Greenhouse Plants


These greenhouse shrubs should be grown in two parts loam, one part peat and half-part sand in a sunny position. The varieties include A. Danvini and A. megapotamicum, with orange and yellow flowers. They should be increased by cuttings kept close in a propagating frame.


Tuberous-rooted plants with flowers of white, red or blue. The tubers are started into growth in heat in spring, and can be grown during the summer in pots or in hanging baskets. When leaves die down, the tubers are stored in sand in a frost-proof place. They can be increased by root-division, leaf-cuttings or by sowing seeds.


Fleshy-rooted perennials with blue or white flowers, commonly known as South African Lilies. They make excellent plants for ornamental tubs and can be housed anywhere during the winter where actual frost can be excluded. Increase by division in spring. These plants are particularly suited to the ornamental conservatory where no heat is employed.


The “ Blue Marguerite.” These are grown from cuttings taken at any suitable time, and inserted in sandy soil. They are sometimes used for carpet bedding. In pots, they prefer sandy loam with leaf-soil.


Is the well-known lemon-scented Verbena. It is grown easily in pots of light loam with leaf-soil, and can be increased by cuttings taken whenever convenient, and inserted in the propagating frame.


The Norfolk Island Pine. (A. excelsa is the best known of this genus.) It is commonly grown as a house plant and can, if desired, be increased by cuttings inserted in a propagating frame in heat. Re-potting should be done in early spring if necessary. Soil of two parts loam, one part leaf-mould and one part sharp sand.


The species A. Sprengeri is commonly used by florists. So also is A. mcdeolioides, which provides the trailing foliage which they usually call smilax. Both of these like loam and leaf-mould. Increase by seeds sown in spring, or by division.


Aspidistras are usually called “palms” or “ferns” by hawkers, but are really plants of the lily family. They are particularly suited for room culture, and will flourish even in the darker corners of the room, where few plants will thrive. When re-potting is necessary it should be done about March, when the new growth is appearing, using sandy loam and leaf-mould. It is really best not to allow plants to produce the flowers which sometimes appear at the soil level. After re-potting, Aspidistras benefit for a short period in a warm, moist part of the greenhouse.


Plants that are bought in full bloom in pots have usually been forced into flower by nurserymen. They can, after flowering, be re-potted into pots slightly larger than the ones in which they have flowered, and the plants syringed daily morning and afternoon, to encourage new shoots. At the end of June they are best stood out in the open air in a sunny position in order to ripen the shoots, so that they produce flowering shoots for next season. On the approach of cool days they can be brought into the greenhouse again, and should flower annually if treated in this manner. Occasional doses of weak liquid manure can be applied after watering. This will encourage the growth of new shoots during the early part of the summer.


The large-flowered, tuberous Begonias are most decorative for use in the greenhouse. Their cultivation is no special difficulty; in fact, in the ordinary amateur’s greenhouse they can be treated in much the same way as a Dahlia, that is, started into growth in gentle heat in spring, and June onwards grown without any artificial heat. They are sometimes used as bedding plants, but make very decorative potting plants. In autumn, when the foliage dies back, the tubers are stored in sand in a frost-proof shed. These Begonias are of all shades, and some of them have wonderfully frilled flowers of very varied form.

Fibrous-rooted Begonias grown in the greenhouse are also extremely decorative. One of the best-known hybrids is Gloire de Lorraine, which is a sterile hybrid and is increased by cuttings, but numerous others are listed in trade catalogues. Fibrous-rooted Begonias are raised from seed sown in a temperature of 60° F. in January. The large-leafed Begonias (Begonia Rex), grown for the beauty of their variegated leaves, are often increased by leaf-cuttings.

Another class of Begonias which can be grown effectively in the small greenhouse is the basket Begonia, Begonia pendula. This can be planted in baskets lined with moss on the inside, with a layer of turfy loam or grassy soil over the moss, and filled in with the ordinary Begonia bedding soil; that is, with a mixture of equal parts of loam and leaf-mould with a little dry cow-manure, silver sand and peat moss. All Begonias are thirsty plants and must not be allowed to become too dry at any time. They like to grow on to maturity with no check, and, so grown, they will provide some of the showiest of flowers for the green-house or garden.


These are some of the showiest of greenhouse olants, especially suited for the cold house, since they require only shelter from frost. They can be trained over the walls or up pillars in the greenhouse to produce wonderful coloured masses of flower. The colouring is chiefly due to their rosy bracts. The soil for their cultivation should be two parts loam, one part leaf-mould and half-part sand. The plants should be re-potted or planted in the greenhouse border in February, and at the same time the previous year’s growth should be cut back to within I in. of the old root. Very little water should be given during the winter. Increase by cuttings of new shoots taken off with a heel and inserted in sandy soil in spring.


Plants with white, red or pink flowers. Easily grown much the same as the common bedding Geranium. The soil should be two parts fibrous loam, two parts peat, one part leaf-mould and a little silver sand. They can be grown in the cool house with not too much water during the winter. In February they are pinned to within 1 in. of the old wood, and re-potted in March when necessary. There are some very showy double forms such as “Hogarth,” double scarlet; “President Garfield,” double pink, etc.

Calceolaria – Slipper flower

Some of the showiest of greenhouse plants are the herbaceous Calceolarias. They are grown from seed sown in June, the flowers being produced the following May. Seed is sewn carefully on fine gritty soil, and soon as possible the seedlings are pricked out into pots, and afterwards into a succession of pots gradually increasing in size up to 8 in. Water must be given with care, and liquid manure, particularly soot water, can be given occasionally with advantage. Keep a constant watch for green-fly, which is often very troublesome. (The plants should not be sprayed to cure an attack, but the greenhouse should immediately be fumigated.) The soil used for the final pots should be two parts loam, one part leaf-mould, half-part sand, with a little dry cow-manure. The showiest Calceolarias for the amateur’s greenhouse are the hybrids such as C. Cilbrani and Albert Kent hybrids.


