Calla Lilly Cuphea and Cactus Planting
The Calla Lily is the only plant in this genus that is worthy to be cultivated. A rather familiar plant, it blooms well, but will need a season to rest. You should be able to regulate the plants, if you have several, so you have blooms in all seasons. After each plant blooms, it will naturally take a season to rest.
As they begin to re grow to is best to re-pot them. If you only need a plant with a single stem, remove the suckers, if a single plant is not required, they will not cause any harm remaining. This will, however, need frequent re-potting, as it will become large and unmanageable. The foliage is so stunning and fine, this alone makes it worth growing.
If the bloom is what you want, the best way to plant for this is to take six to eight roots and place in half of an oil cask. Paint it with green, and put two iron handles on. This creates a cheap and durable tub for your plants. This will need to be filled with the richest possible loam, and then set the plants, with the largest in the middle, and the smaller around the sides, and set the tub in a favorite place. These plants should bloom during the summer freely, and this way, they can be wintered through in a light cellar, rather easily.
Your soil mixture needs to consist of a rich loam and peat, very well mixed. During the growing season, it is best not give the plants too much water. In the window, place the plants in a saucer, and keep the saucer filled with water. During the summer, the plants will grow will and flower often out of doors, in a tank.
Of the species of this plant, the only one suitable for a window plant, is the Mexican C. ignea or platycentra. This stunning little gem is always in bloom and adds beautiful character. This plant makes a great border plant during the summer. It should be re-potted in the autumn, do that all winter long it will create beautiful and bright scarlet tubes tipped with a ring of black and white!
This plant will not grow over a foot in height, and is perfect for a window. The soil needs to be a mixture of three parts loam, on part sand and one part manure. It should be watered freely, but do not allow the soil to become sodden.
The Cacti family has seven groups, with each containing several species. The best for parlor growth include the Cereus and Epiphyllum. The former is a native to dry, tropical regions of the western continent. The soil should be a mixture of two parts peat, one part broken potsherds, broken coarse, one part loam or old mortar rubbish, and one part manure. Mix these all well together, and make sure there is good drainage.
During the summer months, be sure to place the plants out of doors in a sheltered location. This needs to be done from the time they stop flowering until September. Then bring them back indoors, and cut back all of the shoots that have no bloom buds to just beyond the bud. The plant needs to be confined to a six or eight strong stem. During good health, it is discouraged for the shoots from the roots to grow.
The plants should not be given any water from September to February. While they are in the growing season, it is best to only water moderately. The plants will bloom from May to August, here are some varieties to choose from:
C. Speciosissimus: Crimson and purple flowers.
C. Flagelliformis: Rose flowers. This variety should be allowed to droop, and not be pruned.
C. Grandiflorus: the night-blooming Cereus; flowers yellowish white. This variety will not bloom until it is old.
C. Maynardi:Deep orange red flowers.
C. Triangularis: Cream color; immense flower.
The first option is best for general culture, but all will work well as window plants.