Real World Gardener Alstroemeria is Plant of the Week

February 12th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.comREALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Alstroemeria Hybrids

The flowers of this next plant (Alstroemeria) is symbolic of wealth, prosperity and fortune.

It’s also the flower of friendship.

Some of the flowers of these new varieties of Peruvian lilies almost look like orchid flowers with an amazing variation in colour, and flecking.

Let’s find out more.

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Alstroemeria "Inca"  photo M Cannon

I'm talking with the Plant Panel: Karen Smith www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley owner of www.thegreengallery.com.au

PLAY: Alstromeria_10th February_2016

In Australia there are two types of Alstroemeria.

There are those that grow tall and flop all over the place.

These tall ones grow quite rampant and have some have become quite weedy.

You'll find them in older neglected gardens.

The best ones to grow are the dwarf varieties of Alstroemerias such asPrincess Lilies and Inca.

About ten years ago Könst Alstroemeria in Germany, started to develop  low growing garden varieties.

In the beginning it were taller varieties that reached up to 50-60 cm in the garden, but the last couple of years the new varieties have become shorter with more or bigger flowers.

Very suitable as balcony or terrace plants on pots.

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Alstroemeria or Peruvian Lilies  photo M Cannon

If treated well Inca alstroemeria varieties can flower from November to April!

These plants are really compact and make a neat mound over a pot but the best thing is that they flower continuously from spring to late autumn

 I have some flowering in pots on stone steps in the garden.

In winter I move them into a sunny spot but in summer they don’t like being blasted by the hot summer sun, so I move them to the other side of the stone steps, where it’s shaded by a building.

There’s no reason why they can’t be grown along a border instead of having annuals.

There spread fairly slowly and I would say that the height of this plant is about 25  - 30 cm and about 40 cms wide in a garden

They actually like good even when not in flowers as Princess Lilies make  a strong neat compact mound of leaves.

Alstroemeria are great as a cut flower lasting 2 weeks in the vase.

Sometimes also called Lily of the Incas or Parrot Lily Alstroemeria is a South American genus of about 50 species of flowering plants, mainly from the cool, mountainous regions in the Andes

Something we didn’t mention is that Alstroemeria is named after the Swedish botanist Klaus von Alstroemer, who was a pupil of the great botanical classifier Linnaeus. If you have any questions about growing Alstroemeria or have some information to share, why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com

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