Achimenes can be taken outdoors when temperatures are likely to remain above 60 degrees F. Growth will be rapid once it starts. When plants are six inches high, top-dress with an inch of peatmoss and a small amount of dry manure. Feed bulbs every ten to fourteen days with a weak solution of liquid fertilizer. The usual amount recommended for pot plants, one teaspoon of a complete chemical fertilizer to a gallon of water, is excellent.
At the end of the season, when lower leaves start to wither, plants go into a dormant period. Withhold water
gradually, and cut off stems when tops have withered. In cold regions, bring indoors before frost. After foliage is gone, tubers may be left where they are and stored at 50 degrees F. Or they can be taken out of the soil and stored in dry sand or Vermiculite. The same achimenes will grow successfully in the same containers for three seasons. After that they will need separating and replanting in a fresh soil mixture.
Toward the end of the growing season, small growths or tubers will appear at the axils of the leaves. You can gather these before they fall and grow them to flowering size, first sprouting them on a moist medium. These new tubers will take longer to start because they are covered with a waxy substance.
Given a humusy soil, warmth and good air circulation, freedom from drafts and shelter from high wind, achimenes will perform magnificently all summer. Since watering with cold water spots the leaves, have it tepid, but avoid wetting the foliage. As shade lovers, achimenes will scorch in hot sun, but the weak sun early or late in the day or filtered sunshine is needed for bloom. During the growing period, keep moist as you do African violets.
SOME EXCELLENT PLANTS FOR HANGING BASKETS
Coleus, Trailing Queen
(C. gloriosa & hirta)
Creeping Jenny Dianthus D
Sedum Dwarf French
(E. chontalensis & fulgida)
English Ivy Felicia
Star of Bethlehem or
Philodendrons Poor Man's
Pothos or Scindapsus
Thunbergia or Black-eyed-
Susan-Vine Torenia or
Wishbone Flower Vinca Wandering Jew or
Inch Plant Zebrina