How to Grow Alstroemeria Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Peruvian lily

The common names for the half hardy perennial Alstroemeria include the Peruvian lily , Lily of the Incas, and Lily of Peru.

They typically flower in the summer, though some species can be a little earlier or later than this.

Peruvian Lily leaves

Alstroemeria are fairly large plants. They should be grown in their own beds as they have invasive tendencies.

Alstroemeria photograph by Kanegen.

They have beautiful trumpet shaped flowers and bluey green leaves.

Commonly Grown Alstroemeria Species

Alstroemeria psittacina

Alstroemeria psittacina
Alstroemeria psittacina (Peruvian lily / Parrot flower / lily of the Incas / New Zealand Christmas bell), photograph by Dushan Hanuska; CC.

Alstroemeria aurantiaca

Alstroemeria aurantiaca
Alstroemeria aurantiaca (Peruvian lily hybrid), picture by 阿橋 HQ; CC.

Alstroemeria Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: Peruvian lily, Lily of the Incas, Lily of Peru.
  • Life Cycle: Hardy perennial. Bulb. Hardy annual (Alstroemeria graminea).
  • Height: 12 to 36 inches (30—90 cm cm). Spread of up to two feet (60 cm).
  • Native: South America.

  • Growing Region: Zones 7 to 10.
  • Flowers: Late spring and the summer.
  • Flower Details: Blue, red, orange, green, purple, pink, white. Spotted. Trumpets. Solitary or in umbels. Tepals up to 2 inches (5 cm) long.
  • Foliage: Blue-green. Smooth edges. Variable shapes.

  • Sow Outside: Seeds have poor germination: Cover seed. Start of spring. Space 14 to 20 inches (35—50 cm).
  • Sow Inside: Germination time: two weeks to twelve months. Use peat pots. Spring. Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors in the spring.

  • Requirements and care: Full sunlight for best results, or partial shade (requires at least six hours of sunlight for best results). Good drainage. Light Humus rich soil. Well broken and aerated.
    Provide support. Feed late in winter. Deadhead to prevent spreading. Propagate: by dividing rhizomes in the spring, cut plants to 6 inches (15 cm) two weeks before performing division.
    Alstroemeria rhizomes are usually about one foot (30 cm) deep and a two-year-old plant should have about 20 rhizomes ready for division, be sure to leave the youngest offshoots on the plant.

  • Family: Alstroemeriaceae
  • Closely Related Species: Bomarea vines
  • Miscellaneous: Deer resistant plant. Named after the Swedish baron Clas Alströmer, a student of the botanist, zoologist, and physician Carl Linnaeus. Grows wildly from clusters of tubers. Over 190 cultivars and hybrids are available.

How to Grow Peruvian lilies and other Alstroemeria

It is best to sow Peruvian lily just below the soil surface, with a spacing of 35 to 50 cm (14 to 20 inches) in the early spring.

Alstroemeria prefers full sunlight but can be grown in light shade.

The soil should be well drained and humus rich; it is important that the soil is well broken and aired prior to planting.

Alstroemeria requires between two weeks and a year to germinate.

When growing indoors prior to planting out in the spring it is best to grow the plants for 7 to 9 weeks in peat pots.

Taking care of Alstroemeria in your Garden

Alstroemeria plants are fairly easy to take care of: they require feeding in the late winter, and should be staked.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Alstroemeria. You may also enjoy the following Peruvian plant growing guides: How to grow Apple of Peru and Mirabilis.