Alstroemeria Care, Guide, Easy Plant, Grow and Care Tips 2022

Alstroemeria Care, Guide, Easy Plant, Grow and Care Tips 2022

Alstroemeria, or Peruvian lily, is a long-lived, free-flowering perennial from South America. Learn How to grow Alstroemeria.

Depending on the variety, they grow from tubers and produce many colourful flowers from June to the first winter frosts on stems up to 1.2 m tall.

The flowers come in a wide variety of colours, including shades of red, orange, purple, green, and white, usually patterned with freckles, stripes, and darker streaks. They have six indistinguishable petals and sepals, six prominent curved stamens and a trilobed stigma.

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Table of Contents

  • 1 Alstroemeria plants
  • 2 Varieties of alstroemeria
  • 3 Soil conditions
  • 4 Plantation
  • 5 Caring for alstroemeria
    • 5.1 Lighting requirements
    • 5.2 Irrigation
    • 5.3 Fertilizers
    • 5.4 Replanting in pots
    • 5.5 Pruning
  • 6 Propagation of Alstroemeria
  • 7 Common Alstroemeria Problems
    • 7.1 Pests
    • 7.2 Diseases

Alstroemeria plants

There are approximately fifty species of wild Alstroemeria. Despite the common name, the distribution centres are two distinct areas in central Chile and eastern Brazil, not Peru.

Many hybrids and around 200 cultivars have been developed, with enthusiasts dedicated to reproducing flower colour and markings. The range of natural colours has been successfully expanding to a kaleidoscopic selection of reds, purples, pinks, greens, yellows, oranges, apricots and whites.

The most popular garden hybrids come from crosses between Chilean species that grow in winter and Brazilian species that grow in summer. It has produced evergreen plants that will bloom from early summer through fall. They will continue to bloom until early winter in an unheated greenhouse.

Although it is not a true lily, the flower has some resemblance. Alstroemeria has become one of the largest companies in the cut flower trade, as the flowers are colourful and reliable and last for several weeks in a vase.

Alstroemeria varieties

With around 200 varieties of Alstroemeria available at specialist nurseries and garden centres, the gardener may feel a bit spoiled to choose from.

Some growers sell mixed tuber packets that are good value for money but can be unpredictable in final plant colour and quality. These collections typically include ‘Inca’, ‘Little Miss’ and ‘Princess’.

The Inca Series

This selection will include a range of pastel-coloured Alstroemeria with more vivid types and larger flowers. They likely include the pink, white and yellow colours of ‘Inca Smile’. The average height is 45cm to 50cm.

The Little Miss Series

These are dwarf varieties up to 20 cm tall. The colours of the flowers are mixed and will include many shades of pink. They typically bloom from July to early September.

The Princess Series

These are vigorous hybrids and varieties that have been developed for the cut flower trade, providing colour from June through November. Sizes are mixed, although most tend to be short and stocky in stature.

There have been many horticultural trials to determine the best cultivars for garden use, and those with the RHS Award of Gardening Merit are always a reliable choice. These include the following favourites:

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

Alstroemeria ‘Apollo

It is one of the most traditional and popular tall varieties, reaching a height of approximately one meter and producing masses of bright white flowers with yellow throats. It has a robust stem and can produce large cut flowers from June to November.

Alstroemeria ‘Orange Glory’

Another tall cultivar, almost a meter tall, ‘Gloria Naranja’, has rich orange flowers with a yellow mottling on the throat. It has strong stems and is an ideal cut variety.

Alstroemeria ‘Friendship

The ‘Friendship’ also grows to almost a meter in height and has pale yellow flowers with a rich pink print. It is another good variety for the vase and a favourite for bouquets.

Alstroemeria Care, Guide, Easy Plant, Grow and Care Tips 2022

Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer

The ‘Indian Summer’ is popular too, and it’s a bit more compact at around 70cm tall. It has warm orange and yellow flowers with an intricate petal pattern and complementary bronze foliage.

