Alstroemeria Care Guide: How to Grow Alstroemeria

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The Alstroemeria, or Peruvian lily, is a long-lived, free-flowering perennial that originates from South America. They develop from tubers, and produce numerous vibrant flowers from June by to the first winter frosts on stems up to 1.2m tall, relying on the selection. The flowers are available all kinds of colors, together with shades of pink, orange, purple, inexperienced and white, usually patterned with darker freckles, stripes and streaks. They have six ‘tepals’ – the petals and sepals are indistinguishable, six outstanding, curving stamens and a three-lobed stigma.

There are roughly fifty species of untamed Alstroemeria. Despite the frequent title, the centres of distribution are two distinct areas in central Chile and jap Brazil, and never Peru. Many hybrids and round 200 cultivars have been developed, with fans breeding for flower color and markings. The vary of pure colors has been efficiently expanded to a kaleidoscopic alternative of reds, purples, pinks, greens, yellows, oranges, apricots and white.

The hottest backyard hybrids come from crosses between species from Chile which might be winter-growing and species from Brazil which might be summer-growing. This has produced evergreen vegetation that may flower from early summer time late into the autumn. They will proceed to flower into early winter in an unheated greenhouse.

While not a real lily, there’s some resemblance in the flower. Alstroemeria has turn out to be a stalwart of the business minimize flower commerce, as the flowers are vibrant and dependable, and final for a number of weeks in a vase.

This article describes the kinds of Alstroemeria which might be obtainable, and offers tips about caring for the vegetation and the way to guarantee a superb provide of lovely minimize flowers for the house.

  • Jump To:
  • Overview
  • Varieties
  • Care
  • Propagation
  • Problems
  • FAQs

Plant Overview

Common Name Peruvian lily, lily of the Incas
Scientific Name Alstroemeria pelegrina and different species
Plant Family Alstroemeriaceae
Origin South America
Height Up to 1.2m
Light Sun or gentle shade
Temperature Down to -5°C
Hardiness Mostly hardy as soon as established
Soil Fertile and free draining
Fertiliser Weekly feed with excessive potash fertiliser in rising season
Propagation By division or from seed
Pests Slugs and snails
Difficulty Easy

Alstroemeria Varieties

Alstroemeria
With round 200 kinds of Alstroemeria obtainable from specialist nurseries and backyard centres, the gardener can really feel somewhat spoiled for alternative. Some growers promote combined tuber packs which might be good worth for cash, however which can be unpredictable by way of color and last plant high quality. These collections sometimes embody ‘Inca’, ‘Little Miss’ and ‘Princess’ choices.

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The Inca Series

This choice will embody a spread of pastel-coloured Alstroemeria with some extra vivid, larger-flowered varieties. They are seemingly to embody the pink, white and yellow ‘Inca Smile’. The common top is 45cm to 50cm.

The Little Miss Series

These are dwarf varieties rising up to 20cm tall. The flower colors are combined, and can embody many shades of pink. They sometimes flower from July till early September.

The Princess Series

These are vigorous hybrids and varieties which were developed for the minimize flower commerce, and they’re going to present color from June till November. The sizes are combined, although most have a tendency to be brief and sturdy in stature.

There have been many horticultural trials to decide the finest cultivars for backyard use, and people with the RHS Award of Garden Merit are all the time a dependable alternative. These embody the following favourites:

  • White and yellow; ‘Apollo’
  • Reds and yellows; ‘Phoenix’, ‘Red Elf’, ‘Sonata’, ‘Tessa’, ‘Yellow Friendship’
  • Pinks and yellows: ‘Cahors’, ‘Celine’, ‘Coronet’, ‘Friendship’, ‘Oriana’, ‘Perfect Blue’, ‘Sirius’
  • Oranges; ‘Orange Gem’, ‘Orange Glory’, ‘Spitfire’

Alstroemeria ‘Apollo’

This is one in all the most conventional and widespread tall varieties, rising to round a metre tall and producing plenty of vivid white flowers with yellow throats. It has a stout stem and it might probably produce nice minimize flowers from June by to November.

