An essential component of many bouquets thanks to their long vase life (over 2 weeks), Peruvian Lilies (Alstroemeria) are striking beauties that also deserve a spot outdoors. Borne in loose clusters, their 2 in. (5 cm) exotic blossoms are often streaked or freckled and are available in a fabulous range of colors. Resembling lilies with their attractive trumpet-like flowers, they do not grow from true bulbs, but rather grow from tuberous roots which spread outward, gradually increasing the plant size each year.
- Blooming for weeks from early summer to fall, these showy lilies are exuberant and profuse bloomers with up to 80 flowering stems a year! Requiring minimal maintenance, they constitute excellent border plants, providing striking color and contrast to the perennial border. They are perfect for containers and small gardens lacking space.
- Great as accent plants (plant a minimum of 3 plants for best visual impact), spectacular in mass plantings, they also make excellent cut flowers!
- Growing up to 1-3 ft tall (30-90 cm) on stems clad with whorled or scattered, narrow green to dark green leaves, they perform best in full sun or slightly filtered sunshine, light and well-drained soils. Select a spot that is sheltered from the wind. Water them regularly and they will thrive! If planted deeply (6-8 in. or 15-20 cm) and covered with a thick mulch cover in late fall, most will reliably over-winter outside.
- There are many different varieties of Peruvian Lilies: some are low-growing (up to 12 in. or 30 cm) while others can be as tall as 3 ft. high (90 cm). In most cases, the tall lilies will require staking. Some are hardier than others. You will have to be careful in your selection.
- Alstroemeria should be planted outdoors in spring after the risk of frost has passed.
- Pull stems from the base to promote new blooms (instead of cutting). Deadhead the spent flowers to prevent this plant from multiplying too much via self-seeding.