Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dwarf Alstroemeria

 Alstroemeria or Peruvian Lily is native to South America.  For me it is a cool season grower.  It comes up in winter and blooms through Spring. It dies back in the summer heat.   

It used to be that one could only find the old fashioned tall Alstroemeria plants in people's yards.  I got some from a friend. They grew about 3' tall and flopped on other plants.  

 I saw these dwarf varieties growing in a client's garden and she let me have some divisions.  They are fabulous, play well with others and are way more versatile in the garden. They only get about 1' tall. Even though they are short they still make great cut flowers, lasting almost a week in a vase.  

When it's dormant, I have to try and remember not to plant anything in that empty spot. The client from whom I got it originally sees hers grow through summer. She has way better fertile soil than I do.   

A tip - instead of cutting the stems for a vase or when cleaning up the spent blooms, place your hand as far down the stem as you and and gently yank out the stem.  It will pull away cleanly from the plant. It is better than cutting because it keeps the plant cleaner, less mess and no chance of rot.  

You should be able to find them in the nurseries now. But they tend to be a little spendy.  This purple one I got at Trader Joes about 4 years ago.  The flowers kind of burn in the sun.  It's planted on the south side and gets sun almost all day.  But it's very happy.   

Wikipedia lists 122 different species of Alstroemeria.  But I think all my dwarf varieties are hybrids.

I think I have most colors.  I have seen a mostly white one and some reddish orange with splashy veins that I want.  They are so wonderful that I need to collect them all! 

I finally got this variegated variety called Rock & Roll last year. It is one of the taller growing varieties.  But the variegated foliage lets me forgive it's floppy habit.  It is even more expensive that the regular Alstroemeria.   But I got a deal from a local under-the-power-lines nursery. :-) 

Do you grow Alstroemeria?  Do you have a color that I don't?  Do tell! I enjoy your comments here.  Thanks for visiting.  

Happy Gardening! 

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