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.
Among the numerous introductions of late years, few have found more admirers than this charming Deutzia, and possibly none of our early flowering plants are more especially deserving of notice. It is easily cultivated, tolerably hardy, forces with the greatest facility if the wood has been properly ripened, flowers profusely even in a small state, and it may be had in bloom the whole of the early spring months. At that season the appearance of a well flowered plant, covered with numerous clusters of snowy white flowers, is sure to excite admiration; and the long duration of the blossoms render it especially adapted for the decoration of the conservatory, drawing-room, or, indeed, almost for any situation in which sufficient light and warmth is maintained.
So general a demand for this Deutzia has occasioned its being extensively propagated, and well-established plants may now be obtained of any nurseryman at a trifling cost If procured at this time, the plants, if healthy and well rooted, should at once receive a tolerable shift, using a compost consisting of two-thirds turfy loam and one-third leaf soil, or other decomposed vegetable matter, adding a sufficiency of sharp sand to preserve the porosity of the soil. After potting, place them in a sheltered situation out of doors; and as they become established and commence growth, remove them by degrees to an open and airy situation, when the pots should be plunged to the rim, taking care to adopt some means of preventing worms, Ac, obtaining ingress to the roots. Water as required, never allowing the plants to be checked, but encourage them to complete their growth as early in autumn as possible. If required for early forcing, I prefer removing them under cover before heavy rains or severe weather sets in; being deciduous, they occupy but little room in a corner of the greenhouse or other convenient place, where they should be watered sparingly, but sufficient quantities should be given to prevent the ball from becoming dry.
If started in time, plants may be had in flower in February; for this purpose, early in December they should be cleaned and top-dressed, pruning out or shortening any superfluous shoots, but bearing in mind that the flowers are produced most copiously on well ripened moderate growth of the present year. When the wounds have dried, remove the plants to a temperature of 50° to 55°, and place them near the light Water when required, and occasionally on fine mornings give a gentle sprinkle with the syringe.. As they advance, the flowering shoots will be readily perceived, and should be tied and regulated accordingly. When the flowers begin to expand remove the plants to a cooler situation: this will make room for a second batch, which should by that time be progressing.
After the plants have finished flowering, remove them to a warm greenhouse to complete their growth, giving them a shift if necessary preparatory to hardening them off, and placing them out of doors, when all danger of frost is over. They will bloom much earlier the second year than they did the first If not required for early forcing the temperature of a warm greenhouse will induce them to flower early in April; after blossoming they may be treated as previously directed.
Cuttings of this plant root freely in spring; use young side shoots three or four inches long taken off with a heel attached to them. Place them in a pot filled with a light sandy compost, cover with a bell-glass, and set them in a close warm pit or frame, in which, if there is a gentle bottom heat, so much the better. When rooted, pot them singly into 8-inch pots, and place them in a close frame, and as the pots become filled with roots give a second shift, and afterwards harden them preparatory to turning them out of doors, where, with due attention, they will grow much stronger than if kept under glass. To flower strongly they should be grown a second season before they are forced, and by that time, if well treated, they should be well established plants in 8 or 9-inch pots. They will, however, flower well in pots of a much smaller size, but they should not be kept more than one year without shifting; therefore where small plants are desired it is preferable to propagate a few each season, planting out such as have become too large to be kept conveniently. - Alpha, in Gadeners' Chronicle.
This floricultural gem is worthy a place in every collection, large or small, throughout the length and breadth of the land, as few plants can boast of the grace and beauty of this, which must ere long become a great favorite with the fair sex, both on account of its own merit and their nice discrimination of the good and beautiful.
The plant is of the easiest possible culture; a mixture of leaf mould and good loam with a little sand will be found to suit this elegant little bijou; its increase is easy, either by layers or by cuttings of the half ripened wood under a hand glass, with a slight bottom heat to hasten their rooting. As soon as rooted, pot them off singly into 1/2 pint pots and place them in a shady part of the greenhouse till they begin to grow, then place them in a cold frame to harden off, and as soon as they have filled the pots with roots, turn them out into a well selected piece of ground fully exposed to the sun, and by the fall they will have made nice little plants that will bloom the following spring. Take them up and repot according to the size and strength of the plants; they can then be stowed away under the green house stage, and treated precisely the same as Fuchsias; as soon as the weather permits, again turn them into the open ground, and by the end of the second summer's growth they will be respectable sized plants that will be covered with their snow-white flowers through the winter and spring months, by placing a few plants at a time into the early vinery forcing-house or even the warmed part of the green-house.
They may also be obtained early by those possessing no other glass than that of their dwelling-house windows, by placing them in a south window of a warm room, and giving air cm every favorable occasion, that is, when the thermometer is above 40° in the shade. As they produce their flowers on the previous year's growth, good care must be taken in pruning them to remove none but the old wood or ugly cross shoots that spoil the shape of the plant; a liberal supply of water is absolutely necessary for the full development of its long spikes of snowy flowers.
Few plants, among the recent introductions to our gardens, possess more interest, or have proved more valuable than the Deutzia gracilis, not only as an ornament for the shrubbery border, but also for pot cultivation. As a plant for early forcing, for the, decoratiom of the conservatory, and also for cuttings for bouquets, it is one of the most useful. Like its congeners, it is readily propagated by cuttings of the young wood, in a half-ripened state. If the wood is strong and healthy, out the cuttings at a joint, as they will strike just as freely; if a leaf-bud and about an inch below is taken with it, each joint or bud will make a plant. To incuse the cuttings rooting quickly, a gentle bottom heat will be necessary, and they must also be covered with a glass, to prevent the undue evaporation of the moisture. Any light rich soil will be suitable, such as a mixture of turfy loam, leaf-mould, and gritty sand; and, when planted, out, any enriched garden soil will suit it. As a pot plant, it will require much the same treatment as Wiegela rosea - that is, the wood must be thoroughly matured in the autumn, to insure its blooming profusely when forced.