Alstroemeria ‘Orange Glory’

Another tall cultivar, rising practically a metre tall, ‘Orange Glory’ has wealthy orange flowers with a yellow speckling in the throat. It has robust stems and it makes a really perfect slicing selection.

Alstroemeria Friendship’

‘Friendship’ additionally grows to practically a metre in top, and it has pale yellow flowers with wealthy pink patterning. It is one other good selection for the vase and a favorite for bouquets.

Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’

‘Indian Summer’ can also be widespread, and is barely extra compact at round 70cm tall. It has heat orange and yellow flowers with complicated petal patterning, and complementary bronze foliage.

Alstroemeria Phoenix’

Another mid-sized selection at roughly 75cm tall, ‘Phoenix’ has vivid magenta flowers from June by to November. It has extra curiosity in its uncommon variegated inexperienced and white leaves.

Alstroemeria inticancha ‘Dark Purple’

This is a dwarf cultivar with wealthy, darkish purple flowers which might be borne of stems simply 20cm in top. It is good for rising in containers, patio planters and window bins.

Alstroemeria Care

Alstroemeria are usually obtainable from backyard centres and nurseries as container grown vegetation and naked root tubers. The former are far more dependable and a few gardeners have issues elevating good vegetation from free or packaged tubers. Young, named selection vegetation in 9cm pots are finest, as these ought to have been raised from prime quality inventory by micro-propagation. They is not going to solely transport properly and develop on shortly as soon as planted out in the backyard, however they can even produce flowers that appear to be the ones on the label.

Trays or modules of Ligtu hybrid Alstroemeria seedlings are additionally bought in some retailers, however these may have been raised from seed and are of much less dependable high quality and will produce a combination with some inferior vegetation with muddy flower colors.

Alstroemeria must be planted out as soon as the danger of frost is over, often mid to late May, relying on geography and publicity. They may be planted out earlier liable to shedding the new progress and even the plant, or early season purchases may be grown on in a greenhouse, chilly body, conservatory or a sunny windowsill till the hazard of frost has handed.

While container grown vegetation may be planted out at any time in the summer time, this isn’t really useful after early September, as they want time to set up earlier than winters first frosts.

Alstroemeria are usually not notably fussy about backyard circumstances, by the supreme location is a spot sheltered from the wind and in full solar or gentle shade for a part of the day. They is not going to do properly in heavy soils and won’t survive waterlogged circumstances.

Modern Alstroemeria varieties require minimal upkeep and can develop over subsequent summers into sturdy clumps. Plant tall varieties at the again of the border at 60cm spacing, and dwarf varieties in additional ahead positions 40cm aside.  They develop an excellent larger impression when they’re planted in teams of comparable colors.

Before planting, stand the pot in a shallow tray of water for thirty minutes or so to totally moist the roots and tuber. Meanwhile, put together the border by digging and breaking apart the soil down to a depth of 25cm, add some backyard compost or different appropriate natural matter to the base of the gap and the excavated soil, along with an natural fertiliser at round 100g per sq. metre. Add some horticultural grit to barely heavy soils to enhance the drainage. Adjust the gap in order that the compost floor round the plant sits at the similar degree as the surrounding soil and back-fill the gap.

Firm in fastidiously however firmly to eradicate any air pockets and encourage speedy root growth into the surrounding soil, and water properly. The freshly planted Alstroemeria will want frequent watering till properly established. Mulching to a depth of at the least 5cm with backyard compost is really useful to retain moisture and to preserve the rhizome cool in summer time. Tubers uncovered to scorching, dry circumstances is not going to flower in addition to these saved moist and funky by the summer time.

Once rising properly, taller varieties might have supporting with pea sticks, canes and cord, or herbaceous border frames.

