Alstroemeria, sometimes called the Peruvian lily, is wonderful for borders and makes the perfect cut flower for the home.
Alstromeria comes from South America, and species alstroemeria are found throughout Chile and in Brazil.
The taller alstroemeria cultivars make excellent garden plants both for display and cutting. Particularly popular are the yellow Alstroemeria ‘Golden Delight’, Alstroemeria ‘Red Beauty’ and the bright pink Alstroemeria ‘Polka’ which is unusual as it has variegated foliage.
Alstroemeria is mainly summer flowering with many species flowering from June to November. Alstroemeria aurea, and Alstroemeria ligtu hybrids also make good garden plants and can be grown quite easily from seed sown in autumn and planted out the following spring.
Alstroemeria will grow in any well drained but moisture retentive, fertile soil in sun or partial shade. They spread quickly by fleshy roots and large clumps can be divided in autumn or early spring.
Alstroemeria can be susceptible to slugs and snails as well as caterpillars and aphids. They also contain a compound that can also cause skin irritations and dermatitis, so care needs to be taken when handling them.
Alstroemeria make excellent cut flowers and will last in water for at least two weeks. Pulling the stems rather than cutting them will produce more shoots the following season.