These are very useful as pot-plants in the greenhouse, being treated in the same way as Dahlias, ie. started in heat in spring and stored as tubers in winter. They have flowers in shades of yellow, orange and red. Seed is sown in spring in gentle heat, with plenty of tepid water used in the seed pans. Seedlings are potted out into loam. Leaf-mould and sand, with old manure. Good flowers can be expected from two-year-old seedlings. If the seed seems difficult in germination, the small portion of hard outer seed-coat can be filed off.

Capsicums and Chillies

Capsicum annum and C. baccatum are frequently grown in greenhouses on account of their decorative appearance. This genus of plants includes the well-known Sweet Pepper. Seeds are sown in light soil in a temperature of about 75° in February. Prick seedlings off into small pots and pot on as necessary until they reach 6-in. pots about May. The soil for the final pots should be three parts light loam, one part decayed manure with a good sprinkling of bone-meal and sand. Plentiful drainage must be provided in the pots and ample sunshine should be given the plants through the summer. They can, if preferred, be grown in the open and brought into the greenhouse in late autumn to finish colouring the fruits.


Evergreen plants with long strap-shaped leaves ana showy flowers, in outline something like the lily. They can be raised from seed, which germinates readily in spring in heat. Seedlings are potted up singly in small pots and potting-on is seldom practised, as the plants will flower in very small pots quite successfully. The soil should be rich loam with sharp sand and charcoal. During the flowering period liquid manure is appreciated. Clivias make fine pot-plants for room decoration, and some of the newest hybrids are exceedingly showy. Of these the best are C. Gardeni, orange and red; C. nobilis, red and yellow ; and varieties of C. miniata, such as “Distinction” and “Excelsior.” “Distinction” is orange, scarlet and white, and “Excelsior,” orange and red.

Coleus. Flame Nettle

This is a greenhouse perennial sometimes used as a potting plant. It is usually raised from cuttings inserted in sandy fibrous soil and grown in a compost of two parts loam, one part leaf-mould, half part sand, with the addition of dry cow-manure. The plants should be pinched off occasionally to induce bushy growth.

Convallaria (Liliacea). Lily of the Valley

Though actually a hardy herbaceous perennial, this plant is frequently brought into the greenhouse to force its lovely bells for winter use.

Its natural habitat is the limestone moss, and it is seen at its best in a garden when planted in a damp sheltered border between a brick wall and a flagged path, where it can be left undisturbed year after year, except for the addition of a little manure in February.

Forcing Culture

Six or eight crowns are put singly in a 48-size pot, bulb fibre shaken between the roots, and covering them. This is well-pressed and the pots set in the greenhouse till flowers can be seen, then removed to the forcing-house. Better results follow the purchase of retarded crowns, and these may be potted and placed at once in the forcing-house. Once used, the crowns may be planted in the wild garden to naturalize. No second forcing is possible.

They can also be cultivated as a greenhouse pot-plant; in this case 8-12 crowns are used to a 48-sized pot in a compost of one part fibrous loam, one part leaf-mould, and enough sharp sand to keep it open.

They are put in the cold-frame in October and brought into the green-house in January. Temperature 45°. There will then be a succession of bloom for a long period.

Propagation by division of roots.

Cordyline (Draccena) or New Zealand Cabbage Tree

These are the highly-coloured plants sometimes used in the open garden in mild districts, but more commonly grown as greenhouse plants. They give a distinct and tropical appearance to either greenhouse or garden. Ordinary greenhouse potting-soil is sufficient for the pots. Fresh plants can be raised from seed, and also by cutting stems into pieces and inserting them into coco-nut fibre and peat.


Commonly known as “Genista.” It is raised from cuttings and half-ripened shoots inserted into the propagating frame at any convenient time, and should be cut back each year after flowering, and on alternate years should not be forced into early flowering, but should be grown on in cool conditions in the cold-frame or open garden to encourage new growth. After bringing the plants into the greenhouse, if forced, they should be syringed every morning and afternoon. Liquid manure is also advisable.

Datura (Thorn Apple)

Both annuals and shrubs. D. arborea flowers in the greenhouse in August, the flowers being white. D. chlorantha is available in several varieties, and D. sanguined with orange-yellow flowers are mostly grown. The annual kinds can be raised from seed sown in heat in February or March, and are suitable for planting out in beds where a sub-tropical effect is desired, in ordinary sandy loam. Occasional doses of liquid manure are appreciated.


Heathers of various kinds make fine pot plants for greenhouse decoration. They are not easily raised by amateurs, although cuttings can be struck in sand in a propagating frame. If it is desired to raise new stocks, the best thing to do is to obtain heath soil from land which naturally grows heather. This should be mixed with some sand, and used over plentiful crocks. Ericas can be also obtained from seed sown in sandy peat in spring. Cuttings can be taken in July and August.

Erythrina, Coral Tree

These are semi-woody, deciduous shrubs with flowers like waxy sweet peas, scarlet in colour. Stocks are started in heat in spring, and the plants grown on in pots in an ordinary cool greenhouse during the summer. They can if preferred be planted out in borders, like dahlias, and are increased by seeds and cuttings in the new shoots in the same way as dahlias.


