Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: Alstroemeria

Alstroemeria Flaming Star

My current stock of Alstroemeria were inherited from the previous plot holder of our allotment. They were growing like weeds, prolifically, every year getting more and more, so much so that Rob began to pull them up and destroy them. I have saved a few rooted plants and lots of seeds. The flower is available in various colours. The variety I have is the bright orange Flaming Star pictured at the top of the post and I am determined to get hold of the white variety for the garden at home too. They are very sturdy plants and can be invasive so I shall grow them in large containers.

Tip – These flowers are best obtained by buying a well rooted plant as they are difficult to germinate from seeds. Plant Alstroemeria plants in a sheltered site, in part shade or full sun, any time between May and August in good soil. All Alstroemeria like good living, so give them plenty of organic matter in the planting hole. If you have a greenhouse plant some inside too. Pot them up into generous 5 litre pots and keep them frost free. Once they start to shoot in spring, feed and water well and they’ll give you an almost continual flower harvest. Pull from the root and they will continue to flower for months.

Alstroemeria, commonly called the Peruvian lily or lily of the Incas is a genus of flowering plants in the family Alstroemeriaceae. They are all native to South America although some have become naturalised in the United States, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Madeira and the Canary Islands. Almost all of the species are restricted to one of two distinct centres of diversity, one in central Chile, the other in eastern Brazil. Species of Alstroemeria from Chile are winter-growing plants while those of Brazil are summer-growing. All are long-lived perennials except graminea, a diminutive annual from the Atacama Desert of Chile.

Alstroemeria are very versatile plants and will grow in different situations. All varieties will flower from May through to the first frosts of Autumn and will benefit from the use of a free draining soil. Shorter varieties such as Princess, Inticancha and Little Miss are ideal for the front of the border or for growing in containers. Tall Alstroemeria are good for the back of the border and will provide a continuous supply of cut flowers throughout the summer months. Inca are slightly shorter but will also give long enough stems for cut flowers are good for borders and will also thrive in large containers. Some companies sell loose Alstroemeria rhizomes which is another method of propagation..

May cause skin allergy or irritant – Having skin or eye contact with these plants could result in an allergic reaction, burning or rash.

Exploding Seed Heads – Alstroemeria 2011

Today was another lovely day. A bit of grey cloud but warm enough for my first proper visit to the allotment. We did a lot of tidying up and digging over of beds. I brought back some bags of seed heads that had been left over the Winter to dry out. I have already put some Sweet Pea seeds to chit. They are a few Zorija Rose and some Pip Tremewan left over from last year. I brought home loads of Sweet Pea seeds but they will be mixed. I also brought home Lupin seeds but think that they have gone off. Time will tell. I will sow them and see what happens. The other seed heads were hard and round and I think they must be from the Alstroemeria. I don’t usually let them go to seed but pull them when they have gone over. The seed heads, if left, will explode and shoot their seed everywhere which is why the flower bed is always full of new shoots.

The Rhubarb plant is growing well even though we still have straw around it to protect from frost. I have bought two new crowns of Champagne Red and they look ready to put into the ground soon. We stayed for two and a half hours today and there are still loads of jobs to do. At home I have chitted some Hurst Green Shaft Peas and sowed them in trays ready to get a good start. I also have Broad Bean Witkiem Manita coming along in toilet roll tubes. I have sown the first four Tomato seeds, Black Cherry, bought fresh this year from T&M.