The vegetation might be notably weak to frost injury throughout their first two winters in the backyard. To defend them, reduce the previous progress in October or early November and mulch the entire space round them with bark, compost, bracken or straw to a depth of 20cm. This must be eliminated and composted as soon as frosts have handed the following spring. By their third winter, the vegetation ought to have developed deep sufficient roots to take care of themselves by the winter, although an annual software of a 5cm layer of compost mulch will proceed to enhance moisture retention, drainage and root safety.

Pot-grown vegetation must be introduced into an unheated greenhouse or chilly body, at the least for his or her first two winters. Alternatively, the entire pot may be planted right into a border for the winter, to be protected by mulching in the similar manner as the garden-grown vegetation.

Light necessities

Ideally, Alstroemeria must be positioned in full solar, though they’ll tolerate partial shade. Specialist growers usually counsel {that a} place that gives the plant with at the least six hours of morning daylight brings the finest flowering efficiency.

Watering

Established vegetation are drought tolerant, however they need to be watered in dry intervals, particularly of their first two summers.  Frequent watering will encourage free flowering, however by no means waterlog the soil or compost.

Container-grown vegetation require frequent watering to preserve moisture to the roots and to assist cool the tuber in pots saved in direct daylight.

Soil circumstances

Alstroemeria will thrive in most soil varieties as long as it has good drainage. The supreme is an organic-rich, free-draining loam that’s both impartial or barely acidic. Very heavy clay soils are usually not appropriate, although reasonably heavy soils may be improved with compost, well-rotted manure or gravel. Very sandy, free draining must be improved with natural matter to enhance its moisture-retention, and the vegetation watered extra ceaselessly, particularly in the summer time after planting.

Fertilisers

Provide a excessive potash fertiliser comparable to a liquid tomato feed weekly throughout the flowering season.

Re-potting

Alstroemeria may be grown in containers, and the dwarf varieties comparable to Alstroemeria inticancha ‘Dark Purple’ are supreme.  Pots must be at the least 40cm in diameter, stuffed with a superb high quality peat-based or John Innes No 2 compost with a superb handful of horticultural grit. They will want frequent watering, and feeding as soon as per week with a high-potash liquid feed as soon as the first flower buds type. The pots may be saved outdoors by the summer time as soon as established, or vegetation may be raised and saved completely in an unheated greenhouse to prolong the flowering and slicing season. The containers will want to be saved in a frost-free place to defend the tubers throughout the winter.

The taller varieties may be raised in pots, however they’ll develop taller if raised below glass, and containers will want to be chosen fastidiously. The tallest might develop up to 1.5m and danger turning into prime heavy.  At this top they’ll want to be staked or grown in opposition to nets.

Water pots in the greenhouse properly all through the summer time to preserve the vegetation blooming, present shading from the hottest solar, and guarantee good air flow. Thin the stems of a vigorous pot plant as soon as a month by pulling out weaker stems and any that attain a metre tall with out forming flower buds.

The vegetation may be re-potted each second 12 months into a bigger pot if mandatory, however the roots don’t get pleasure from disturbance so this wants to be finished fastidiously and with minimal disturbance to the tuber and root-ball.

Looks good with

The brightness and indulgent hues of Alstroemeria flowers are usually not precisely understated, however they’re in all probability unrivalled for including a splash of unbridled color and presence to a backyard flower border. A combined planting of Alstroemerias requires little extra color, so they’re finest displayed in opposition to a shrubby backdrop or as a part of a combined herbaceous border with some extra refined perennials comparable to hardy geraniums, Achillea, Lysimachia and the paler kinds of delphinium and lupin.  They additionally work properly if backed by taller architectural grasses comparable to Stipa gigantea or the smooth gray foliage of Artemisia stelleriana or Centaurea cineraria.

While not maybe a conventional English cottage backyard plant, fastidiously chosen Alstroemeria can ceaselessly be seen in additional modern cottage backyard fashion planting, with colors to complement English lavender, valerian, roses and hydrangea.

As one in all the finest minimize flowers, Alstroemeria may also be grown in slicing gardens, both in purpose-made borders or raised beds in the allotment alongside vegetable beds. Rows of Alstroemeria may be raised with different slicing flowers comparable to Cosmos, Achillea and Echinacea.