Eucalyptus plants are sometimes used as bedding plants, and frequently as greenhouse decorative plants. They should be grown in compost of two parts loam, one part leaf-mould, one part sand and a little charcoal. It is best to raise plants from seed for pot-culture, sowing it in sandy soil at a temperature of 60-65°. E. citriodora, which has broken small rough leaves, is the best for pot-work, and makes a fine room plant.


Although a number of fuchsias are really hardy and can be grown all the year round outdoors, the majority of choice species are best grown under glass throughout the year, or at least during the cold weather. For greenhouse decoration they are often especially trained as standards on a single stem. Some are also grown in hanging baskets for greenhouse decoration. The varieties used for potting out are for the most part those with ornamental foliage.

Fuchsias are increased by seeds, layers or cuttings, cuttings being most used. Several young shoots are selected and inserted in sand in a propagating frame. As a rule these young shoots are taken off just after the plants are started into growth in the New Year. They need a temperature of about 60° to root. The top of the leading shoot is pinched out in order to encourage bushy growth, unless a standard is being trained, when of course the side shoots are pinched out and only the leader allowed to develop. Occasional doses of soot water and weak liquid manure made from animal droppings encourage the development of healthy plants.

In the case of a standard fuchsia, as soon as it has grown the required height the top of the leader is pinched out and laterals are allowed to develop from the top of the main stems. These laterals are treated like new fuchsia plants, that is, they are stopped now and again in order to make the growth more bushy. This results in the development of a fine head of flowers. Fuchsias under glass should be syringed frequently with tepid water. This both assists growth and also keeps down insect pests. Most fuchsias also require staking.

The worst pest of fuchsias under glass is the White Fly, and the best way to treat it is by fumigation of the greenhouse. Some of the finest hybrids for greenhouse culture are as follows:—Ballet Girl; Dainty Lady; Fascination; Heritage; Mauve Beauty; Royal Purple; White Phenomenal.


These are very showy plants usually grown in the warm greenhouse, though they can be quite successfully cultivated in a cool house. They are raised from seed in the same way as a Begonia, the seeds being sown in September and January, or again in April or June. They should be sown in well-drained soil, and watering should be done very carefully, as the seed is exceedingly fine. The plants are pricked out into small pots and moved on into larger pots by stages until they reach 6-in. pots. The soil for the final pots should be turfy loam with a little peat, charcoal and sand. Occasional doses of liquid manure are appreciated, but neither liquid manure nor water should be allowed to touch the flower buds. Gloxinias can be raised from leaf cuttings in the same way as Begonias. Named varieties of Gloxinias are also obtainable as tubers. The tuberous root of the Gloxinia is stored in sand in winter in the same way as a Dahlia, and can be treated in much the same way in spring. Seeds of innumerable named varieties are offered in catalogues, some of the showiest being:—Her Majesty, pure white; Firefly, scarlet, and creamy white; Duchess of York, dark blue and white; Pink Beauty, and Royal Crimson.


These are handsome flowering shrubs, one species of which is commonly grown for indoor decoration, that is G. robusta. It can be raised from seed sown in spring in heat in a peaty compost. Seedlings are potted up into 3-in. pots and into increasingly large pots up to 8 in. The final compost should be good loam with peat and sand. These plants are sometimes used for summer bedding.


Showy tropical plants that can be treated in much the same way as Cannas. They are increased by division of the roots in spring, each being cut into portions, allowing two eyes to each. These are started into growth in sandy loam or coco-nut fibre, and potted up later into equal parts of loam, leaf-mould, and some sand and manure. They should have plentiful supplies of water all through the growing season. One of the showiest species is H. gardnerianum, which has yellow flowers and grows more than 5 ft. in height.


Bulbous plants which are easily raised from seed, though the seedlings take three years to reach flowering size. They are sown in rich gritty soil in May, and pricked out into sandy loam and leaf-mould. Fully-grown plants should be rested during the winter, and restarted into growth in spring. They have long strap-shaped leaves, sometimes up to 5 ft. in length, and three or four flowers, occasionally 10 in. across, are carried on the flower stem. These plants are frequently called Amaryllis, and are nearly related to Hippeastrums. (Hippeastrums can be grown on more continuously than Amaryllis, which need a rest.)

Hoya, Wax flowers

These are climbing flowering plants suitable for cultivation in the warm greenhouse, and should be grown in a compost of two parts peat, one part loam, and one part sand, with the addition of mortar rubble. They can be trained to the roof or pillars in the greenhouse, and like plenty of sunshine. Careful watch should be kept for the appearance of green-flies and mealy bug, and the greenhouse should be fumigated if they are seen. Water should be given frequently during the summer, but rather sparingly in winter. Increase by cuttings of well-ripened shoots inserted in sandy soil in spring, in a temperature of 70°. The pink-flowered H. carnosa is the one most commonly grown.

Humea, Incense plant

This is a greenhouse biennial with scented foliage and small, pinkish flowers. The plants are sometimes used for bedding out, but make good pot plants and, if allowed, reach a height of 4-8 ft. Seeds should be sown in spring or early summer to flower the following summer, compost for the flowering pots being leaf-mould, sand and bone-meal, together with good loam, all passed through a coarse sieve.


The hydrangea of the greenhouse is the H. hortensis, and its hybrids. These are deciduous plants, fond of moist situations, and natives of China and Japan. They are easily increased by cuttings, which should root in sandy soil in February or March. As soon as rooted they should be potted up into pots of two parts loam, one part peat and one part leaf-mould, with some sharp sand. As they are potted on, more loam is included in the potting-soil in proportion. Cuttings can also be taken in autumn and rooted in a temperature 40°, and kept away from frost all winter. As soon as the plants have finished flowering, the old wood is cut back a little, leaving the strongest-growing new shoots for next season’s flowering. At the same time the quantity of water given is decreased a little. When new growth begins, the water is gradually increased and the plants in their pots can be stood in the garden for the remainder of the summer.

