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Alstroemeria are tuberous perennials originating from South America. They are a great addition to borders combining well with other plants and making excellent cut flowers. Alstroemeria are free flowering, producing attractive flowers in a wide range of colours from June until the first frosts.
Plant in rich fertile free draining soil which is neutral or slightly acidic. Ideally position in full sun although they will tolerate partial shade. For best results use container grown plants, as bare root tubers often fail to grow.
The roots of the plants resent disturbance so allow room for growth at planting time.
Plants are drought tolerant, but watering in dry periods will encourage further flowering. Feed with high potash fertiliser each week during the growing season.
Mulch with bark to a depth of 20cm (8in) to protect from frost for the first two winters after planting. After this the roots should be deep enough in the ground to survive the winter. Stake or support with pea sticks as needed.
Alstroemeria make good container plants; use John Innes No 2 with 20% by volume added grit for drainage and re-pot every other year. Keep container grown plants frost free during winter.
For cut flowers: during the first season the flower stalks should be cut, but in subsequent years they can be pulled out at the base.
When flowers fade remove the whole flower spike at ground level to encourage further flowering.
Named cultivars are propagated by division. The roots are fragile and need to be lifted and divided with care and replanted immediately. This is best done in April.
Alstroemeria ‘Ligtu hybrids’ can be propagated from seed.
Flowering can be expected in 2-3 years from seed.
Commercially alstroemerias are often micropropagated.
Alstroemeria Indian Summer = 'Tesronto' (PBR): Beautiful orange/yellow flowers and bronze foliage. Height 60cm (24in)
A. 'Apollo' AGM: White flowers with a yellow throat. Height to 1m (39 in)
A. inticancha Dark Purple = ‘Tesdarklin (PBR): Dwarf cultivar, ideal for containers. Dark purple flowers. Height 20cm (8in)
For a further list of reliable Alstroemeria cultivars to choose from, see the RHS Find a Plant.
Alstroemeria can suffer from a range of root stem and crown rots caused by Fusarium, Phytophthora, Pythium and Rhizoctonia species. Viruses may occasionally be a problem.
In terms of pests slugs and snails may attack plants.
AgapanthusCut flowers: cutting and conditioningCut flowers: growing and selectingDieramaHemerocallisNational Collection Holder for AlstroemeriaPenstemonPerennialsPerennials: cutting backPerennials: staking
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