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.
Attention should now be directed to the propagation of plants for flowering next winter and early spring. Secure a good stock of Bouvardia leiantha, Cestrum auranti-acum, Coronilla giauca, Cytisus raoemosa, Linum trigynum, Epiphyllum truncatum, Trop«-olum Lobbianum, Daphnes, Polygalas, etc. It is also a good time to propagate the various hard-wooded plants, so that the young plants may be of sufficient strength to stand easily through the winter. The principle of striking cuttings does not seem to be very generally understood. A cutting is simply a part of a plant taken off and placed in a position to form roots, and become in all respects a living representation of the original from whence it was taken. The "position" in which it should be placed, and the care required, depend upon the kind of cutting and its maturity. The following figures will assist us in a brief description.
No. 1 represents a rose-cutting of half ripened wood, made off a shoot immediately after it has done flowering. No. 2, a geranium-cutting of a similar kind. No. 3 is a point of a young growing shoot, such as the point of a fuchsia, or any side shoot of a growing plant. And No. 4, a gooseberry, grape, or similar plant, after the wood is ripened and the leaves fallen. In the latter case, there are no leaves to extract the sap and disturb its equilibrium; the root-forming process proceeds slowly, but without further care. No. 3 is soft and succulent in all its parts, and furnished with a quantity of tender leaves; consequently is easily destroyed. Nos. 1 and 2, although furnished with leaves, are more matured in all their parts. While, therefore, No. 4 may be fully exposed to sun and air without injury, Nos. 1 and 2 will require shading from bright sun, and should be placed in a sheltered position such as is afforded by the interposition of a wall or close hedge. No. 3 must not only be shaded from bright light, but placed in an atmosphere saturated with moisture, so that there will be no extraction of the juices until roots are formed. All cuttings root soonest when the soil in which they are inserted is warmer than the surrounding air.
The whole "mystery" lies in preventing evaporation and shrivelling up of the shoot until roots are formed. The figures show the particular manipulations required in preparing the cuttings, and the depth they should be placed in the soil. The line represents the surface.
The top sashes may now be lowered day and night, unless heavy rains, or very strong winds prevail. Shading will now be requisite. An awning mounted on rollers is the most complete method. Washing the glass with whitewash, or painting with boiled oil and litharge, saves trouble, but the continued shade is not always desirable. The syringe may be used freely in distributing water over the house, and also those plants not in flower. Guard against currents of dry air sweeping over the plants, by ventilating only by the top openings. A shaded, moist atmosphere is most congenial to the majority of summer flowering plants.
Pelargoniums will still be flowering; pick off all decayed flowers, and gradually withhold water as they cease growing. Save seed from the best varieties. They ripen seed most perfectly out of doors, in a full exposure to sun.