The natural colour of the hydrangea is pink, the flowers only turning blue when they are especially treated, although some soils will produce the blue flowers, because of mineral contained in the soil.

In order to turn pink hydrangeas blue, they must be given regular treatment for a considerable period; the easiest way for the amateur to obtain results is to buy blueing powder from a florist, and to add a half pound of this to each bushel of soil used for potting. Subsequently the plants are watered every alternate week with water in which blueing powder has been dissolved at the rate of a half ounce to a gallon. In August a little extra blueing powder should be mixed into the surface of each pot-plant, so as to intensify the colour for next season. If blueing powder is not bought, the blue flowers can be produced by planting in a soil free of all lime, and by watering freely with three ounces of aluminium sulphate to one gallon of water. Pink-flowered hydrangeas are improved in colour by dressing with sulphate of iron broken up into small pieces and put on the soil of the pots. Of the modern hybrids of hydrangeas the following are some of the showiest:


A strong, compact grower with medium-sized truss. Free flowering. Original colour is a rosy-pink, but treated for blue it is a striking, almost Oxford blue.


Deep carmine-rose, the richest-hued hybrid in this colour.

MADAM A. RIVERAIN (blue) Natural colour light pink. Treated, it is a bright, almost Cambridge blue.

MARECHAL FOCH (blue) This variety blued is most remarkable, no two plants blueing quite alike, but all having lovely shades of metallic-blue, shaded old rose.


A pure white variety, and forms an immense truss of fine quality. Lasts in good condition a long time.


Soft rose pink, frilled edges.


These are stove or half-hardy ornamental foliage plants, which were very popular at one time for carpet bedding. They are raised from cuttings of new shoots inserted in sandy soil in early spring in a temperature of 70°, and grown on in a compost of leaf-mould and loam. They like sunny, warm positions, and should be repotted in early spring. The showiest are /. Herbstii, dark crimson foliage, and I. H. aurea reticulata, with gold and red leaves.


This is a grass-like plant which is often used to cover the greenhouse stages beneath taller plants. It is easily increased by division in early spring and will grow in ordinary loam with leaf-mould.


Easily raised from seeds or cuttings and grown in equal parts of loam and leaf-mould, with sand, in well-drained pots. They need a warm house during the first year, but during the second year they can be grown a little cooler. They should be flowered in pots 6 in. in depth. K. jlammea is one of the best species, with large heads of orange flowers, sometimes 1 ft. across.


The indoor palm is one of the commonest of foliage plants for living-rooms. It can be raised from seed sown in sandy peat, and covered with 1 in. of soil in a temperature of 70° in early spring. The plants should be repotted when necessary, in early spring, into pots well supplied with crocks at the bottom, with a compost of equal parts, loam, peat and silver sand. If a room plant becomes at all unhealthy looking, it is best to give it a rest period in the greenhouse if possible. If the foliage turns yellow, a small lump of sulphate of iron on the surface of the soil will remedy this.

Lachenalia (Liliacece)

Commonly called Cape Cowslip. Bulbous plants, free flowering and of graceful growth. Can be grown four or five bulbs together in a pot on a sunny shelf—or more round the edge of a hanging basket. Potted in August, in a compost of three parts of fibrous loam, with one each of sharp sand and leaf-mould, they will produce their flowers in May. At this time they will need a little liquid manure. They are durable vase flowers, and those of L. Nelsoni are particularly handsome, rich yellow, tubular flowers, drooping from stalks a foot high.

Laelia (Orchidacece)

A Mexican plant named after Laelia, a vestal virgin; the flowers are delicate rich-coloured blooms. Culture

Compost of Osmunda fibre with a little sphagnum moss. Re-pot when roots are pushing from the base of the last made growth. Half fill the pots with clean crocks and set the plant so that it is lifted well above the rim of the pot. Water during growing time, then give more air and less water. Temperature should not be less than 60° at night nor more than 80° by day. Divide the plant when re-potting, if required.

Lagerstroemia (Lythracece)

A popular greenhouse evergreen with large panicles of nunerous flowers, pink or white.

Propagate by cuttings of strong side shoots. These should be planted in sandy soil in bottom heat until rooted, when a cooler position is needed. Plants are better grown in a border in a greenhouse, to have overhead space. They should be freely watered during summer, and even in the winter never allowed to dry off. Pinch back young plants to make them bushy, and when potting put them in firmly. Cut mature plants back in winter, and any thinning out that is required can be done in spring.

Lantana (Verbenacex)

Introduced from S. America in 1692. Heliotrope-looking plants with verbena-like flowers in numerous colours. Take short side cuttings at the end of the flowering season, and root in gentle heat. Compost for planting two parts of loam, and one of peat or old manure from a mushroom bed, with some sand. Cuttings taken in autumn are struck in 3-in. pots. Later, after they have been pinched back, transferred into 6-in. pots. They can also be cultivated from seed, and can be used for bedding plants.

Lapageria (Liliaceas) or Chilean Bell flower

A climber for the shady end of the greenhouse. Leaves dark green and leathery. Flowers waxy, rich rosy crimson—appear in July, continuing for some weeks—in long trails unless pinched back to produce clusters.

Pruning consists of cutting back shoots that have flowered, unless needed to extend the plant.

Propagate by layering—which may take a year before the plants are rooted and can be cut away—or by strong growths cut from the plant and placed in a warm, close frame. Seed germinates freely in a warm house. Slugs attack the young shoots.

