Syringe the plants twice a day during the months of
March and April. Remove them from the greenhouse to
the open air as early in May as is practicable.
Do not place them under trees, as the drip therefrom is
very injurious, and will cause them to be covered with red
spider in the fall. Remove them from the house on a rainy
day, so there will be no danger of the sun burning the
Plunge the pots in s;md to keep the roots cool.
Do not plunge the pots into the earth, and more
especially hard-wooded plants, or those which are only
re-potted once in a long time, as the earth soil becomes full
of worms, causing the soil to sour and the plants to lose
Worms will not work in sand.
It is not necessary to give the plants shade ; they can be
placed in the sun without injury.
Follow the directions for syringing the foliage of the
plants which are outside in summer, and they will be
greatly benefit 3d.
All plants that do not need re-potting, take one inch of
soil from the top of the ball, replenishing it with fresh soil.
This is what is termed by florists top dressing the plant
without removing it from the pot or tub.
Remove the plants to the greenhouse about the middle
of September, before there is any danger of frost. See
that they are free from all insects, and all dead leaves
pinched off. After they are placed in the house, give every
plant a good watering with lime water, which will kill all
worms and keep the ground sweet.
Keep the glass shaded during the months of March and
April, to prevent the foliage from burning. Use a wash
for shading the glass composed of the following : One gal-
lon of turpentine, one pint of boiled linseed oil, well mixed.
It can be applied to the glass with an ordinary paint or
AZALEAS FOB WINDOW CULTURE. THE PROPER TEMPERATURE
REQUIRED. ENGRAVING OF AN ELASTIC SPRINKLER. EN-
GRAVING OF COAL OIL STOVE FOR SMALL CONSERVATORY.
I have frequent inquiries from correspondents ; will the
Azalea do for windows or house culture 1
I know of no plant more beautiful for window decoration
than the Azalea is when in full bloom.
The success with this plant is much better than that of
the Camellia. It will stand a great amount of heat, but
at the same time a moist atmosphere is necessary for it.
Dampening the foliage three times a day will give all
the moisture that is necessary.
There will be very little trouble in growing or flower-
ing this plant in a window that is inclosed.
I would advise those who grow these plants in windows,
to keep them at a temperature of from fifty to fifty-five
degrees, and the plants will come into bloom during
Those grown with extra heat will require double tho
amount of care and attention than those that are grown
in a low temperature.
All plants do best, and are healthier, that get but little
In fine weather air the plants freely.
If intended to grow in the windows, do not remove them
to the house until late in the fall, or just before frost.
Place them outside early in the spring. About once a
month take the plants from the window and dip their heads
into a solution of the following wash : 8 gallons of soap
suds, Ib. of sulphur, and a little soft soap, well mixed
together. After being dipped into this solution, a soapy
gloss will cling to
the foliage, which
will not be objec-
with clean water
will remove most of
the insects that in-
fest this plant.
Figure 31 repre-
sents an elastic plant
every lover of plants
Fig. 31. should have to
Elastic Sprinkler. syringe or dampen
the foliage. They can be had of any seedsman or florist,
the cost being $1.25, postpaid.
For heating a bay window, use a coal oil stove, from
which there is no smoke or gas. The style of such a stove
will be seen represented in figure 32. Place a pan of water
on the top to create a moisture, which will be beneficial to
The price of such a stove is from six to eight dollars,
and can be had from any seedsman.
Coal Oil Stove.
SOIL BEST ADAPTED FOR THE GROWTH OF THE AZALEA.
For the Azalea use equal parts of loam and peat soil,
well mixed and broken with the spade, but not sieved.
I prefer a good, light, fibrous loam, which can be obtained
from the hills and fence corners. My sod is cut during
the spring and summer, placed in a heap, with grass side
down, and in a few weeks it is ready for use.
Peat is a black, sandy soil, and consists of decayed
leaves, roots, and sand. I prefer that which is full of fibrous
roots. This is cut in sods like that of the loam, but will take
a much longer time to decay.
I get this soil in close proximity to my place, and where
the wild Azalea abounds. It is better known by the name
of swamp honeysuckle.
