Rachel is a passionate plantsperson, YouTuber and author living in Ireland. She grows a wide range of hardy subtropical and tropical plants.
A Bright and Hardy Garden Plant
Peruvian lilies, or alstroemeria, have large flowers in vibrant shades of pink, red, purple, yellow, orange and creamy white, and they're often adorned with speckles and stripes. Foliage can be bronze, gray-green or variegated, and while the flowers look exotic, the plants are actually very hardy; most are suitable for US hardiness zones 7 to 10.
The Peruvian lily suits various styles of gardening, from bold, exotic plantings to romantic cottage-style borders, and plants can even be grown in containers. Flowers appear from summer to early autumn at the top of leafy stems. Plants die back over winter and resprout in spring.
Growing and Caring for Peruvian Lilies
These vibrant beauties are quite easy to care for. Here are a few simple tips for everything from planting Peruvian lilies to keeping them healthy once they've become established (usually after the first year).
- Pick a Sunny Spot. Grow alstroemeria in a warm, sheltered, sunny spot in free-draining soil. While they do tolerate light shade, they flower best in sun.
- Use Lots of Compost. When planting, dig in plenty of organic matter, such as garden compost.
- Water Generously for the First Year. Keep watered for the first season until established.
- Only Water Established Plants When Necessary. Established alstroemeria do not need to be watered regularly. Only water these plants in times of drought or if they are in pots rather than in the ground. Some people water their plants once a week with a high-potash fertilizer to encourage flowering, but personally, I find it's not needed.
- Opt for Tall Alstroemeria in Gardens. There are short and tall alstroemeria. The taller ones are best for gardens, although they may need staking, and the shorter ones are best for pots.
- Divide Your Lilies Every So Often. Divide your Peruvian lilies every few years in April to keep them vigorous and flowering strongly.
- Deadhead Your Lilies. As with many plants, deadheading alstroemeria helps encourage repeat flowering, but the process is a little different with this particular plant. Read on for details on how to deadhead alstroemeria.
How to Deadhead Peruvian Lilies
The regular deadheading of spent flowers encourages repeat flowering, but the way we do this with alstroemeria is a bit different. Luckily, it's also quite simple!
- Select the stem of your spent flower and grasp it firmly, low down.
- Pull upwards, giving it a quick tug.
This severs the stem belowground and stimulates another bud so you get another flush of blooms. (Note that this type of deadheading isn't suitable the first year after planting because you might just pull up the whole plant.)
As Peruvian lilies also make excellent cut flowers, you can remove blooming stems for indoor use in this way too.
With so much color to choose from, which one will you select for your garden?
June Tour at Douentza Garden in Ireland
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Rachel Darlington
Rachel Darlington (author) from Ireland on July 28, 2021:
Yes, I love how long they last too. Thanks for watching and have a great day.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 12, 2021:
What I love most about cut alstroemeria flowers is how long they last in a bouquet. Thanks for this information about how to grow and care for them.