Plants do better in a border, where they like a compost of coarse granite or grit (not limestone), sandy peat, and some nodules of charcoal, combined with perfect drainage ensuied by stone clippings, broken sandstone and clinkers.

Latania (Palmaceae), Bourbon Palm

Handsome palms for the greenhouse when small. Propagate by dry seeds sown in sandy peat in early spring. Pot into good rich loam with some bone-meal.

Lemon-scented Verbena (See ALOYSIA.)

Leptotes (Orchidacea;), Stove Orchids

Red, white, or purple flowers. Increased by division, in spring. When planting, nearly fill the pot with drainage, then use fibrous peat and old moss. Summer temperature 50°-65°.


Evergreens with beautiful silky, silvery leaves. Pot in March with equal parts of sandy loam and peat—with the addition of a little charcoal.

Propagate by seeds sown in sandy peat, or by cuttings of firm shoots taken in summer.

Leucopogon (Epacridacea)

White flowers. Evergreen shrub. Propagate by cuttings of ends of shoots under a bellglass. Soil, fibry peat and silver sand.

Lilies, Lilium (Liliacea)

Lilies do well in pots. They should be planted in deep, wide pots not too crowded. Large bulbs need 5 in. of space between any one bulb and another. Soil—a compost of two parts good loam, one part sand and a handful of leaf-mould well mixed. Only partly fill the pot at first to about 4-5 in., place the bulbs on this and just cover them. Add more soil as the shoot grows, until the soil is 1 in. from the rim. Winter in the greenhouse.

Lissochilus (Orchidaceas)

Pink, yellow, or purple flowers. Compost, fibrous loam, leaf-mould and silver sand in a shallow pan in warm, moist part of stove. Pot in February or March—water freely while growing, and apply liquid manure every ten days. November to March keep quite dry—propagate by pseudo-bulbs in March.

Lycoris (Amaryllidacea)

Greenhouse bulbs allied to Scarborough Lily. Increased by offsets and by seeds, and grow well in equal parts of loam, leaf-mould and sand. The pots must be well drained. Flowers of the various species vary from yellow to red, pink and lilac-blue.

Mandevilla (Apocynacea)

Climbing shrub from the Argentine, with large, fragrant white flowers. Plant to train up a trellis from February to March in compost of loam and peat, equal parts with a liberal supply of sand and charcoal. Prune back to base of shoots after flowering. Propagation by cuttings of well-ripened shoots during summer.

Manettia (Rubiacese)

A climbing, evergreen shrubby plant with showy scarlet or yellow flowers. Propagate by cuttings of young shoots taken in spring and struck in sand, in heat or by division of the fleshy roots.

Plant in a compost of loam, peat, broken charcoal and silver sand in equal proportions. They do better if slightly potbound, but need plenty of water.

Maranta (Marantacese)

Stove herbaceous plants grown chiefly for their beauty of foliage. Compost, 2 parts loam, 1 part leaf-mould and sand. Water freely in summer. Increase by division when repotting and keep in temperature of y0° for a few weeks.

Masdevallia (Orchidaceae)

Probably the easiest of the family to cultivate, many diversities in form and colour. Culture: compost equal parts sphagnum moss and peat, liberal supply of broken crocks, several large pieces of charcoal. Repot in January or February when new growth commences, and propagate by division when potting. Syringe daily during hot weather, shade from hot sun, and water freely in the growing season, but in winter lessen the supply, never allowing it to become quite dry.


Richly-flowering orchid, of great decorative value both on the plant and as cut flowers. There are also some unusually beautiful Miltonia Hybrids.

Culture: Use a compost of 3 parts well-chopped fibre to 1 part sphagnum moss. Half fill the pots with broken crocks. Shade, a moist atmosphere, and equable temperature night and day of about 60° should be aimed at. Repot when growing period commences, and then water freely. Propagate by division when repotting.

Mimosa (Leguminosa)

Sensitive plant from S. America. Leaves are sensitive to the merest touch.

Compost: 2 parts loam, 1 part peat and sand. Pot early. Water freely during summer, at other times moderately. Winter temperature 50° ( summer 70°). Propagate by cuttings of young shoots in sandy soil or preferably by seeds sown in light sandy soil in spring.

Naegelia (Gesneriaceffi)

Tuberous-rooted perennials with soft green or crimson heart-shaped leaves. They can be propagated by division of the rhizomes at potting time, by cuttings of young shoots rooted in sandy peat, by leaves pegged on to the surface of pots of sandy peat, and by seeds. Shoots and leaves must be kept at a temperature of 75°.

Culture: The tubers should be started in leaf-mould and sand with a little bottom heat; potted up in a compost of 2 parts loam, 1 part each of leaf-mould, dried cow-manure and sand, at intervals from February to June, they will provide a succession of flower from early summer till the following spring. Ample water must be given during flowering time and liquid manure once or twice a week after the buds appear.

Dry off plants that have flowered and store pots under staging until repotting time. Winter temperature 50°; summer 65°-75°.

Nepenthes (Nepenthaceas)

Pitcher Plant An insect eater. Itsleaves end in hollow, cup-like vessels of various mottled colours provided with a cap and containing liquid; it is 3 perennial evergreen and propagated by offsets found near the base. These are placed in pots of sandy peat, in a propagator temperature 75°-80°. Seed can also be raised in the same way.

Planted in a suspended basket, the pitchers show to advantage. The soil should consist of sphagnum moss, peat and loam in equal parts with small broken charcoal and sand added, and January or February is the best time for planting. Water liberally, and syringe daily during the summer, but keep the temperature up to 80°.

