GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
A free ventilation is of importance, and by closing with a humid
atmosphere early in the evening a vigorous growth will be promoted.
Liberal shifts to be given to such plants as may now require them,
before their roots become matted.
Remove all plants intended for bedding
out, and let them remain for a short time under the protection of a cold
frame, or in beds hooped over, and covered at night with mats, or other
such protecting materials. This gradually-hardening-off will better
enable them to withstand unfavourable weather, if it should occur after
they are planted out.
Azaleas.--All irregularities of growth should be corrected by pruning.
We have lately seen the beneficial effects of close pruning on such
plants; they had been cut in severely last season by removing strong,
straggling branches of old wood, to give some a spherical and others
a pyramidal form. When pruned, the ball was reduced, the plant fresh
potted in a smaller-sized pot, and the peat soil rammed as hard as
it was possible to make it; then watered, and introduced to heat. The
plants treated in that manner are now covered with bloom, and in a high
state of vigour.
Heaths.--Keep the tops pinched off, to form bushy plants.
New Holland Plants.--Some of them of weak growth, and which naturally
make long, straggling shoots, are much improved by bending down the
branches, and fixing them to a wire hoop, or string attached to the
rim of the pot. By such means the nakedness of the plant at its base is
hidden, and the check imposed on the ascent of the sap will induce an
increased supply of shoots. Pick off the seed-pods as the plants go out
of bloom. Cut back and arrange the shoots in the best manner, to produce
Pelargoniums.--All that are showing bloom, unless of very gross habit,
will receive benefit from a supply of a little weak manure water. For
that purpose put cow, horse, or sheepdung into a tub, and to one peck
add five gallons of rain or other soft water. When taking it for use
draw it off clear, and give the plants a watering twice a week. Give air
freely, shut up early, and syringe the plants overhead till the flowers
expand, when syringing should be discontinued. As the petals are apt to
drop very soon in hot weather, it is recommended to touch the centre
of the flower with a camel-hair pencil, or small feather, dipped in gum
water, which will stick the petals together and prolong the blooming.
Such is the general practice at our metropolitan exhibitions.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
As the stove plants grow, allow them more space, especially such plants
as are prized for the beauty of their foliage. Give frequent attention
to stopping and training. Look to the climbers frequently, to regulate
their growth and to prevent entanglement, and a world of trouble and
confusion. Put in cuttings of such plants as Brugmansias, Clerodendrons,
Eranthemums, Erythrinas, Poinsettias, and those winter-flowering plants
Euphorbia jaquiniflora and the Gesnera bulbosa. Where there is only
one house in which to grow Orchids, a compromise as to temperature must
be made to suit the natives of the hot and moist valleys or shady
woods of the East, and those which inhabit high and airy regions in the
Western hemisphere. To accomplish this it is advisable to allow a free
circulation of air during the early part of the day, with an abundance
of atmospheric moisture, and to shut up early in the afternoon with a
high degree of temperature.
Achimenes.--They delight in a moist heat, and a partially-shaded
situation. More air to be given as they advance in growth. The shoots to
be staked out neatly.
Gesneras to be treated similarly, with the addition of more light.
Gloxinias.--The same as Achimenes.
Cherries.--Give more air, and keep a drier atmosphere when the fruit is
ripening. Give plenty of water to the trees swelling their fruit. Keep
them free from insects, or the fruit will be of little value.
Figs.--Air freely, to give flavour to the fruit now ripening. Avoid
wetting the fruit when it begins to soften.
Melons.--Keep up the heat of the beds by renewing or turning the
linings. Slightly shade the plants when the sun is powerful, to keep the
foliage in a healthy state, without which good fruit cannot be produced.
When the frames are at liberty, Melons may be grown in them with a
little assistance from dung heat at bottom.
Peaches.--Give a liberal supply of air, with less water, to trees, the
fruit of which are ripening.
Pines.--Continue the previous instructions in the management of the
plants in the different stages of growth.
Vines.--Thin and stop the shoots, and thin the berries in good time.
Attend to the late crops, and set, by hand, the blossoms of Muscats,
West's St. Peter's, and other shy setters. Be sure that inside borders
are properly supplied with water, giving sufficient quantities to
thoroughly moisten the whole mass of soil.
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