and should be ready for four-inch pots. Many of them
should produce from two to four flowers.
A portion of the young growth that they
will make this spring can be used for cuttings
or grafts. This will also tend to give them
fine heads for the following fall, with flower
buds. Kemove to the open air in May, as
The coming fall, which is the second year
from graft or the third year from cutting,
they should be finely shaped and well
budded, and should have the appearance of
figure 25. At present prices they are worth
twenty-five dollars per hundred, trade price.
The same retail at fifty cents a piece, or five
dollars a dozen.
Treat as described for the previous winter.
The spring of the following year the plants should be
good, producing from twenty to forty flowers.
The plants at this age will give quantities of cuttings
Many of them will require five-inch pots.
Keep the plants well topped with a view of having good
round heads for the fall of the third year. They should
have somewhat the appearance of figure 26. The fall of
this the third season from the graft, the plants will be
shapely, and of good size, well covered with flower
buds, and will be becoming
valuable. Trade price, from
forty to fifty dollars per hundred ;
retail price, one dollar each.
The following spring, which
is the fourth year from grafts,
they should flower profusely, in
fact, in such quantities that but
little of the foliage will be seen
when they are in bloom.
Grafted plants are worth
more, and are sold at a higher
figure at this age, than those of
Plant two years from graft,
the same age grown
Grafted plants form
The cost of handling
makes the difference in
price between the two
methods of propagating.
Figure 27 represents
a well-grown plant, with
a fine head, and covered
with flower buds. It is
four years old from graft,
and should measure in
diameter from fourteen
Plant three years from graft.
to sixteen inches. This is a handsome plant for the green-
house, conservatory, or for exhibition. The trade price,
seventy-five dollars per hundred ; retail price, one dollar
and fifty cents each.
Fig. 27. Plant four years from graft.
GENERAL TREATMENT AND CULTURE REQUIRED FOR THE
AZALEA AFTER IT IS EIGHT YEARS AND OLDER.
ENGRAVING OF A WELL GROWN PLANT FOUR FEET IN
Plants of this age are easily managed, and require but little
attention, compared to many other plants. All Azaleas of
this size, in re-potting, should be well drained. Broken
pots, oyster shells, or any hard material, will answer, that
will allow the water to pass out without clogging up the
holes which are in the bottom of the tubs or pots.
I consider drainage an important matter for all plants
that are not re-potted every season. (See chapter on
All Azaleas, both large and small, should be put out in
the open air during the summer months. As remarked
before, it is not necessary to give them shade, but care
should be taken to place the plants outside on a
Azaleas are somewhat like Camellias, they have a time
for making their young growth, after which they form buds,
and flower the coming fall and winter.
One advantage Azaleas have over the Camellias : they
will make a young growth in the spring. While in flower,
part of this young wood can be taken for cuttings or grafts.
The plants will break again and make a second growth from
the old and young wood. This will not in any way inter-
fere with the flowering of the plant the coming season.
Water plants of this size and age when dry at the roots,
giving them enough to wet every root and fiber.
When the soil is dry it will have a white appearance.
Syringe often, never less than once a day.
They are subject to red spider, thrip, &c.
I have yet to see a collection of Azaleas that are entirely
free from these pests during the months of March and
April, just before they are put in the open air. If syring.
ing is attended to properly, they will not be found in such
large quantities as to cause the plant to be unhealthy.
They will all disappear soon after being brought out in the
open air. Heat and moisture are sure death to these insects.
(See chapter on insects.)
During the months of March and April, while the Aza-
leas are under glass, it will be necessary to have the glass
partly shaded, to keep the strong rays of the sun from
burning the young foliage. Do not put a dark cover over
them, as is often done.
All plants require light, the same as human beings, but
not the strong rays of the sun between the hours of 10
a.m. and 3 p.m.
To exclude the rays of the sun use a wash for the glass
of linseed oil and turpentine ; this will be sufficient
Figure 28 represents a well grown and finely shaped
plant of Indica Alba, grown from a cutting.