Nerine (Amaryllidaceffi)

A lovely S. African bulbous plant, commonly called “The Guernsey Lily,” which has a truss of ten to twenty bright rose flowers on a foot high stalk. These are several related varieties, mainly in shades of red and pink.

The plant thrives in a compost of 3 parts loam and equal parts of leaf-mould and sand, and requires autumn potting. Only repot at 4 or 5 year intervals as they prefer to be left alone. Give a little liquid manure to plants in bloom, and cease daily watering when the leaves turn yellow. Propagate by offsets when repotting.

Nerium (Apocynacea)

Oleander—a fragrant flowered evergreen— but poisonous. Its leaves are narrow and willow-like, and its flowers white, pink or red, and often double. They can be propagated by cuttings of young shoots inserted in a compost of peat, loam, leaf-mould and sand under a bellglass.

For potting out in tubs, use a mixture of 2 parts loam, 1 part leaf mould, and part sand, and give regular syringings and fumigations, as the plants are very prone to attacks by aphides. When flowering is over, cut the previous year’s growth well back to the base.

Odontoglossum (Orchidaceffi)

Fine species of orchids. They have been bred into the beautiful race of Odontoglossum Hybrids, the orchids that hold the highest place in modern favour. They require a moist atmosphere always, and must be shaded from the sun when hot. The roots must never become dry, so summer watering must be ample, and winter moderate. Three parts of well-chopped fibre with 1 part of sphagnum moss in a pot two-thirds filled with broken crocks, will meet its needs as long as the pseudo-bulbs are resting above, not in, the compost.


There are a number of orchids quite as simple to grow as other greenhouse flowers, needing no great heat, and being of no great cost.

In most cases the main necessity for terrestrial orchids is the addition of sphagnum moss to the compost to secure moisture without acidity, and the general compost for cpiphytals consists of fibrous loam, osmunda fibre, sphagnum moss and dried leaves.

Hanging baskets, for the growth of epiphytal orchids are preferably made of teak. The moist, warm atmosphere rots soft wood rapidly.

A warm, damp atmosphere is the prime essential, and great care must be given to ventilation, spraying of the staging, and steady temperature.

Any nursery will advise as to the variety of orchid suitable to a cold greenhouse, but one of the best is Cypripedium insigne, the Slipper Orchid from Nepal. Others that have already been dealt with individually are Odontoglossum, the Masdevallias, and Miltonia.

Pancratium (Amaryllidacea)

A bulbous plant with a fragrant white flower. It is propagated by offsets when repotting. This is done in spring, in a compost of 3 parts loam—equal parts cow-manure, leaf-mould and sand. Potbound plants flower better, so it is wiser to leave them 3 or 4 years untouched. Water freely during summer, then gradually allow plants to become quite dry. Weak liquid manure in growing period is useful.

Passiflora (Passifloracere)

Passion-flower—native of Brazil—fragrant flowered, evergreen climber needing a cool greenhouse, in exposed positions, but growing in ordinary gardens when sheltered, and in the usual garden soil.

Seeds may be sown—or cuttings taken.

Pelargonium (Geraniacece)

Pelargonium popularly called Geranium Herbaceous, evergreen, shrubby, perennial and tuberous rooted. They are used constantly for bedding out, for which their showy blooms are most suitable, and can be grown either as summer or as winter flowering plants. Amateurs look upon them as a yearly purchase—but it is not difficult to keep and increase a stock from year to year.

Summer flowering plants yield suitable side shoots for cuttings in July or August, and these are inserted singly in a 2-in. Pot of sandy soil, or 5 or 6 in a 5-in. One. When cutting them, take off just below a joint and remove the lower leaves.

Kept moist overhead they will quickly root in the cold greenhouse or cold frame, but will need shading, and they will keep all the winter in greenhouse, or in a sunny window if frost is kept from them and very little water given. In spring the new growth requires more water and larger pots, and the soil should be changed to a compost of 2 parts good loam, I part coarse sand and 1 part leaf-mould or well-decayed manure, to which has been added 1 oz. Superphosphate or 2 oz. Bone-meal to each bushel of soil. They will make good bedding plants for early June. They are better kept in a dry atmosphere once they have rooted, as otherwise damping off starts and spreads to the whole set of cuttings. Bedding plants can also be taken up at the end of the summer, root trimmed, to fit as small a pot as possible, watered only just enough to prevent shrivelling, and kept in a greenhouse whose minimum temperature is 40°.

Winter flowers, in quantity, are obtained in the greenhouse, from plants that have different treatment. Cuttings for these are taken in spring, rooted in sand in the warm greenhouse and not allowed to flower during summer, any buds appearing being at once pinched out. The atmosphere must be kept up to 60°, and the soil is as for summer Pelar-goniums. The winter plants from the time flowers open require more nourishing and can be watered with liquid manure or nitrate of soda (I oz. to the gallon of water) once a week, given when the soil is already moist. Sulphate of ammonia can be given instead of the nitrate; soot water may be added to the liquid manure to improve the colour of foliage and flowers. Nip the main shoots to obtain a strong bushy plant and give all the sunshine possible.


Pelargoniums often grown in hanging baskets, in tubs or in ornamental vases, need the same treatment. They are, however, somewhat straggly in growth, and require tying, training and occasional pruning, if kept for some time. Green Fly attacks them readily, and occasional syringing with a paraffin solution or fumigating is beneficial.

Some handsome varieties of Pelargoniums are:

ACHIEVEMENT, salmon pink.

GENERAL FRENCH, soft scarlet.

MARS, crimson.

PAUL CRAMPEL, single scarlet.


