Tender perennial Gloxinias can now be flowered in the most satisfactory manner within six months from the date of sowing seed. Hence there is no longer the least temptation to propagate these plants by the lengthy and troublesome method formerly in vogue, especially as

seedlings raised from a first-class strain produce flowers of the finest quality, both as to form and style of growth. One great advantage to be obtained from seedlings is an almost endless variety of colour, for the careful hybridisation of the choicest flowers not only perpetuates those colours, but yields other fine shades also. Those who have never seen a large and well-grown collection of seedling Gloxinias have yet to witness one of the most striking displays of floral beauty. Quite as much has been done for the foliage of the Gloxinia as for its flower, and the best strains now produce grand leaves which are reflexed in such a manner as almost to hide the pot, so that the foliage presents an extremely ornamental appearance. By successive sowings and judicious management it is possible to flower Gloxinias almost the year through. The most important months for sowing seed are January, February, and March, and to secure an early display in the following spring some growers sow again in June or July. The soil most suited to Gloxinias is a light porous compost of fibrous loam. If this is not obtainable, leaf-mould will answer, mixed with peat and silver sand in about equal parts. New pots are advisable, or old ones must be thoroughly cleansed, and free drainage is essential to success. Fill the pots to within half an inch of the top. Sow thinly, and slightly cover the seed with very fine soil. Place the pots in a warm, moist position, carefully shading from the sun. A light sprinkling of water daily will be necessary. Immediately some plants are large enough for shifting, lift them tenderly from the seed-pot, so as scarcely to disturb the rest, and prick off into large 60-pots in which the soil has a convex surface. Follow this process as plants become ready until all the seedlings have been transferred. When potting on allow the leaves to rest on the soil, but avoid covering the hearts. On the first warm day give air on the leeward side of the house, briefly at first, and increase the time as the plants become established. A clear space between the plants is necessary to prevent the leaves of neighbours from meeting. The final shift should be into 48-pots, unless extra fine specimens are required, and then one or two sizes larger may be used. An occasional dose of weak manure water will prove beneficial, taking care that the foliage is not wetted. A moist atmosphere, with the temperature at about 60 deg. to 65 deg., greatly facilitates the growth of Gloxinias. With care, however, they may be well grown in greenhouses and pits heated by hot water. Although the plants love a humid atmosphere while growing, this ceases to be an advantage, and, in fact, becomes injurious when the flowers begin to expand. At that time, also, the manure water should be discontinued. Under 'The Culture of Flowering Bulbs,' page 331, further instructions are given.


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