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.
These beautiful bulbous plants will be found to repay the grower who has heat at command. My way of growing them is to give alternately a season of excitement and a season of rest. To do this, they should be abundantly supplied with water, and kept near the glass, when coming into flower. When the blooming season is over, water should be gradually administered till they have done growing. The bulbs intended for blooming should be repotted about the beginning of February, into sandy loam and peat soil, placing them in a stove or hotbed, where the temperature is from sixty to seventy degrees. Water should be plentifully supplied. Those amateurs who can find convenience for growing the Amaryllis will find these remarks useful. B.
Mr. C. M. Hovey said they were a tribe of plants which should be better known to the flower-loving public. They are easily cultivated when one knows what they require. The secret is in properly drying off the bulbs after flowering. They cannot be prevented from flowering; amateurs should procure good bulbs, and put them in a temperature of from 60° to 65°, and then remove them to a colder house as they come into bloom. They should be potted from month to month so as to have a succession of bloom. Later, about June, they may be planted in the open ground; after blooming, the flower stems should be cut off, then the plants should be watered until they show signs of ceasing to grow, and then dried off gradually.
John B. Moore said that the secret of growing good flowers is first to secure good foliage. The bulb which he exhibited was grown in a pot until it showed signs of drying. It was then allowed to become dormant, and when signs of starting appeared, was grown in a warm place. The bulb was strengthened by growing so long in the pot.
Imantophyllum miniatunu - Mr. Atkinson, who exhibited a fine bulb of this, said that without good foliage it was impossible to have good flowers. This plant is a good feeder, and if allowed would soon fill a 3-feet tub with its roots. His treatment is to deluge the plant with water early in the summer, and afterwards to place it where it will have three or four hours sun in the day. It is as easy to produce a hundred spikes of flowers as five. It is necessary to starve the plants for about six weeks in autumn in order to force them to produce flower buds.
Dendrochilum glumacheum - This beautiful orchid was exhibited by E. S.
Rand, Jr., who gave the following description: It is a native of the Phillippine Islands, whence it was brought 10 or 15 years ago. The plant exhibited is one, and the largest one, of only two in the country. The specific name is derived from the resemblance of the spikes of flowers to the awns of wheat. The flowers are not showy but very delicate, drooping gracefully from the extremity of a slender, curved, stalk, and are delightfully fragrant. Many orchids are rendered comparatively unsightly by shedding their leaves before blooming, but this is both evergreen and ever-blooming. The flowers last very long, and are very valuable for bouquets, wreaths, etc. The sheaths of the leaves are delicately tinged with red. The plant is of easy culture in a mixture of fibrous peat and moss. The best location is in the hothouse, but it may be grown very successfully with roses. The plant is propagated by division of the pseudo-bulbs, and is of very rapid growth. Unlike many other orchids in which it is difficult to produce "back breaks," the plant is of symmetrical form.
Lycaste Skinneri, also exhibited by Mr. Rand, was stated to have been introduced from Guatemala about 1836. It is a coral orchid of the easiest culture, and can be grown in the greenhouse. Its flowers, which are large and strong, are produced at all seasons, but mostly from January to April. There are many varieties of this species, from the purest white to the deepest purple. It is an admirable house plant, and can be grown in perfection in any room not heated by a furnace, where the air can be kept sufficiently moist, but unlike other species, such as L. aromatica, the flowers are unfortunately destitute of fragrance.
Mr. Putnam said that his mode of cultivating amaryllis differed from other growers who had spoken. He does not let them dry up, but waters continuously, and thinks his seedlings flower sooner under this treatment. He believes they can be cultivated out doors. If inclined to dry up, let them. He keeps his old bulbs growing all the time, and they increase in size.