Had I to procure my peat soil, like many do that send
from two to five hundred miles, and some from the Pacific
slope, I would, undoubtedly, do without this particular kind
I am not an advocate for different soils, and so many
mixtures, as many recommend.
Use a light and fibrous loam ; always guard against a
heavy, clayey soil.
For all plants that I grow, the soil comes from one heap,
with the exception of the Daphne, Palm, Erica, and
Azalea, and had I not the peat so convenient, they would be
grown in the same soil with a little sand added.
82 AZALEA CULTURE.
Especially for the Azalea, if you have not peat soil, use
leaf mould with some sand added. Where le.if mould is
not to be had, use one- third sand with loam.
Soil is often blamed for not growing good plants, when
the fault is with the grower for not ventilating and syring-
Why do so many Azaleas perish in the hands of ama-
teurs, and why are they so unsuccessful with the cuttings of
this plant ? Nine-tenths of the Azalea cuttings and plants
die from neglect to syringe properly. Red spider is the
whole cause of the failure. Sand and soil are seldom in
With me the Azalea and Camellia cuttings are the
easiest to grow of my stock, requiring less attention than
many of the soft wooded class of plants.
My advice to the inexperienced is, pay less attention to
the mixtures of soil, and more to airing and syringing, and
your success will be much better.
LIQUID MANURE, LIME WATER, ETC., FOR THE AZALEA.
If you wish to be a successful cultivator of this plant,
never use stimulants of any kind, such as liquid manures,
fertilizers, &c. I find them in no way beneficial. Give
plenty of clean water to the roots when dry, and with
frequent syringing over head, they can be grown to perfec-
Give this plant, or the Camellia, liquid manure water,
and it will cause them to make rapid growth. They will
grow when they should be forming buds. Plants which
are grown in this way will not have strength enough to
hold up their own foliage without the aid of stakes.
Both the Azalea and Camellia should be grown so
as not to require any artificial support.
Lime water is beneficial for this, as well as all other
plants which are only re-potted once a year, and many only
once in three and five years.
The soil often becomes sour from worms, caused by
over-watering or imperfect drainage
Plants will not thrive in such soil. Their roots will
soon decay, and the tops will soon follow, and they will
have a yellow and sickly appearance.
To keep the ground sweet and free from worms, water
three times a year with lime water. Give the plant
sufficient to wet every root and fiber, and the hard-wooded
plants will be in a good condition. Syringe the foliage four
times a year with this water, and it will rid it of many
Receipt for lime water: Take a flour barrel full of
water, add to this one peck of lime. It will be ready for
use in ten hours, or as soon as the water becomes cool and
SAND FOB ROOTING CUTTINGS.
There are many opinions as regards sand for rooting
cuttings. Some prefer white to black, others river or washed
sand, and many must have charcoal dust. All failures to
root the cutting are attributed to the color of the sand.
Twenty years ago the washed sand was used by many.
Why it was used I am at a loss to say, unless it was washed
to clear it of some poisonous mineral or quality which
prevented the cuttings from rooting.
I have, at times, a bench of well-rooted cuttings, and
occasionally have one that is not so good. I never think
of attributing the success or failure to the sand. Have often
heard the remark made by visitors, there can be no trouble
rooting cuttings in such beautiful white sand.
Some years ago, when looking through florist establish-
ments further north, I saw benches of well-rooted cuttings
in sand much darker than that which is*found here. I, like
many others, gave the sand the credit for the success.
Long since that time, I have given up all such ideas,
believing that cuttings can be grown as well in one colored
sand as another.
There is no virtue in the color of the sand. It is merely
cooling to the wound of the cutting, and will cause it to
heal and a callous will form earlier than if placed in soil.
As soon as the cutting is rooted it should be removed
86 AZALEA CULTURE.
from the sand, as there is nothing in the sand to strengthen
or stimulate the young plant.
The failure to root the cutting is more often the fault of
the propagator. A branch cut from a plant cannot be
placed in the sand bed and form roots without receiving
The sand should be clean and firmly pressed.
The cuttings require water, shading, airing, and syring-
ing, and for the first few days or until they show signs
of recovering, they will need extra attention.
Never attribute the failure to root cuttings to the color
of the sand.