Alstroemeria ‘Phoenix’ (Phoenix)

Another medium-sized variety standing about 75cm tall, ‘Phoenix’ has bright magenta blooms from June to November. You have an additional interest in its unusual variegated green and white leaves.

Alstroemeria anticancer ‘Dark purple

It is a dwarf cultivar with rich, dark purple flowers on stems only 20 cm tall. It is ideal for growing in pots, planters.

Soil conditions

Alstroemeria will thrive in most soil types as long as it has good drainage.

Ideally, an organic, free-draining, neutral, or slightly acidic loam is ideal. Very heavy clay soils are unsuitable, although moderately heavy soils can be improv with compost, well rotten manure or gravel.

Very sandy, free drainage must be improv with organic matter to improve its moisture retention, and the plants were watered more frequently, especially in the summer after planting.

Plantation

Before planting, place the pot in a shallow pan of water for about thirty minutes to thoroughly wet the roots and tuber.

Meanwhile, prepare the border by digging and crumbling the soil to a depth of 25 cm. Add some garden compost or other suitable organic matter to the base of the hole and the excavated soil, along with an organic fertilizer at about 100 g per meter. Square.

Add some horticultural sand to slightly heavy soils to improve drainage. Adjust the hole so that the compost surface around the plant is level with the surrounding soil, and fill in the hole.

How to Grow Alstroemeria:Varieties, Soil, Propagation,

Firm gently but firmly to remove air pockets and encourage rapid root expansion into the surrounding soil and water well.

Newly planted Alstroemeria will need frequent watering until it is well established. Mulch to a depth of at least 5 cm with garden compost is recommended to retain moisture and keep the rhizome cool in summer.

Tubers exposed to hot, dry conditions will not flower as well as those kept moist and cool during the summer.

Alstroemeria care

Once grown well, taller varieties may need support with pea sticks, reeds, twine, or herbaceous border frames.

Plants will be particularly vulnerable to frost damage during their first two winters in the garden.

To protect them, cut back old growth in October or early November and cover the entire area around them with bark, compost, fern or straw to a depth of 20 cm.

It should be removed and composted once the frosts have passed the following spring. By the third winter, the plants should have developed roots deep enough to be cared for through the winter. However, the annual application of a 5 cm layer of compost mulch will improve moisture retention, drainage and root protection.

Pot-grown plants should be brought to an unheated greenhouse or cold frame for at least the first two winters.

Alternatively, the entire pot can be planted on one edge for the winter, to be mulch in the same way as garden-grown plants.

Lighting requirements

Ideally, the Alstroemeria should be in full sun, although it will tolerate partial shade. Specialty growers often suggest that a position that provides the plant with at least six hours of morning sunlight provides the best flowering performance.

Irrigation

Established plants are drought-tolerant but should be water in dry spells, especially their first two summers. Frequent watering will encourage free-flowering but will never clog the soil or compost.

Pot-grown plants require frequent watering to keep the roots moist and help cool the tuber in pots kept in direct sunlight.

Fertilizers

Provide a high-potassium fertilizer weekly during the blooming season, such as liquid tomato food.

Replanting in pots

Alstroemeria can be grown in containers, and dwarf varieties like Alstroemeria anticancer ‘Dark purple’ are ideal. The pots should be at least 16 inches in diameter and filled with good quality peat moss or John Innes No. 2 compost with a good handful of horticultural sand.

You will need to water frequently and feed them once a week with a high potassium liquid food once the first flower buds form. The pots can be kept outdoors throughout the summer once established, or the plants can be raised and kept permanently in an unheated greenhouse to extend the blooming and cutting season.

The containers should be kept in a frost-free place to protect the tubers during the winter. Taller varieties can be grown in pots but will grow taller in a greenhouse, and containers will need to be carefully selected.

The tallest ones can grow up to 1.5m and risk becoming top-heavy. At this point, they should be staked or cultivated against the nets. Pots of water in the greenhouse are well throughout the summer to keep plants in bloom, provide shade from the hottest sun, and ensure good ventilation.

