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.
All who are in the habit of growing stove plants can not fail to acknowledge the great beauty, as well as utility, of this genus, flowering as they do in the depth of winter, when a great scarcity generally prevails, and recourse must be had to forcing to procure a supply of flowers for decorative purposes. Aphelandra cristata is so well known that no remarks are necessary with regard to it There is, however, another species which is not so well known, from being more recently introduced; I refer to A. aurantiaca, a species with splendid scarlet orange colored flowers, and which also possesses the property of flowering when extremely small - it has been flowered when scarcely six inches in height The Aphelandra can be propagated by cuttings, which may be struck in a moist heat They should be shifted, as they may require it The best soil for them is loam, leaf-mold, or well rotted cow dung and peat, with a small portion of sand. They must be kept in a moist stove, and plentifully supplied with water during the summer.
If judiciously treated, they will flower in December and January. As soon as they have done flowering, the shoots should be reduced to within two or three eyes of the joint from which they started, and the plants dryed off and nested, during which time scarcely any moisture is necessary. As soon as they begin to show signs of growth, they must be shaken out of the old soil, and the roots reduced. They should then be re-potted in fresh soil, in pots about a size or two smaller than those they have been taken out of, and shifted, as they may require it, until they are finally placed in the pots in which they are to bloom. Judicious drainage is necessary; and frequent applications of the syringe will be found not only to improve the health of the plant, but also be of material service in checking the increase of insects, this genus being particularly liable to be attacked by the mealy bug and red spider. - W. H., in Gardener's and Farmer's Journal.