This plant measures five feet in height, and four feet in
diameter. It will produce one thousand or more flowers
Indica Alba, from a cutting. A well grown plant, four feet in
AZALEA CULTURE. 61
annually. Plants of this size are rarely sold. It pays the
owner to keep them for the flowers.
The plant, which will be seen in engraving 28, is in a
fine healthy condition.
This variety, old Indica Alba, the single white flower, is
to Azaleas what the Alba Plena is to Camellias, being the
best for profit. Taking all its qualities into consideration,
it roots freely, is a robust grower, a sure and profuse
flowerer. It is one that is easily forced for early flowers,
and not affected or injured by the extreme heat of the forcing
house, and lastly, I consider it the best one to grow to use
as a stock upon which to graft. The plant, when young, is
always strong and erect. This quality in a stock is not
found in all varieties of Azaleas.
There are many other good single white Azaleas, better
than the Alba in some respects, but they do not possess the
combined qualities of the Indica Alba.
The cut flowers of the Azalea, which are open, are worth
but little to send any distance.
The buds can be sent in safety when the time does not
exceed three days. For home consumption the open
flowers are valuable and indispensable.
FORCING AZALEAS. HOW TO TREAT THEM.
Forcing is what may be termed giving the plants extra
artificial heat to cause them to bloom early.
I know of no plant which can stand more heat than the
Azalea, without becoming sickly. If you wish them to
flower early, they can be kept at a temperature of ninety
to one hundred degrees without any bad effect to the plant,
providing they are syringed often, never less than twice a
day, watering at the roots when they require it.
Or this plant will thrive in a cool-house where the ther-
mometer does not get below forty degrees.
Kept at this low temperature they will not bloom before
March or April.
This interesting group of plants adorns the greenhouse,
hot-house, conservatory, or parlor, during the dull months.
They should be cultivated in such a way as to be made to
bloom from November to May, by having a succession of
Those that you wish to bloom early should be brought
to the forcing house the first of September.
The first season it will perhaps be difficult to bring the
plants into flower before the middle or last of December.
After this year there will not be any trouble in forcing
them to bloom the first part of November. The plants
which bloomed the past season in December will make their
growth and form their buds for the next season's flowering,
AZALEA CULTURE. 63
before those which have been kept in the cool-house will
have made their flowers.
When forcing this plant do not allow it to be checked
by giving an extra quantity of air. Both light and air are
beneficial to all plants, and the Azalea needs much of it,
but they will not stand a draught at this time. Care is also
required after they have flowered.
Those that have been in the forcing house when making
their young wood should not have a check, as it will greatly
interfere, not only with the health of the plant, but the
bloom for the coming season will be limited, some plants,
perhaps, having no bloom.
The flowers which these forced plants will produce will
not be as large in size as those which have been kept cool,
neither will the colored varieties be as bright in color, but
the advantage of having them bloom early will be of greater
This plant is well adapted for both the hot or cool
greenhouse, and is capable of enduring a very high temper-
ature without injury, providing syringing and watering is
properly attended to. Do not forget that red spider
thrives in a hot and dry atmosphere ; it cannot exist long
where heat arid moisture are combined.
In forcing Azaleas a good exposure to light is necessary.
Never crowd them.
Admit air in mild weather.
Do not allow them to have a check while being kept at
a high temperature.
SHOWING THE BEST WAY FOR THE AMATEUR FLORIST TO ROOT
THE CUTTINGS. ENGRAVING OF BOX OF CUTTINGS FOR
THE AMATEUR FLORIST OR THOSE WHO WISH TO PRO-
PAGATE IN LIMITED QUANTITIES.
In former chapters will be found all the necessary direc-
tions for taking the cuttings, the time to place them in the
sand, and the proper attention to be given them.
