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Are Alstroemeria easy to grow?

Bright, colourful and vibrant, alstroemeria are a beautiful addition to any ornamental garden. These fantastically colourful flowers brighten up dark spaces and bring a touch of South America into your home – and they’re surprisingly easy to grow and care for too.

Alstroemeria grow in a wonderful collection of colours, including shades of red, blue, purple, yellow, orange, and more, making them a colourful choice for gardens in the predominantly green UK environment.

In this article, our expert gardeners demonstrate how easy it is to grow alstroemeria.

What Are Alstroemeria?

Alstroemeria is a tuberous perennial that is native to many countries in South America, although they’re a popular choice in gardens across the United Kingdom and many other parts of the world too.

Because of its region of origin, alstroemeria is better known as the Peruvian lily or the rather grand sounding ‘Lily of the Incas’. These robust flowers are able to withstand tough climates, and their long stems can grow as high as 1.5 metres in some species (although more commonly, they’ll reach around 75 centimetres in height).

The brightly coloured flowers grow in clusters from their green stems and are prized for their bright shades of red, yellow, orange, blue, and many other colours, making alstroemeria a diverse and versatile addition to your garden.

How Do I Grow Alstroemeria?

Alstroemeria can be grown in plant pots and containers, but they need lots of sunlight during the day if you want to produce really vibrant, colourful flowers. They make a fantastic addition to garden borders and look lovely lining paths and walkways where they can be clearly seen.

The easiest way to grow alstroemeria is from cuttings, as this takes very little effort for the gardener (it’s just a case of planting or potting them, then keeping them well fed and watered). However, growing alstroemeria from seed is possible albeit more difficult, especially if you’re a novice gardener. In this guide, we assume that you’re growing alstroemeria from cuttings you’ve purchased from a nursery.

It’s easy to grow alstroemeria once you’ve brought the cuttings home from a nursery. Just make sure you transfer them quickly into the pots or soil where you intend to grow them in your garden.

Alstroemeria grow best when they’re positioned in full sunlight or partial shade, so try to pick a good location and have it prepared so you can get to work immediately when you return with your cuttings.

If you’re growing in pots or containers, make sure the soil is well drained and that there are holes in the bottom of the containers. Alstroemeria enjoy rich soil that’s full of nutrients, so don’t be shy on this front.

If you’re growing them directly in the ground, in a flowerbed or similar, keep the alstroemeria spaced at least 60 centimetres apart, in free-draining soil.

After you’ve planted your alstroemeria, keep them well fed and watered while they are growing.  It’s a good idea to keep them fed and watered all through their lifespan, if you want to achieve bright flowers season after season.

When Should I Plant Alstroemeria?

You need to plant alstroemeria in spring or the start of summer to allow them time to grow and bloom before their first winter.

We recommend planting them as early as April if you can, but you could also plant alstroemeria through May, June, July, and August.

Alstroemeria enjoy a long flowering season compared to many plants, which is why we recommend trying to plant them as early as you can in the season.

They will bloom brightly and continually from June all the way through as late as November, which makes them a great choice for warming up your garden as you approach winter.

How Do I Care for Alstroemeria?

Once you’ve planted your alstroemeria, it’s easy for them to grow tall and bloom brightly as long as you keep them watered regularly and in well-drained soil. They love sunlight too, so it’s a good idea to check that they are in the best position possible through their blooming seasoning, if you want the brightest colours to flourish and shine through.

In summer when it’s hot, remember to water them regularly. They are robust flowers that can survive in harsh climates, but if you want the tallest plants and most vibrant flowers, there’s no reason not to give them a little helping hand.

You’ll find that the flowers start to die down around November, and this is when you need to prepare the plants for the winter season. It gets cold in the UK over winter, and there will definitely be periods when the ground frosts over.

To protect alstroemeria from the frost, we recommend keeping the soil well mulched all through the winter. Mulching is when you pack the surrounding soil with layers of ‘mulch’, such as tree barks, or other loose organic materials. You should do this every winter.

You should also remove dead flowers from the plant when you see them, to give new ones a chance to grow. If you’ve potted your alstroemeria, then it’s a good idea to re-pot them every two years.

Alstroemeria are long-lived, and they can last for as long as five years, if you take care of them properly. You can propagate alstroemeria by taking cuttings and planting them, while cut flowers will often last for a few weeks in water – they’re a popular flower to give friends or loved ones on special occasions.

Contact our friendly team at Eddington House Nursery to find out more about growing and caring for alstroemeria. We stock a wide range of plants and flowers, including many varieties and colours of alstroemeria, and many other unique species. We’re happy to help you with all your gardening needs on the Isle of Wight and beyond.

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