The name ‘alstroemeria’ may not be familiar to you. In fact, you may not even be sure how to pronounce it properly, but don’t worry, you don’t have to because this colorful flower is more commonly known by some of its species’ names: Peruvian lily, Parrot lily and Lily of the Incas (to name just a few).
This lovely 3-petaled flower comes in a variety of colors including orange, pink, purple, red, yellow, white and salmon and are an economical addition to your garden; costing between $5 and $12 at most greenhouses. Upon first glance, however, some might think the alstroemeria has 6 petals. This is due to the fact that they have 3 spotted sepals which merge beautifully with the flower’s colorful striped blooms.
Facts about Alstroemeria
The alstroemeria is a perennial and a member of the lily (liliopsida) class of plants with 50 or so species. In colder growing zones, however, the Peruvian lily will be considered an annual due to the fact that the bulbs will not winter well in colder temperatures. That being said, let’s take a look at how to grow alstroemeria in your garden.
How to grow Alstroemria
- Plant bulbs in well-draining soil
- Plant in full sun
- Water once a week (or more when weather is hot and dry) until soil is moist but not wet
- Bulbs can be planted directly in the ground or in pots-leaving 12 inches of space between plants
- Plant bulbs only as deep as they were planted in the container you purchase them in
Other helpful hints for growing alstroemeria successfully include:
- Add a small amount of organic fertilizer to soil when planting
- Dead-head wilted blooms
FUN TO KNOW
The alstroemeria is known as the ‘friendship flower’ and symbolizes good fortune and wealth
Even though they originated in South America, the alstroemeria will quit blooming if the soil gets too hot.
Alstroemeria have no fragrance and make excellent cut flowers; lasting up to 3 weeks in a water-filled vase.