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.
The Chrysanthemum (it gets its name from the Greek words for gold and flower - many species bear yellow.flowers), though commonly classed with out-of-door plants, should be made to lend its beauty to every parlor through the months of October, November and December. After flowering, Chrysanthemums must be set in a dark, cool place - a cellar, or any damp, dark place where they will not freeze - till May. Then give them the same treatment as Pyrethrums, with which they are often classed; but they require free watering. Soap-suds will make them grow stout and strong through the summer. After they are potted give liquid manure twice a week till the buds begin to unfold, then withhold it entirely.
Another splendid flowering plant, which has been supposed, until recently, to expend all its energies during the autumnal months, and to require the open air for the perfection of its beauty, is the Salvia. Salvia angustifolia, with its elegant foliage and long spikes of clear blue flowers, is particularly fine; so is S. patens, bearing blossoms of a still more "heavenly hue;" yet none are so attractive, nor so hardy, as S. splendent, with its plumes of dazzling scarlet. Any of the Salvias are easily raised from cuttings; trim all the foliage from these slips and set them in damp sand to root. Start them in May. When rooted set them in the garden, but keep them shaded from the sun with a paper screen till the new leaves are well developed. Water freely. In September pot those you wish for the house, and pinch out the buds. If then left to themselves they will store up strength for the winter. But before the frosts come, be sure to take them within doors, and give the fertilizer once a week till in bloom. Cut them to the root in May, and set the root in the garden. It is best to start new plants every year for the house.
Salvias need a light loamy soil, and a temperature of 60° by day, and 45° by night.
A Lady. (Pittsburgh.) You may have nice dwarf plants of these by bending down the long shoots of the old stock plants, and fastening them to the ground with pegs at a distance of 4 or 5 inches from the end of the shoot. In a few days this end of the shoot will again take an upright position. Then sink a flower pot filled with rich mould under the bend of the shoot and make a layer of it. It will soon send out plenty of roots into the pot - after which yon can cut off the connection with the mother plant, and your young plant will bloom finely at about a foot high.
Edward. The follow, ing are some of the best: MadamePoggi. Fleur de Marie, Temple of Solomon, Celestial, Em-press, Lucidum, La Reine d'Or, Campestroni, and Lady Talfourd.
How beautiful are the Chrysanthemums at this season. The Lilliputian varieties also, recently introduced, possess an interest which is peculiar to themselves. The best of this class, of different shades of color, are La Fiancee. Bijou, Bouton de Versailles, Bozard, Eliza Mielliez. Amongst the best varieties of the large Chrysanthemums that we have noticed this year, are Lycias, King of Crimsons, Charlemagne, Malvina, Queen of England, and Reine des Bacchanale. All we have named are truly magnificent.
In order to attain increased size in these beautiful plants, they may be disbudded before the blossoms expand, leaving only three or four flowers on each; and in the case of the large sorts, remove all laterals. The effect is, more perfect blooms. When their beauty is over move them, and put them in "by the heels " in some suitable corner, out of the way, to be replanted next season; dig the borders for the winter, and they may be filled in the spring with mignonette, verbenas, geraniums, and other gay bedding-plants. In this way a fair display of bloom is kept up.
The Chrysanthemum is becoming extremely popular, new interest having been created by the increase of varieties, and by the knowledge of the best modes of culture and training. The best are placed in ten-inch pots, and trained so as to hide the latter with foliage and flowers, presenting more the appearance of well grown Chinese Azaleas than of Chrysanthemums under ordinary management This is effected by judicious training, which is commenced about the middle of August after they have received their final shift, and continued as may be requisite until they have fairly set their bloom. Under this treatment the plants are literally masses of flowers, none of the buds having been thinned out. Thus a good succession is obtained and the plants have a more natural appearance, and last longer in beauty than if they had been disbudded, as is sometimes done in the case of plants for exhibition when one bloom only is allowed to a shoot.
It often happens that, from want of care and attention, old plants of chrysanthemums become ragged and sprawling. These may be turned to good account by layering the shoots at this time, by which a number of small, well-shaped plants may be had, each of which will give a number of blooms and form pretty objects for the window or conservatory late in the season.
Camellias should be carefully looked over this month, and old plants that have filled their pots completely with roots will require abundance of water, while those in which the roots have not quite filled the pots, require only to be moderately watered.
The Green-house, during this month, should be thoroughly cleaned out and, if needful, repainted. If not repainted, the wood-work should be thoroughly scrubbed, and the brick - work lime-washed, rat-holes stopped, and any other needful repair that is found necessary to make the house secure and healthy for the plants. After the work of cleaning is done, a week or more should elapse before any plants are again placed therein.
Select and mark the best and most desirable sorts when in flower. There are so many fine sorts that it is useless to grow a quantity of the poor dingy varieties. One or two dozen varieties, if well selected, will give more satisfaction than a larger number.
Succulents, such as Agaves, Echeverias and Cacti, will not require frequent watering, or the roots will perish. Yuccas, although requiring more water than the above, will not want it often, the variegated sorts being a better color when kept moderately dry. Remove any decayed leaves at once, or they will decay others.
Palms, growing in cool houses, must-not be saturated with water, or the roots will perish; but these plants must never get very dry, or the ends of the leaves die. This is the principal cause of the many unsightly plants of this splendid tribe of plants; and it must be remembered that many species are natives of very hot and moist districts of the tropics; so that it would be useless to attempt to grow these in anything but a tropical temperature; but there are many species which will grow and flourish well in an ordinary greenhouse, and also in the open air during the summer. The taste for these plants is fast growing in this country. This is not to be surprised at, from the grace and beauty of the plants when well cultivated. Until recently, only those traveling in Europe have the opportunity to see well-grown Palms; but now they can be seen in this country as well grown, and with the same varieties as large as in Europe, although at present there is no large house here in which to show them to full advantage.
Something of the sort is proposed at Philadelphia. We hope it will be carried out.