Alstroemerias or Peruvian lilies are striking tuberous perennials native to South America, bearing abundant clusters of showy tubular flowers with peppered markings. Plant these sun lovers in bold groups to add a touch of exoticism to the herbaceous border or mix with acidantheras, dahlias, echinaceas, echinops or lilies. They make excellent, long-lasting cut flowers — dead-head regularly to encourage more blooms.
Plant in moist, well-drained, fertile soil in sun or partial shade — taking care not to break their brittle side shoots when handling them. Mulch for the first couple of years in frost-prone areas and leave undisturbed to form clumps. Alstroemerias can take a year or two to establish but the wait will be worth it!
Always unpack and plant on arrival.
Potential problems, pests and diseases:
Snails and slugs:these pests enjoy munching on young shoots, stems, leaves and flowers. Watch out for damage!
Root, stem and crown rots: these soil-borne diseases exacerbated by water-logged and heavy soils can cause hosts to wilt and their foliage to turn yellow. If left untreated, affected plants will eventually die.
Viruses:viruses can cause a number of problems ranging from the appearance of deformed leaves and flowers to colour patterns and streaking. It is advisable to lift and destroy any affected plant at first sight.