For amateurs not growing this cutting in large quantities,
I will show a box most suitable for their cuttings, in engrav-
ing 29. This box is ten inches wide, fifteen inches long, and
three inches deep, holding seven varieties of Azaleas, as
will be noticed by the
labels in the engrav-
Make the box to
suit the number of
cuttings that are to be
This box, represent-
ed in figure 29, has the
appearance of a tight
glass case, but it is
nothing but four panes
of common glass press-
Box for Cuttings.
ed to the bottom of the box ; the sand holds the four panes
in position without any other support. The covering is a
AZALEA CULTURE. 65
single pane laid on the top of the four. A box arranged
in this way will answer as well as a frame for rooting the
cuttings. The box, when covered, is by no means air-tight,
but many would imagine it so.
If they were kept perfectly air-tight they would damp,
the young foliage becoming black, and the cuttings would
be worthless. The covering is merely intended to keep a
portion of air from the young cuttings, and prevent them
flagging or wilting for the first week. After this time all
the glass must be removed.
The first day the cuttings enter the sand keep them close.
After this keep the top pane elevated to admit some air.
Watch the young cuttings, and if they flag badly there is
too much air circulating about them.
Let the sand that is used be clean and fresh from bank
or river. Ihe boxes or pans imist be new.
Cleanliness is a very important matter to be considered
in the cutting bed.
Keep the boxes in a cool place. Syringe with clean
water twice a day.
In former chapters will be found other instructions if
they are needed.
GRAFTING AZALEAS FOR AMATEUR CULTURE, ETC. ENGRAVING
OF BELL GLASS FOR AMATEURS.
There are few plants that add more beauty to the
amateur's conservatory than grafted Azaleas, with heads of
perhaps fifteen inches in diameter, on a bare stem twelve to
fifteen inches from the pot, or those that are grown from
cuttings which will be low and bushy from the pot up,
covered so profusely with flowers that the foliage is scarcely
I cannot understand why it is, that among so many
amateur growers, and those who have private greenhouses,
there are so few who have shown a preference for some of
the improved varieties of this plant.
The old Phoenicia, a miserable common purple, and
many others just as worthless, will be found in almost every
Azaleas are not difficult to propagate or grow, neither
is the price high, considering the time and care bestowed
upon them by the grower.
Blooming plants can be bought at any establishment,
for from fifty cents and upwards, according to the size.
A plant from three to five years old, with fine heads,
and such that will produce one hundred or more flowers,
will cost from one dollar and fifty cents to three dollars
each, or fifteen to twenty dollars a dozen. Plants this size
will be very ornamental to the conservatory.
AZALEA CULTURE. 67
In many collections, where this plant is not grown for
profit, will be found not only miserable varieties, but often
long, straggling looking plants of some of the more im-
proved kinds, that have become so through neglect to prune.
These can be gotten in shape by using the knife freely, just
after they have flowered. They will form new shoots from
both the old and young wood.
Trim the worthless kind, in any collection, up to one
straight stem, and, during the months of July and August,
inarch some of the more improved kinds on them, and in
two or three years you will have a fine variety with good
Former chapters will show how amateurs should graft,
also ho\v to grow the cuttings for stocks.
When there is a limited quantity to be grafted, use a
bell glass in place of a frame, as figure 30 represents. This
glass will accommodate twelve grafted plants ; the stocks
are one year old in two-inch pots.
Use only the tip ends of the shoots for grafts, and also
the tip ends of the stock where the graft is to be inserted.
The engraving in the chapter on
grafting will show how to cut and
It will be only a few days before
they unite, and in three or four weeks
the bell glass can be removed. About
the third week give some air to harden
the young grafts, so that they will not
Fig. 30- w jit when the covering is taken off.
Bell glass with grafted .
plants. Grafting will be found very
68 AZALEA CULTURE.
interesting for amateur cultivators of this plant, the work
is so easily performed, and with good success.
Three or four days' time will decide whether they are
going to unite. Do not forget that the younger both the
graft and the stock is, the more successful you will be.
After the plants are grafted the stocks will throw out shoots
below the graft ; rub these off, and allow nothing to grow
but the newly-inserted graft. One year old healthy stocks
are the most suitable to use for grafting. Do not attempt
to graft old plants. It can be done, but it will be better to
allow experienced growers to do it. Amateurs had better
work old plants by inarching.
