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Amazing Alstroemeria

Published: 9th May, 2018

AlstromeriaAlstroemeria, more commonly known as the Peruvian Lily, is a beautiful plant originating from South America and is particularly successful in the Andes and other mountainous areas.

They come in a huge array of eye-catching colours of purple, red, orange, yellow and white on long elegant stems, some as long as 70cm, and are beautiful as cut flowers.  These astounding plants have one of the longest blooming seasons of anything in the garden. Some will flower all the way through from June to November.

Alstroemeria are hardy perennials and will come back year after year if the conditions are right. They like good drainage, good moist compost and adore sunny spots. They will however suffer sunburn if it’s too hot so it does prove a little tricky to find a perfect home for them. Your best bet is to choose a sheltered site, in part shade or full sun, and plant any time between May and August in good soil with plenty of organic matter at their roots.  Some varieties are not totally frost hardy so may not over winter if temperatures drop too low. To 100% ensure continuity it’s advisable to grow some in pots so they can be taken indoors over winter and transferred back outside the following spring when the frosts have passed. To give new plants the best chance in the ground, young Alstroemeria should be mulched with straw or bracken for their first two winters or so until they have had chance to establish deeper roots, after which they should be fine.

Alstroemeria feature very fleshy roots from which they multiply. These roots are fussy and do not like to be out of the ground for any period of time, so even if you are just transplanting from a pot into the ground keep them covered as long as possible so they don’t dry out and when planting ensure that the roots are not exposed at all. Equally they hate very wet soil. Hence the drainage is very important when planting, as their tuberous, fleshy roots will rot in overly wet soil.

One of the most important tips for growing Alstroemeria successfully is in how to deadhead them, which is a little different to most perennials. When the flowers begin to go over or have finished blooming it’s very important to pull away the dead bloom rather than cutting it. Lean down into the plant and rip out the entire stem from the base, to the extent that you get part of the white root out as well. In this way you are reducing congestion within the plant and promoting new growth below the ground. So not only do you get a longer stem, but you also encourage the formation of more buds giving you a longer flowering season. A gardener’s dream!

Henry Street Garden Centre has wide Selection of Alstroemeria in stock.

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