Cleanliness of the cutting bed will add greatly to the
health of the cuttings,
Sand which has been used constantly for six or twelve
months will become dirty from decayed leaves, &c., and
will cause a fungus to grow over the sand bed, which will
destroy the cuttings if it is not renewed.
DRAINAGE FOR LARGE PLANTS.
For large plants of Azaleas and Camellias, and others
of the hard wood kind that require large pots or tubs, and
are not changed or re-potted every season, drainage is very
necessary. Without it the ground would become sour by
the outlet clogging up, preventing the water, which the
plants do not need, from passing off, and causing the roots
of large plants to decay.
I never use drainage for soft-wooded plants, or for small
pots of the hard wood kind, considering it a waste of time.
Use drainage for all hard- wooded plants in pots over eight
Drainage is thought by some a work which can be
carelessly done, and have the desired effect. I differ very
much in this particular, thinking it a very important matter,
and one that should be done with some care, in the follow-
ing manner. Use a large piece of broken pot or shell over
the hole in the bottom of the pot, with smaller pieces over
this, finishing up with still smaller pieces of shells or pots,
with a covering of moss to prevent the soil from mixing
with the drainage.
In looking over my stock I find more plants that require
fresh drainage than larger pots.
Imperfect drainage of those plants in large pots or tubs
that have been thoroughly saturated with water, will easily
be detected by the water remaining on the surface of the
ground, and not passing to the roots, or running off as it
All such plants should be removed at once from the pot
and allowed to dry for ten hours, when they can be replaced
in the pot with fresh drainage.
Should such plants be allowed to remain any length of
time in imperfect drainage, they will lose their roots, and
in a short time die.
ON INSECTS THAT INFEST AZALEAS. RED SPIDER, MEALY BUG,
ETC. ENGRAVING OF FLORAL ATOMIZER.
There is no reason why red spider should be allowed to
destroy the fresh greenness of the leaves of the Azalea, if
the directions have been followed for syringing the
Insects are the cause of disease, therefore watch the
plants closely to keep them in a healthy condition, and
there will be no fear of a serious attack of any insect.
I find it impossible, with all my care, to keep the Azalea
perfectly clear of red spider during the months of March
and April, or just before they are removed from the green-
house to the open air, during the named months. I do not
allow this pest to become so numerous that either the plants
or foliage are affected by it.
To prevent an increase of red spider, syringe thoroughly
to create a moist atmosphere.
Soon after being removed to the open air, red spider
will disappear. Keep up the usual amount of syringing
with clean water during the summer months, or until the
dews are heavy.
Red spider cannot exist in a moist atmosphere, but will
increase very rapidly in a hot, dry, or in an untidy house.
Mealy bug will seldom be found on the Azalea, unless
syringing has been neglected.
On the old branches of plants ten years and older,
will be found a white scale, which in looks resembles the
00 AZALEA CULTURE.
mealy bug, although it is of an entirely different character.
It can easily be detected by the color, which is a purplish
white. It leaves no white track behind it
like the mealy bug. This insect is very
dangerous when it gets among the
To destroy this insect use coal oil, and
for distributing the oil, use the floral
Floral Atomizer, atomizer, which is represented in figure 33.
This will eject such a fine spray that the plants will not
be injured in any way by the small quantity of oil they
receive. It will rid the plants of this insect. After this
treatment the Azalea will soon present a healthy appear-
Coal oil used in any other way than has been directed,
will in all probability prove fatal to the plants.
If clean water is used as often and as thoroughly as has
been recommended, the plants will be perfectly healthy and
never infested with insects to such an extent as to require
syringing with preparations of any kind.
To prevent insects from spreading through the houses,
use the following wash : One peck of lime, a half pound
of flour of sulphur, stir well together, apply to the pipes
and flues as you would whitewash. It is not necessary to
wash the pipes all around the house. Wash around the
furnace, the middle and extreme ends. It is only the fumes
of the sulphur that is wanted.
This wash will not injure the most delicate plant if used
as directed. Never use dry sulphur on the pipes or flues, as
recommended by some. It will prove fatal to the whole
HOUSE SUITABLE FOR AZALEA CULTURE.