INAKCHINGt THE AZALEA TIME FOR PERFORMING THIS
Growers of late years seldom practice inarching, unless
they have some inferior varieties which are too large to use
as stock on which to graft. They then resort to this means
of working an improved kind upon them.
I presume all persons who have this work, also have
Practical Camellia Culture, which will give all necessary
engravings, &c., showing how to cut, bandage, &c.
Inarching the Azalea is done in every way like that of
the Camellia but it will unite and knit together in four
weeks ; the Camellia will take two weeks longer.
The only objection I have to inarching this plant is that
it has to be done inside the greenhouse, during the hot
months of July and August, to make it a success. Great
care must be given them.
The foliage must be dampened often to keep red spider
from infecting them, as it would be some time before you
could rid the newly inarched plants of this pest.
It is more profitable to grow the young stocks and
graft, than to waste time and labor in inarching the old
plants of Azaleas.
The amateur cultivator may be more successful in
inarching than he would be in grafting.
I have not practiced inarching for many years. Grow-
ing from cuttings and grafting have been my methods
for increasing this plant, and I advise all others to adopt
the same. 69
AZALEAS FROM SEED.- GENERAL TREATMENT FOR THE SEED-
I have given the different methods for increasing the
Azalea by cuttings, grafting, and inarching. I will now
give the process of producing the seedlings.
Most of the new varieties of all plants are produced
from seed, but there are many new varieties of the Azalea
which have originated from sports (of which I will give an
account in the following chapter).
If you wish to grow from seed, which is easily done,
first save the seed from, the best varieties only, and from
the flowers that have been fertilized with the pollen of some
other good kind. Let the seed be only from good, strong,
robust varieties, and those which produce good flowers, that
the young progeny may have a good constitution.
In growing seedlings, every one has some expectation
of getting something new and distinct from all others.
Those plants from which seeds are to be produced should
not be syringed after they are in flower, or when fertilized
or impregnated with other kinds.
As soon as the flowers fade, the seed vessel will be
formed in the calyx of the dead flower. It will resemble a
small pea. Quite a number of seeds will be found in this,
although it may be four months, and sometimes longer,
before the seeds are ripe and fit to plant.
Gather when ripe, and sow at once in shallow pans, or
AZALEA CULTURE. 71
boxes. The seed being very minute, judgment must be
used not to sow too deep, also be careful that the seed is
not floated away by heavy watering.
Keep the pans or boxes in a house with moist heat.
Never allow the soil to become dry. Cover them with
panes of glass, which remove when you see the seedlings
making their appearance, or they will damp and mould
When the seedlings are large enough to handle, pick
them out of the pans, give them new pans and fresh
soil. After this they can be removed to pots, and treated
the same as cuttings of the same age.
The third year most of the seedlings will bloom.
Among them may be found some new and valuable varie-
I do not practice growing this plant from seed, nor do I
advise others to do so. I prefer giving this privilege to
European growers, purchasing the good kinds from them
after they are named, and the worthless kinds have been
The worthless kinds generally predominate in a lot of
In raising seedlings, many suppose they will get all
good kinds, but such is not the case. You are apt to get a
great many inferior sorts. You are fortunate if you get
one good distinct kind from one hundred seedlings. If the
precautions are taken to fertilize one good kind with
another, many good varieties worth growing may be se-
cured, but a few only can be named, as they will be found to
be similar to .many varieties already established and
AZALEA SPORTS. WHY THEY SHOULD NOT BE ENCOURAGED.
Those who are familiar with growing the Azalea are
aware that many of our new and best varieties have not
been produced by the ordinary way of procuring them,
which is from seed. Many of the new, best, and most
distinct kinds have appeared as sports.
A named or established variety often produces here and
there a type on one branch entirely different from tho
original flowers, and when this branch is taken from an
established kind of Azalea and propagated, it generally
This is unlike many sports of plants of a different
By this means many, and I may say most of the new
varieties have been produced, instead of from seed, as in
the way of producing new varieties of most other plants.
