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Are Alstroemeria plants easy to grow?

Alstroemeria is a tuberous perennial native to South America – however are a firm favourite in gardens and outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom and in many other parts of the world.
Alstroemeria is better known as the Peruvian Lily, or Lily of the Incas. They are able to withstand tough climates and their stems can grow as high as 1.5 metres in some species.

Their brightly coloured flowers grow in clusters and are known for their bright shades of red, orange, yellow and blues.

Where can I buy Alstroemeria plants from?

If you would like to make a colourful addition to your garden or outdoor space, Alstroemeria plants are definitely a great place to start. Alstroemeria plants and seeds can be bought from garden centres and online plant nurseries across the U.K – and can be bought for a very reasonable price.

How do I grow Alstroemeria?

Alstroemeria can be grown in plant pots and other suitable containers, but require a lot of sunlight during the day if they are to produce colourful flowers that they are famous for. They make a fantastic addition to garden paths and walkways where they can be seen and admired.

The easiest way to grow Alstroemeria is from cuttings, as this is the method that requires less effort from the gardener. However, growing Alstroemeria from seed is also possible albeit more difficult, especially for novice gardeners.

This guide will cover growing Alstroemeria from cuttings purchased from a nursery or garden centre.

Step 1:

Once the cuttings have been purchased, transfer them into the pot or soil you will be growing them in as soon as you can. It is a good idea to have your pots/soil readily prepared for when you arrive to allow for a quick transfer.

Step 2:

Try to pick a good location where the plants will be positioned in full or partial sunlight. Make sure the location is prepared and ready for when you bring the cuttings home.

Step 3:

If being grown in a pot or container, make sure the soil is well drained and that the container has drainage holes to allow excess moisture to escape.

Step 4:

If they are being grow directly in the ground, flowerbed or similar – make sure the Alstroemeria is spaced at least 60cm apart – in free draining soil.

Step 5:

After your Alstroemeria has been planted, make sure that they are kept well fed and watered while they are growing.

Tip: It’s a good idea to keep them fed/watered throughout their lifespan if you want bright flowers season after season.

When should Alstroemeria be planted?

You ideally need to plant Alstroemeria in Spring or the start of Summer to allow them enough time to grow before they reach their first Winter. Plant them in April if you can, however they can also be planted through May to August if not bought earlier.

Compared to other plants, Alstroemeria enjoy a long flowering season – which it is recommended that they are planted as early as possible to allow them to grow.

How should I care for Alstroemeria?

Once your Alstroemeria has been planted, it is easy for them to grow tall and bloom bright flowers as long as they are regularly watered and kept in well drained soil. Be sure to check that your plants are being kept in a prime location for sunlight during the season and move it if you find that the spot has become shaded.

Remember to water them in the Summer – although they are able to survive harsh climates, they still require a bit of a helping hand from time to time.

You will find that the flowers will begin to perish from November, and this will be when you will need to prepare your plants for Winter when the ground begins to frost over. It is recommended that the soil is kept well mulched throughout the Winter. This involves packing the surrounding soil with layers of mulch such as tree barks and other loose organic material. This should be done every Winter.

You should also remove any dead flowers to give new ones the chance to grow. If your Alstroemeria has been potted, it is recommended that they are re-potted every two years.

How long can an Alstroemeria live for?

If you take care of them, Alstroemeria can last up to 5 years. This can be supported by propagating Alstroemeria and planting any cuttings to prolong their lifespan.

What can cause an Alstroemeria to die?

Pests

Like other plants, Alstroemeria are known to have an issue with slugs and snails, as it is easy for them to reach the plants. Try to protect your plants by using netting or plastic to act as a barrier to prevent pests from causing any damage.

Too much water

Too much water can cause root rot that will kill your plant at its source. Don’t water your Alstroemeria more than necessary.

Not enough sunlight

Plants such as Alstroemeria thrive from plenty of sunlight to help aid growth by providing them with the nutrients that they need.

Too much mulch

A common cause of death in Alstroemeria is the mulch being too close to the plant’s roots. It is recommended that you leave at least a space of 2 inches between the mulch and the Alstroemeria’s roots.

Are they poisonous to pets?

Alstroemeria plants are suitable for homes with both cats and dogs. These flowers are frequently used as alternatives to lilies which are toxic to both cats and dogs.

If they are appropriately cared for and re-potted as required, Alstroemeria plants are very easy to grow and should cause you no trouble during their season. With their bright, colourful flowers, they will make the perfect addition to any garden or outdoor area that you may have.

If you require any extra advice about how to grow and care for an Alstroemeria plant, contact a garden centre or online nursery and ask one of their experts for some more tips and tricks.