Any glass structure will be suitable to grow this plant,
although some particular styles are better adapted than
\\hen building, we all have some object in view,
and are guided in the kind of a structure by what we want
to grow in it.
For Azaleas, Camellias, and all hard-wooded and speci-
men plants which are not of rapid growth, I prefer a span
roof houso, as represented in figure 34. The plants that
House suitable for Azaleas.
I have named only grow from six weeks to two months in
the spring. By being grown in this kind of a house they
are well shaped. In a lean-to house, hard-wooded plants
usually grow one-sided, unless they are turned very
Azaleas and Camellias flourish well together. The same
92 AZALEA CULTURE.
temperature will do for both. They also require a moist
atmosphere. Azaleas which are grown in the same temper-
ature as Camellias, will not come into bloom before the
months of February and March.
The house shown in the engraving will answer for
other plants besides those mentioned, always using the
coolest part of the house for Azaleas and Camellias.
Syringe frequently. Moisture will improve the appear-
ance and health of the plants.
For heating such a house, use a boiler and hot water
pipes. The first outlay is but a trifle more than that of the
brick flue system. The plants will be in a much better
condition, and more easily kept in health.
TWO GREENHOUSE AZALEAS WHICH HAVE PROVED TO BE
The Azaleas Indica Alba and Amoena have both proved
to be perfectly hardy. They will stand in open borders
without any protection, during our most severe winters,
and will also stand the hot scorching sun of our summers.
These are very unlike the hardy Rhododendron and Azalea
Mollis, both of which require shade, and are generally
found in this climate planted among the shade of trees.
Indica Alba is grown to a great extent in the parks and
cemeteries around New York, and retains its foliage during
winter, blooming through the months of May and June, a
perfect sheet of white flowers. It is a valuable acquisition
to the list of hardy white flowering shrubs.
Azalea Amoena has also proved hardy, and is grown in
open borders in parks, both in the north and south. Like
Indica Alba it retains its foliage during the winter months.
The flowers are small, double, rosy purple, and bloom in
early spring. These will be found admirably adapted for
making clumps on lawns, or for borders, &c.
Where beds are planted exclusively of these two
kinds, Alba should be placed in the centre, and Amoena
on the outer edges, as it is of a more dwarf habit. By so
massing them there will be in the same bed both white and
94 AZALEA CULTURE.
For the culture of the Azalea in the open air, use any
good garden soil with a light mixture of sand.
Have the beds rather elevated or mounded up, so that
the water will not lodge about the roots during the winter
As soon as the bloom is over in the spring, trim the
plants, cutting back all long branches.
Keep the plants shapely by using the knife freely.
Cut out all small twiggy wood : they are only robbing
the strong shoots of the nourishment they require.
The small wood in the centre of the plant produces no
flowers, therefore it is of no benefit.
Treated in the way mentioned they will be an ornament
to any grounds, and I think preferable to either the Rhodo-
dendrons or Mollis Azalea. Neither of these will stand
the summer sun, but will grow best in a thicket.
Hardy plants which I consider valuable are those which
thrive on an open lawn, where their beauty can be seen
when in flower.
THIRTY NAMED AZALEAS OF BEST AND DISTINCT KINDS.
Thirty named Azaleas twenty single and ten double
These I consider distinct, being chosen from two hun-
Indica Alba Single, white.
Baron de Vriere Salmon rose, dark spots, fine flower.
Beauty of Europe Pink, striped with carmine.
Bijou de Paris ^White , striped rose.
Charles Van Eckhaute Bright orange, spotted, crimped
Crimeria Rich crimson.
Coloris Nova Dark carmine with rich dark spots.
Eulalie Van Ghert Light rose, spotted with carmine.
Frostii Violet pink.
Fielder's White Fine large flower.
Glory of Belgium White, striped with pink, fringed
Hortense Vervaene Pale flesh color, bordered salmon,
Iveryana White, striped and spotted.
John Gould Veitch Lilac rose.
Madame Ambroise Verschaffeltii.
Marquis of Lome Beautiful orange.
Pride of Dorking Vivid crimson.
96 AZALEA CULTURE.
Punctulate Creamy white, spotted and striped cherry
Theodore Prusser Deep rose, shaded violet.