Amateurs, or those who cultivate this plant for its
beauty while in flower, will, T have no doubt, be very much
pleased when they find two or three differ; nt kinds of
flowers on the same plant, which are entirely distinct from
the established kind and the one which they purchased.
The majority of the flowers, though, will be the same as the
These sports seldom appear on small plants.
The sporting of Azaleas cause the growers much annoy-
ance, and is considered a bad feature in the plant.
AZA.LEA. CULTURE. 73
We will take, for instance, the established variety named
Admiration. If the old stock plant is not watched when in
flower, and the sporting branches cut away, from this one
kind will be propagated four other distinct sorts.
I have noticed the following kinds on Admiration : Glory
of Belgium, Criterion, Marginata, and Iveryana, or others
similar to those named. By this way it is with
difficulty that the grower can keep his stock genuine.
Great care must be exercised to remove the sports, being
careful to watch the plant when in bloom.
The variety named Barckleyana has produced from
sports over twenty kinds. Had all these sports been of a
better variety than the established one, it would not
cause so much annoyance. The sports are often very
inferior. Therefore I am one, with many other growers,
that do not like to see this freak in this greatly admired
Watch the plant closely when in flower, especially those
kinds from which the stock is grown.
As soon as they are seen giving to a sport, immediately
take the whole branch or twig out. This is the only means
of keeping the stock true to the established kind.
All growers are careful to have the stock plants true to
name, and without the precautions are taken which have
been given, the stock of Azaleas cannot be relied upon.
I will here give another instance of its sporting qualities.
Azalea Variegata is a variegated flower, or pink margined,
or blotched white, or of several colors, and also one of the
first of our Chinese varieties.
74 AZALEA CULTURE.
Lateritia, which is a regular brick dust color, will ofcen
be found on it.
We propagate this and send it out under the name of
The purchaser may think, if he does not say, that we
send out spurious kinds, or those not true to name. When
they order Azalea Variegata they do not want it to turn
out Azalea Lateritia, a brick dust color.
The grower in this way often gets a bad name when he
is not deserving of it.
This chapter will show why I do not like sports on the
Azalea, and at the same time explains to the purchaser why
he sometimes gets a different color from the one he ordered.
AZALEAS FOR THE AMATEURS OR THOSE WHO HAVE A SMALL
COLLECTION. TREATMENT FOB THE SAME.
There are few plants grown that are more worthy of a
place in the amateur's collection than the Azalea, for orna-
menting and beautifying the greenhouse. Its brilliancy of
color and markings, with many delicate shades of flowers,
and also blooming, as it does with ordinary treatment, from
December to June, renders it a universal favorite.
There are but few hard- wooded plants which the amateur
can grow and bloom with as much satisfaction as the
They are capable of enduring a high and intense heat
without injury, if they are syringed twice a day, or this
plant can be grown in a house where the thermometer does
not fall below forty. In this temperature they can be made
to bloom abundantly.
Do not crowd the plants.
Give plenty of light and air on all sides.
Those which are grown with a variety of plants, and at
a high temperature, will need their foliage dampened often.
They will bloom during January and February.
Those which have been kept cool will bloom during
March and April. Manage the plants so as to have a suc-
cession of flowers from November until May. (See previous
chapters for fuller directions.)
Look over the stock when through flowering, re-pot all
70 AZALEA. CULTURE.
those whose roots have extended to the sides of the pots,
and those which are in an unhealthy condition, or with soil
sour, reduce the ball of earth. Give fresh drainage, and
place back in a smaller pot or tub. Encourage them
to make new roots. Prune the tops well back.
Use the knife freely. Cut old or young wood away,
and get the plants shapely.
Old plants will not need re-potting more than once in
two or three years. See that the drainage is good, so the
water may pass off from the roots.
Examine every plant when through flowering. It is not
necessary to take them all out of the pots or tubs. The
tops of the plants will usually tell what they need.
When re-potting much twiggy and weak wood will be
found in the center of the plants. All such cut away ; it is
only robbing the good shoots of the nourishment they require.