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.
It must be admitted that the Polyanthus, if not one of the most popular at present, is at least one of the most beautiful of our Spring flowering plants. There are but few that can boast of a greater share of floral beauty than is displayed by a well-grown specimen of any of the improved and cultivated varieties which are cultivated with so much success throughout Europe, (and, we are pleased to add, in many places in this country;) and as new and good varieties are imported or raised, and brought into notice, they can not fail of gaining many admirers, and ere long will become quite as popular as they are in Europe.
To cultivate it successfully throughout the northern and eastern states, it should be treated as a half-hardy plant. They are not difficult to manage, if kept through the whiter in a cold frame, protecting them from severe frosts, keeping them dry when in a dormant state, and watering freely when in a growing state, and keeping them at all seasons quite free from decaying leaves, weeds, &c.