We will all be familiar with Alstroemeria also known as Peruvian Lilies as cut flowers that are on sale in florists and supermarkets, but are less common in garden centers as plants to grow in your garden. You can find them among the perennials for the border or as summer flowering bulbs since they grow from tubers. I found an article by Sally Miller on Dave’s Garden website which has some great tips on growing these plants.
Alstroemeria, also called Peruvian lilies, are a staple in florist bouquets but not nearly as common in our gardens. With their free-flowering ways and fairly easy care, aren’t these beauties worth a try?Alstroemeria: You’ve often seen them in grocery store bouquets. The lovely tropical pinks, orange, bright yellow or cream white mix beautifully with roses and baby’s breath. Much smaller than Oriental lilies, these lilies have strong stems and last for weeks in a vase. Peruvian lilies are accented with freckles or streaks of dark pigment on the three inner “petals” (tepals, technically.) These lilies are more rare in a garden, though. Alstroemeria (Peruvian lilies, Lily of the Incas, princess lilies) are not among the most common specimens, but their care is comparable to that of dahlias or daylilies. A visit to a large nursery, or the giant marketplace of the internet, will get you started with Peruvian liles.
Mid-spring is prime planting time…
for Alstroemeria in most parts of the US. These plants grow from bunches of thick roots that look something like those of dayliles. They may be marketed as perennials for the border, or “bowls” ready for the porch or for container planting. Alstroemeria are also sold as “summer flowering bulbs.” The roots can be stored just damp and shipped while dormant, like other lilies. Alstroemeria varieties range in stature. There are tall ones, with stems so prized for cutting, that reach two feet or so. Others are shorter bushier cultivars that fill a basket beautifully. Either type can grow in either placement. The color range of these lilies runs from white and cream, into yellow and orange, and finally pink and purple. As you shop for Alstroemeria by color, keep the plant height in mind as well.