Outline the stems of a vigorous potted plant once a month by removing the weakest stems and those that reach a meter in height without forming flower buds. If necessary, the plants can be replanted every two years in a larger pot, but the roots do not enjoy the disturbance, so this must be done carefully and with minimal disturbance to the tuber and root ball.

Alstroemeria Care, Guide, Easy Plant, Grow and Care Tips 2022
Alstroemeria Care, Guide, Easy Plant, Grow and Care Tips 2022

Pruning

Alstroemeria does not require pruning, but spent flowers should decapitate by removing the entire flower stalk from ground level. These stems should cut back in the first blooming season, but in subsequent years they can be pulled from the base as the flowers fade, as they will respond to damage by sending out more flower stalks.

For the same reason, the flowers taken for the vase should draw from the base rather than cut.

Propagation of Alstroemeria

Commercial growers propagate Alstroemeria by micropropagation and tissue culture, but hobby gardeners are limited to choosing between making new plants through seeds or division. The named cultivars must be propagated by division in April to breed new plants that are true to the parents.

Although they do not enjoy root disturbance, vigorous clumps can be divided every two years to help expand plant numbers. The tuber and roots are fragile and must be lifted with caution. They should be replanted as soon as possible after careful division, gently separating the roots by hand.

How to Grow Alstroemeria:Varieties, Soil, Propagation,

Alstroemeria ‘Ligtu hybrids’ can be propagated from seeds purchased from seed merchants or hand-picked from plants in the garden. The seed pods should be collected as they turn brown and stored in a closed paper bag until they open naturally. The seed must be sown immediately, as it does not keep well.

In fall, collected or purchased seeds are best sown in peat-free seed compost in 8cm pots. The seeds should be spread over the compost surface and then covered with a shallow layer of vermiculite. Place the pots in a propagator or cover them with a plastic bag to keep humidity.

Place in a warm place at around 20ºC for three weeks to promote germination, although it can be irregular, especially if the seed is not fresh. Ripening seedlings can be planted the following spring. However, the roots are easily damaged, so plant the entire pot as a clump with minimal root disturbance rather than trying to separate them.

Seedlings are unlikely to reach bloom during the first two to three years of their life.

Common alstroemeria problems

Alstroemeria is not particularly prone to disease or pest problems. Still, lower plants can suffer from various rots and viruses, and all are vulnerable to the ubiquitous garden slugs and snails.

Pests

Alstroemeria is rarely seriously affected by aphids or other sap-sucking insects, and in a healthy garden, natural predation is usually enough to keep them in check.

Thrips occasionally cause minor damage for a short period in the fall. Young shoots are attractive to the ubiquitous slugs and snails and may need some protection if the problem is particularly severe.

Diseases

Plants can suffer from root, stem, and crown rots caused by fungi such as Fusarium, Phytophthora, Pythium, and Rhizoctonia species, and viruses can occasionally be a problem.

Severely affected plants should be destroyed and replaced by more resistant varieties. In general, modern named cultivars are hardier than mixed hybrids of Light.

Where is the best place to plant Alstroemeria?

Alstroemerias need full sun to flower well and should be grown in reasonably fertile and well drained soil. Choose a sheltered spot, ideally away from prevailing winds, and add organic matter to the soil before planting. In pots, use a peat-free. soil-based potting compost.

Are Alstroemeria easy to grow?

A great addition to borders and containers, alstroemerias produce showy flowers in a wide choice of colours from early summer to the first frosts. Most are hardy and easy to grow, blooming generously for many years. They also make long-lasting cut flowers.

How do you take care of Alstroemeria?

Water frequently so the soil is consistently moist but not soggy. Too much water will lead to root rot. Fertilize your Alstroemeria when in bloom. Use a high potash fertilizer each week during the growing season.

Does Alstroemeria need full sun?

Plants thrive in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Flowering may slow or stop in hot weather; prolong bloom by applying a thick layer of mulch at planting time to keep roots cool.

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