Petunia (Solanacece)

These are summer bedding plants that are very decorative for growing in the greenhouse. For this purpose they are sown in January on light open soil, pricked out singly into small pots, and potted on into richer soil in 5-in. pots for flowering. Any ordinary good bedding soil will do with leaf-mould as drainage.

As the flower buds appear, apply weak liquid manure and pinch out tops of young shoots to make bushy plants.

Phaloenopsis (Orchidaceae)

Require a warm greenhouse and are cultivated chiefly fixed to blocks of wood suspended from the roof. They are epiphytal, and some of their varieties are the “Mother Orchid” and “Indian Butterfly Plant.” Phoenix Palms

Room plants, and used in greenhouses for decoration. Date palms are of the genus.

Loam, old decayed manure and coarse sand are used for potting them, and to enrich the green of their leaves a lump of sulphate of iron can be kept on the surface.

They are potted in February and need occasional syringing during the cold weather. In heat, syringing daily is advisable.

Platycerium (Filices)

Stag’s Horn Fern, from New South Wales. Evergreen. Can be grown in shallow pan or on a block of wood with the roots covered with a compost of equal parts of sphagnum moss and fibrous peat, all held in position by strands of copper wire. Add extra soil in the early spring, water well in summer and keep the temperature up to 45°.

Platyclinus (Orchidacea)

Epiphytal Orchids for the warm greenhouse need a winter temperature of 50-60°, and in summer 80°. Propagated by division of the pseudo-bulbs as they appear. Flowers fragrant, and white or greenish-yellow.

Plumbago (Plumbagineas)

Leadwort, so called from the eye disease for which the plant was used, is a dainty blue flower and is deservedly popular both for its colouring and its graceful trailing growth, which decorates the pillars of the greenhouse, or makes a lovely pot plant trained over a trellis.

Plant it in February or March in a compost of 2 parts fibrous loam, I part silver sand mixed with leaf-mould; syringe it daily till the flowers appear, then give weak stimulants twice a week, and as soon as the flowers fade cut back to within 1 in. of the base. Propagate by side shoots taken any time from February to August or by seeds sown on sandy peat in early spring.

There are also pink and white varieties.

Poinsettia (Euphorbiacege)

Remarkable for the scarlet, white or pink bracts that surround its insignificant yellow flowers. A double variety is grown with smaller brighter bracts within the larger ones.

Propagation by cuttings inserted in sandy soil in a hotbed, temperature 75-80°, shaded and moist until rooted.

When potted into a compost of turfy loam, leaf-mould and old cow manure with some silver sand, their supply of light and air is gradually increased, and they come to maturity in a cool greenhouse (Temperature 50°).

When flowering is over, water is gradually withheld to allow of the necessary plant rest.

Polianthes or Tuberose (Amaryllidaceffi)

Fragrant white-flowered bulbs, which can be increased from offsets or grown from seed, but a bulb once having flowered is of no further use.

Put the bulbs, 3/4 of their depth, in a compost of leaf-mould, loam, decayed manure and silver sand, and plunge the pots to their rims in bottom heat. Water once only before growth begins, afterwards remove to a shelf near the glass.

Bulbs may be grown also in a cold frame and removed to the green-house for flowering as with spring bulbs. When growing freely they will need a stimulant in the form of fertilizer.

Rhodochiton (Scrophulariacea)

Evergreen climber with clusters of nearly black flowers with large red calyces, in summer.

Raised from seed, or cuttings, it flourishes in sandy loam and peat, and requires copious watering and stimulants when flowering. In February cut back. In March sow seeds in ordinary soil. In summer take cuttings and insert in sandy soil under a bellglass.

Richardia, or Arum Lily (Aroides)

A herbaceous perennial, which must be repotted annually in August to September, watered moderately during the winter, and more freely in flowering time. At this time too they should have a little nitrate of soda, or sulphate of ammonia.

Flowering over they can stand outside, but must not be allowed to dry off, and as they are attacked frequently by Green Fly, they must be syringed whenever there are any signs of it.

Rivina or Blood-berry (Phytolaccaceae)

Decorative mainly at fruiting time when its scarlet berries make it a beautiful table plant.

Pot in February or March in leaf mould and sandy loam. Keep in cold house shaded from sun in summer. Winter temperature 55-60 °.

Propagate by cuttings taken, or by seed sown, both in sand, in spring-time.

Salvia (Labiate)

Salvia Splendens, is a beautiful plant with silver spotted leaves and brilliant scarlet flowers, and the blue flowered S. patens is nearly as lovely. The latter must be treated like a dahlia, the roots being lifted, dried and stored in autumn.

Culture: The seeds are sown in well-drained soil consisting of leaf-mould loam and sand. Press seeds into soil, cover with in. of sand, water in with tepid water and place in a propagating pit. Prick out when seedlings have made enough root. Pot into 6o’s when 2 or 3 in. high, using similar compost with a sprinkling of complete fertilizer, grow on, in good heat, and when potting into 32 size pots use a rather coarser type of similar compost, and somewhat richer. Old plants from outdoor beds are taken into the greenhouse in spring and young shoots grown to provide cuttings. These are rooted in sandy soil in a moist warm frame.

Schizostylis (Caffre Lily) (Iridaces)

Ideal pot plants with scarlet flowers resembling Gladiolus, but much smaller. They bloom in November and December when flowers are scarce.

Culture: Compost 2 parts loam, 1 part leaf-mould and sand. Repot annually in September, give liquid fertilizer occasionally and stand in cool greenhouse. After flowering they can be moved into a cold frame, but are better plunged up to the rim in ashes, and never allowed to dry out.