Pruning

Alstroemeria doesn’t require pruning, however spent flowers must be deadheaded by eradicating the entire flower stem from floor degree. These stems must be minimize off in the first flowering season, however in subsequent years they are often pulled out from the base as the flowers fade, as they’ll reply to the injury by sending up extra flower stems. For the similar purpose, flowers taken for the vase must be pulled from the base quite than being minimize off.

Alstroemeria Propagation

Alstroemeria
Commercial growers propagate Alstroemeria by micro-propagation and tissue tradition, however beginner gardeners are restricted to a alternative of constructing new vegetation by the use of seed or division.

In order to increase new vegetation which might be true to the mother and father, named cultivars must be propagated by division in April. While they don’t get pleasure from root disturbance, vigorous clumps may be divided each two years to assist develop numbers of vegetation.

The tuber and roots are fragile and so they want to be lifted with warning. They must be replanted as quickly as potential after cautious division by pulling the roots aside gently by hand.

Alstroemeria ‘Ligtu hybrids’ may be propagated from seed purchased from seed retailers or hand-collected from vegetation in the backyard. The seed pods must be gathered as they flip brown and saved in a closed paper bag till they open naturally.  The seed ought to then be sown instantly because it doesn’t preserve properly.

Collected or purchased seed is finest sown in the autumn in peat-free seed compost in 8cm pots.  The seeds must be scattered onto the floor of the compost after which lined with a shallow layer of vermiculite. Put the pots right into a propagator or cowl them with a plastic bag to preserve humidity. Place in a heat place at round 20ºC for 3 weeks to promote germination, although it may be erratic, particularly if the seed was not recent.

The maturing seedlings may be planted out the following spring, although the roots are simply broken so plant the entire pot as a clump with minimal root disturbance quite then making an attempt to separate them out. The seedlings are unlikely to obtain flowering for the first two to three years of their life.

Common Alstroemeria Problems

Alstroemeria isn’t notably susceptible to illness or pest issues, however inferior vegetation can endure from a spread of rots and viruses, and all are weak to the backyard’s ubiquitous slugs and snails.

Pests

Alstroemeria isn’t critically troubled by aphids or different sap-sucking bugs, and in a wholesome backyard pure predation will usually be adequate to preserve them below management. Thrips sometimes trigger minor injury over a brief interval in the autumn. The younger shoots are engaging to the ubiquitous slugs and snails, and might have some safety if the drawback is especially extreme.

Diseases

The vegetation can endure from root, stem and crown rots attributable to numerous fungi comparable to Fusarium, Phytophthora, Pythium and Rhizoctonia species, and viruses might sometimes be an issue. Badly affected vegetation must be destroyed and changed with extra resistant varieties. In basic, the trendy named cultivars are extra resistant than the combined Ligtu hybrids.

FAQs

Q How can I make the most of Alstroemeria as minimize flowers?

A

Alstroemeria makes a wonderful slicing plant, as its vibrant flowers are amongst the most lasting minimize blooms in the vase. For the similar purpose it’s a agency favorite with florists for bouquets and preparations.

Dedicated slicing flower beds or rows in an allotment facilitate a extra productive, deliberate manufacturing system and assist to keep away from depleting the basic backyard borders of their color.

The taller varieties comparable to ‘Apollo’ and ‘Orange Glory’ give extra stature to an association, and hues may be fastidiously chosen for compatibility, or warning may be thrown to the wind by intentionally mixing collectively an enormous number of theoretically clashing colors for a putting show.

With cautious consideration, Alstroemeria flowers ought to final two to three weeks in a vase. Choose flowers which might be simply beginning to open, and the minimize stems must be transported in a plastic bag or ideally plunged in water instantly after slicing. Once in the vase, any wilting or broken stems or sickly-looking flowers must be eliminated as quickly as they’re seen. Some skilled florists counsel including a drop of bleach to the water in the vase, and to change it each 4 days.

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