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How to Divide Alstroemeria (Peruvian Lily) Safely and Easily

Rachel is a passionate plantsperson, YouTuber and author living in Ireland. She grows a wide range of hardy subtropical and tropical plants.

Peruvian lilies like the Alstroemeria 'Verona' shown here can be safely and successfully divided and replanted as long as you follow a few simple tips.

Peruvian lilies like the Alstroemeria 'Verona' shown here can be safely and successfully divided and replanted as long as you follow a few simple tips.

Tips for Dividing Alstroemeria Tubers

Alstroemeria—also known as the Peruvian lily—is generally considered a bit temperamental when it comes to division. But if you remember three important things, then you should have success. My three tips for successful division of alstroemeria are:

Time It Right

Alstroemeria are best divided in April. Under certain circumstances and with some varieties, they can be divided in autumn or even in May, but the ideal month for dividing is April.

Pay Attention to Delicate Roots

Alstroemeria have very delicate roots, and any heavy-handedness will mean that they break and your plant may not re-establish and will therefore die. Take care of fragile roots when shaking off soil and also when dividing your clump.

Don't Let Tubers Dry Out

Alstroemeria tubers cannot be stored dry, and if your divisions dry out, they will die. Tubers should be replanted immediately.

How to Divide Peruvian Lily

  1. In April, select a mature clump of alstroemeria and cut its top growth to a few inches from the base. You needn't cut back any newly emerging shoots.
  2. With a fork, work around the whole clump, loosening the soil as you go.
  3. Lift your clump and gently shake off any excess soil. Remember to pay close attention to the fragile roots—if you don't use a gentle touch, your alstroemeria may not re-establish.
  4. Examine your clump carefully. You'll note that alstroemeria have small tubers. Each division should contain a minimum of a handful of tubers, some undamaged roots and preferably some top growth.
  5. With your hands, carefully divide clumps of tubers and untangle roots. I advise larger divisions, especially if this is your first time dividing alstroemeria.
  6. Once you've divided the plant, replant your alstroemeria immediately. If your divisions dry out, they will die, so speed is of the essence. To replant your alstroemeria, dig a hole and add a handful of grit to the base to improve drainage. Mix some organic matter with your ordinary soil to improve the richness.
  7. Once replanted, give your alstroemeria a good watering and make sure it stays well watered for the rest of the summer.

Peruvian Lily Care

Alstroemeria grow best in reasonably fertile soil, which is free draining, in a sunny, sheltered spot. For more care tips, check out my article and video about how to grow Peruvian lilies.

So if you want more alstroemeria or just want to reduce the size of your existing clump, then remember my three tips for successful division: timing, attention to roots and no drying out. Happy growing.

Enjoy your gorgeous alstroemeria!

Enjoy your gorgeous alstroemeria!

More Tips on Plant Division and Propagation

© 2021 Rachel Darlington

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