Plants For Hanging Baskets
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
" Two of the most important classes of flowers," writes Laura Jones of Kentucky, " are pot shrubs and hanging basket plants, because they are useful, decorative, and are all-the-year-round plants. With proper care they are always permanent with us. Some of the pot shrubs can be kept from six to eight years, if properly pruned to keep in low shrubby shape. If allowed to grow tall and straggling, there is little room for them in either window, or garden, or veranda. Only when they are kept in shrubby shape do they bloom well, as the long, straight branches do not produce flowers.
" The best flowering shrubs that will flower in the window and in the late winter and early spring are the Azalea indica, or the Chinese azalea, which blooms about Easter. This is a beautiful flowering plant. It comes in colors of pink, crimson, white, rose color and the variegated pink and white.
" The abutilon blooms well, both in the house and on the veranda, and, if properly pruned, produces 5o flowers. All flowers of the shrubs are produced on the tips of the new branches, and new branches must be forming for flowers. The only rule I know as to pruning is to cut back each individual branch when it is becoming too long and unshapely. The foliage of the variegated abutilon is very attractive, even when not in bloom ; the green and white sorts are also very beautiful. Dwarf varieties are preferable to the tall sorts.
"Hibiscus blooms well in the window if given warmth and sunlight. It produces very gaudy flowers, but is not so large in winter as on the veranda in summer. It blooms well in the window. In time it grows into a large shrub, so after I have given it a big tub placed on casters, it can be rolled from place to place. This is a good idea for all large shrubs, as they can be conveniently moved without waiting for man's convenience.
" One of the most fragrant and beautiful plants for late winter or spring blooming is the bouvardia. Though an old shrub, it is very little known, but when once grown, one is not willing to be without it again. The long tubular flowers of Bouvardia Hum-boldtii are pure white, single, and very fragrant and beautiful. There are both double and single varieties, and in colors of pink and rose. The double sorts are short and not nearly so pretty as the waxy, tubular flowers of the single sorts. This shrub re-quires a rest during a part of the year. If to flower during the summer, withhold water during the win-ter, and if during the late winter and spring, with-hold water during the summer.
" No window garden is complete without one or two hanging baskets, and the veranda has an unfinished appearance in summer without one or two of these. The Asparagus sprengerii is one of the most useful of greens, either for hanging baskets or pots, but no hanging basket plant will succeed without plenty of moisture, and this least of all. One of thé most beautiful specimen plants of this I have ever seen, 3 feet in length, and with the very strongest of fronds, was grown in water. The basket was placed in a large crock, strong wire was placed around the crock, and this suspended from the ceiling. The crock was kept constantly filled with water, and this gradually soaked up into the basket. Tin or porous receptacles are best, and the water should be allowed to soak up through the draining holes. The wire hanging baskets, with the moss, dry out so quickly that hardly anything will be a success in them."