Florist and Pomologist, 3rd series, 2: 265 (Dec 1869)
TO PROPAGATE DOUBLE STOCKS
Edward Bennett, Osberton.
YOUR Monthly Chronicle for October includes a short note on a mode by which to perpetuate Double Stocks. The method referred to is a very old one, although perhaps not generally known. It was practised by my father nearly forty years since, and was published in one of the garden periodicals of that day. I have extracted the following memorandum from his MSS.:—
"I have practised two methods of taking cuttings from Double Stocks, and with equal success in striking them; but I much prefer the one to the other, as I find the two methods produce very different plants. The one I consider the best, is to take the cuttings when the plants are in full bloom. On the side shoots producing the flowers, beneath the existing blossom, another, and frequently two other shoots, are produced. Take off those shoots at the lower joint before they show flower, and with a sharp knife cut off the two lower leaves; insert the cuttings in pots filled with any light rich compost, and treat them as other soft-wooded cuttings. When well rooted, pot them off in pots of sizes proportionate with the progress they have made, and they will make plants equal in symmetrical beauty to any raised from seed, and will flower more abundantly."
This method of propagating Stocks from cuttings, may, at first sight, appear tedious, but it will not be found so in practice. Besides, there are some advantages to be derived from it, which are not so strictly within our reach when propagating from seed, viz., the certainty of commanding groups of this lovely flower, all double; and the equal certainty of perpetuating any favourite or peculiar variety. This is surely a boon to us in these days of ribbon borders and self-coloured beds, and should be practised, especially with the East Lothian varieties, in order to keep the colours distinct, and to ensure double flowers.