Alstroemeria Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Alstroemeria plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

Peruvian Lily, and Lily of the Incas: Cultivation & Garden Use

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

The Alstroemeria psittacina (Parrot Lily) plant can reach up to 36 inches (91 cm) tall. It is a strikingly unique plant due to its green, lance-shaped leaves, and tuberous roots. Its key distinguishing feature is its red and green flowers. These mimick that of a parrot's plumage, hence the common name of 'Parrot Lily'.

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

Ideal for the garden, Alstroemeria psittacina thrives best in full sun or partial shade. With its vibrant blooms, it adds a touch of exoticism to borders, beds, and containers.

Alstroemeria aurantiaca

Alstroemeria aurantiaca (Peruvian Lily) is a robust, clump-forming perennial. This plant can grow up to 48 inches (1.2 m) in height. Its main features include tuberous roots, sword-shaped leaves, and brightly coloured orange flowers. These Peruvian Lily flower blooms are often streaked with darker markings.

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

This plant is best grown in a well-drained, fertile soil. Use a location that is subjected to full sun or partial shade. In a garden setting, it is widely used in beds and borders, where it is loved for its bold, summer-long color.

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.

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.

Common Questions

How many members does the Alstroemeria genus have?

The Alstroemeria genus consists of about 50 species.

Do members of Alstroemeria make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Alstroemeria, also known as Peruvian Lily or Lily of the Incas, are popular for their colorful and long-lasting flowers.

Which Alstroemeria species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The most commonly grown species are hybrid varieties of Alstroemeria, prized for their vibrant, orchid-like flowers.

Are members of the Alstroemeria fragrant?

No, Alstroemeria flowers are typically not known for their fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Alstroemeria?

Alstroemeria prefers full sun to light shade and well-drained, fertile soil.

Is Alstroemeria invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Alstroemeria is not typically invasive in the USA, but it can spread if not controlled.

How do I remove Alstroemeria from my garden?

Removal involves digging out the entire plant including the deep tuberous roots to prevent regrowth.


The Alstroemeria genus, also known as Peruvian Lily, consists of perennial plants with vibrant and showy flowers. Native to South America, they are celebrated for their extensive range of colors and long-lasting blooms. Alstroemeria plants thrive in well-drained soil and prefer full sun to partial shade exposure. Regular watering is crucial, especially during dry periods. Providing support for the tall flower stems is recommended. These plants can be propagated through division or by planting seeds or rhizomes. Alstroemeria species are commonly used in borders, cut flower gardens, and containers, adding a burst of color and charm to any setting.

Alstroemeria plants captivate with their vibrant and showy flowers, showcasing an array of colors that add beauty to any garden. Their ability to thrive in different light conditions and their tolerance to various soil types make them versatile choices for gardeners. Whether planted in borders, cut flower gardens, or containers, Alstroemerias bring joy with their long-lasting blooms. With their graceful appearance and the wide range of colors available, these plants are cherished by gardeners looking to create colorful and eye-catching displays that brighten up the landscape.

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.