Vesuvius Large pale orange with dark spots.
TEN BEST DOUBLE AZALEAS, DISTINCT KINDS.
Bernhard Andre Violet crimson.
Bouquet de Roses Bright clear rose.
Borsig or Flag of Truce Both good double whites.
Francois de Vos Deep crimson scarlet.
Glory of Sunninghill Salmon.
Jean Vervane Semi-double, crimson, white and rose.
Madame Iris Lefebvre Dark orange.
Mile. Marie Van Houtte White and salmon.
Rachael Von Varnhagan Rosy purple.
Souvenir de Prince Albert White and rose, deeply
ON AZALEAS PLANTED IN THE OPEN GROUND DURING THE
During the past year some growers have been trying to
grow the Azalea after it is one year old from a cutting, by
planting them out in beds during the summer months, in
the same manner as we would roses or bedding plants.
The result of this new practice has been very satisfactory.
They have grown twice the size of those planted in pots,
and have produced buds which will, in all probability,
flower finely the next season.
Azalea Indica Alba and Amoena have proved to be
I do not know of any reason why other varieties would
not thrive equally as well if planted outside during the
summer, although I have never tried it myself. If they
would thrive, it would be a profitable way of growing
During the next season I expect to plant one or two
thousand in open borders as a test, and will give the result
of this practice in one of our floral journals. If it proves a
success it will be a great saving of labor over the old pot
system of growing this plant.
For those wishing to try this experiment, I would advise
them to begin on a small scale. Should water be con-
venient syringe at night for the first three or four weeks ;
at the end of this time the dews \vill be sufficient, and the
plants will have adhered to the new soil.
Plant in light, sandy soil.
PACKING AZALEA PLANTS FOR SHIPMENT. TREATMENT BEST
FOR THEM AFTER THEY ARE RECEIVED.
The wood of these plants is very brittle, therefore some
care must be exercised in packing them.
From the first of June until the latter part of Septem-
ber, pack in open boxes as you would any other plants, and
with or without the pots. Although those packed without
pots will carry in a much better condition, providing the
roots are in sufficient number to keep the ball of earth
together. The freight or express charges will be much less,
which is quite an item.
After the plants are removed from the pots, use dry
moss around the ball of earth, then wrap only the ball in
brown paper. It is not necessary to have the whole plant
covered with paper.
When plants of either the Camellia or Azalea are
received without pots during the fall, or whenever the buds
are formed, place them back in the same or nearly the
same size pots as they were in before being shipped. A
larger size pot and fresh soil at this time will cause many
of them to cast their buds and begin to grow. The result
will be no flowers the coming season.
If received in the spring when the plants are growing,
or about to show their young growth, and the ball is well
matted with roots, a size larger pot will be necessary, and
it will, in fact, greatly benefit the plants.
AZALEA CULTURE. 99
Should the plants arrive in a very dry condition, which
is often the case (after being packed for twenty or thirty
days), soak both the ball of roots and the tops in water for
ten hours, after which place in pots, giving them a shady
place for a few days.
It will bo much better to receive plants that have suf-
fered from drought, than those which have had too much
moisture, for they will become damp and mouldy. When
in this condition there is no treatment known that will
restore them to their former health.
Do not disturb or unpack plants which are received in
cold weather in a frozen state. Keep them in a dark place
where the thermometer ranges about forty-five degrees,
until all signs of frost have left them, when they can be
unpacked and potted. Syringe the foliage and keep them
in a partially shaded place for a few days longer, then they
should be watered at the roots.
CALENDAR FOR THE MONTHS.
During this month your plants will need careful watch-
ing, as regards airing, watering, and syringing. Generally
the weather is very cold, and a greater amount of artificial
heat is necessary to keep the frost out of the house. When
the day is fine, admit a little air between the hours of 11
a.m. and 2 p.m.
Open the sash or ventilator according to the temper-
ature you have in the house, although the weather may be
cold and freezing. If the sun is bright, your house may
mark one hundred ; such is too high a temperature. A
little air can be given without having your plants chilled.
Do not pull your sash half way down ; one or two inches
will be of great benefit to the plants.