue to produce their showy flower until far into the spring. One of the most important matters to observe is to carefully guard against their suffering from dryness at the root, because, if they do, the result will be the loss of the foliage towards the lower part of the plant. - Gardener's Record.
Bignonias for the Conservatory. The Gardener's Record says: There are very few of the Bignonias that will not succeed in a warm conservatory, - by this I mean one in which the temperature never falls below forty-five degrees in winter. Even old B. venusta, which has always been looked upon as a stove plant, and as requiring a strong bottom heat to flower it, succeeds admirably under conservatory treatment. The Tecomas, the near allies of the genus Bignonia, are all suitable for conservatory decoration. Indeed T. radi-cans and T. grandiflora are quite hardy, as are also Bignonia capreolata and B. crucigera. The following six will be found a good selection, viz.: - Bignonia jasminoides, B. venusta, B. Chirere, B. speciosa, B. spectablis, and B. purpurea. To these might be added Tecoma meonantha and T. splendida.
Tacsonia exoniensis is a cross between T. Van Volxemi and T. mollissima, and, with the strong-growing habit of the latter, it combines the free, flowery character of the former. The flowers, when looked at against the light, are of a clear rosy magenta hue, and, as in the case of T. Van Volxemi, they hang suspended from the vigorous shoots or slender footstalks, but not so long as those of its vermilion-colored congener. It would appear to be an almost perpetual flowerer; and it might be effectively associated with the brilliant-colored parent, which has been well described as "almost unequalled as a greenhouse climber."