Scutellaria (Skullcap) (Labiatas)

Helmet-shaped flowers, with blue and white colourings appearing in August. Plants propagated by seeds or cuttings. Pot in February or March in compost of 2 parts loam, 1 part leaf-mould, decayed manure and sand. Give stimulants in summer. When main shoots are 3 in. long nip off the points. Temperature 75-85°.


Stove terrestrial orchids Solandra (Solanacese)

S. Grandiflora the Peach Trumpet flower is the best known. Flowers purple and cream. Stove climbers, planted in pots of soil composed of 2 parts sandy loam, 1 part peat, 1 part sand and I part cow manure. Pot in February, water well. Prune moderately. Train to trellis. Propagate by cuttings in spring.

Solanum capsicastrum (Solanaceas) Sown in January grown in cool greenhouses in summer. Berries in winter. Seedlings need gentle heat and a loam, leaf-mould and sand compost. In later repottings add a little well decayed manure. Cuttings may also be taken. A larger display of berries may be secured by brushing the flowers over with a rabbit’s tail to ensure pollination.

Sophro-cattleya, Sophro Lselia, and Sophronitis are all species of orchid and cultivated in the manner given under orchid.

Spiraea (Rosacea)

Spiraea Japonica is the best greenhouse species. Its flowers are white or red in fine spikes, and it makes a bushy plant about 2 ft. high. There are several new hybrids of this variety now on the market.

Culture: Pot in autumn. Soil, 2 parts loam, equal parts leaf-mould and silver sand, a little charcoal. Stand in cold frame till January. Force in temperature 55°, but if for ordinary greenhouse flowering temperature 40-45° is better. When growth commences water freely and give liquid manure in small doses. After flowering put outside in a sunny moist position for two years before repotting as they do not flower every year. To buy new plants annually from a nurseryman will give the finest results. Propagate by division of roots.

Stephanotis (Asclepiadaceas)

Clustered wax flower. A fragrant white-flowered climbing evergreen for the warm greenhouse.

Culture: Compost 1 part each of peat and silver sand, 2 parts turfy loam. Plant out in the bed and train up wires to the roof, or plant in a tub in February. Shade from strong sun. Give ample water in flowering time and liquid manure once a week from May to September. Prune away weak growths, and cut strong ones well back to their base early in Spring. Propagate by cuttings of well grown shoots in spring; insert these cuttings in sandy peat and put them in a propagator. Temperature 70°.

Streptocarpus (Gesneriacese)

Charming and popular greenhouse perennials in many beautiful colours. 12 in. high with rather large crinkled leaves, the bell-shaped or tubular flowers are 2 or 3 on a stem and often showily striped.

Culture: They are treated as biennials. Early spring seed produces August flowers which carry on through the winter. The second season flowers are larger and more numerous, making a strikingly handsome plant. The seeds sown in gentle heat are pricked out into fresh boxes of soil when large enough. Then into 60° and finally into 48° with a rich open compost of peat, well-rotted manure, fibrous-loam and sand.

Mealy bug and Begonia mite will attack these plants, and they must be fumigated.

Streptosolen (Solanaceffi) has large heads of orange-scarlet summer flowers. For the spring potting use a compost of sandy-loam, peat and leaf-mould. Needs ample water during flowering time and should be shaded from direct sun.

Propagation: Spring cuttings, or seed, in sand under a bell-glass in gentle heat.

Strobilanthes (Acanthaces)

Cone-head Species range in colours from lilac to violet-blue, one variety having beautifully variegated leaves. Fibrous-loam and sandy peat with a spot close to the glass in the sunny greenhouse will bring on the flowers. Frequent syringing and plenty of water are required during summer.

Propagation: Cuttings inserted in sandy soil under a hand-light in close atmosphere.

Swainsonia (Leguminosaj)

The Darling River Pea, A climber with graceful fern-like leaves and sprays of flowers like red peas.

They are raised from cuttings, in heat, in spring, and cultivated in silver-sand, loam and peat.

Propagation: Soak seeds and sow in a hot-bed in April; or summer cuttings may be kept in sandy soil in a pit, to root.

Tacsonia (Passifioras)

The large bright starry flowers, like colourful Passion flowers, that droop from the rafters of the greenhouse, make this climber well worth cultivating. They are potted in February or March in pots of fibrous-loam or peat, dried cow-manure and some silver-sand, or they can be grown in well-drained tubs. Prune in winter. Thin out new shoots as needed during growing period. Propagate by cuttings in propagator, in spring. Temperature 65-70°.

Tecoma (Bignoniaceas)

Trumpet Jasmine—has showy orange or yellow tubular flowers and can be cut back to produce bushy pot plants, or trained as a climber.

Culture: Compost loam, peat and silver-sand. Propagate by cuttings. Prune in February, by cutting back to within a few buds of the old wood, or by layering shoots in sandy soil in summer in the greenhouse, or by root cuttings in a propagator in spring. Heat 60°.

Tradescantia (Commelinaceee) Spiderwort

The greenhouse species T. zebrina is grown mainly for the beauty of the leaves on its long trailing stems. These are greenish-white above and purple below, or in one variety striped with yellowish-white and suffused with carminf rose. They are used in greenhouse rockeries or hanging baskets, and propagated by spring cuttings inserted in sandy soil and grown in gentle heat.

Vallota (Amaryllideas) Scarborough Lily

A South African plant. Culture: Compost loam, leaf-mould, sand. Top-dress every year with the same compost. Plants thrive when pot-bound, so do not repot till needed. Water copiously in hot weather, freely when growing but little in winter. Winter temperature 40°. Pot new bulbs in spring. Propagation by off-sets.


03. September 2013 by admin
Categories: Kitchen Gardens, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Greenhouse Plants


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