Alstroemeria or Peruvian Lily is a genus of flowering plants that consists of over 50 different species. The flower is named after a Swedish baron Claus von Alstroemer, who collected seeds of the plant during a visit to South America in the 18th century.
Alstroemeria is native to South America, and it is very popular because of its colorful flowers that are easily grown and maintained. These flowers can last for up 2 weeks in a vase, and the fragrance-free blooms are very popular in floral decorations.
These flowers are available in orange, pink, rose, yellow, and white, among other colors. Hybrid varieties of alstroemeria flowers can be found in many more colors. Several types of alstroemeria flowers have stripes or spots on their petals, which add to their attraction.
- Alstroemeria flowers resemble lilies, hence the name 'Peruvian Lily.'
- These plants have thick, deep tuber-like roots that are are used to store food.
- The stems of these plants are quite delicate and can break if not handled with care.
- The flowers are shaped like trumpets and are often multi-colored.
- Alstroemeria bloom very well in the full sun. However, extreme heat can be damaging, and the plant may stop flowering.
- The seeds may take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a whole year to germinate.
- In places that have extreme winters, these plants are better grown in warm greenhouses. You can store them in pots during the winter and then replant them in the spring.
- Alstroemeria plants prefer slightly acidic, well-drained soil. Clay-like soil is not very favorable for the growth of the flowers.
- Most alstromeria plants grow up to about a meter in height, and they usually flower in the early summer.
- Some people may experience an allergic dermatitis-like reaction to alstroemeria plants. Experts recommend using gloves when handling these plants.
- Early spring is the best time to plant alstroemeria.
- If you plan to grow alstroemeria in your garden, make sure the soil is well-drained.
- Dig a hole that is about the same size of the container the plant is already in. Place the plant in the hole.
- Mix the dug-out soil with compost or fertilizer. Break out the soil well to make it loose and airy.
- Refill the hole with the soil till the plant is lodged firmly in its spot. Spread a couple of inches of organic mulch around the plant to prevent the growth of weeds.
- Water the plant thoroughly.
Care and Maintenance
- In dry summers, you must water your alstroemeria plants regularly, as they thrive in moist conditions. Never let the plant dry out.
- Lightly fertilize the soil once every 4 weeks during spring and summer.
- Prune the plants in spring, and remove any dead stems or leaves.
- It is important to pluck the flowers regularly to encourage new growth.
- Protect the plant during severe winters. You can either transplant it to a pot and keep it in a greenhouse or mulch the soil with thick layers of straw or bark.
- If you want to move your alstroemeria plant, dig very deep in the soil before you remove the plant, or else the delicate roots might break.