It’s ironic we gardeners are often highly suspicious of plants that have the potential to be really happy and spread in our gardens, whilst lavishing energy, love and concern on ones that only ever hover on the edge of survival.
Alstroemeria, sometimes called Lily of the Incas or Peruvian Lilies, fall into the first category. I have experience of seed grown plants establishing themselves a little better than I’d imagined, but many cultivars play with other flowers better than we might imagine, as some of these pictures show. If you’re looking for flower power and joie de vivre, they’re hard to beat.
If you get too many, you can always pull a few up or divide them for friends.
My sweetheart has some confined in a large pot that do fine in Mississippi’s demanding conditions. He lavishes no care on them, so far as I know – perhaps a jet of water now and again.
The alstroemerias I’m sharing here are from large gardens where they have plenty of room to do their thing, but they are a classic choice even for relatively small cottage gardens. I love their sunny nature, colour combinations and markings.
And that’s to say nothing of their value as a cut flower: they can outlast three back-to-back bouquets of garden roses. What’s not to love?
Shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day.
21 Replies to “In Praise of Alstroemeria”
You made me fall in love with Alstroemerias, thank you for that
Their range of colors is astounding as well! Love that butter yellow one.
That was my favourite too.
Wonderful first paragraph! So true I think Maine’s climate is too cold for them.
I’m sorry about that, although I think they’d probably need more sun than you can give them, even if the climate was OK.
I confess to being one of those: suspicious of those plants that grow with high spirits, and obsessed with those that struggle to survive me. Gardeners don’t always make sense. This display of alstroemeria is breathtaking, and of course I am totally smitten by the white. The charm of the Manor roof doesn’t hurt either. Lovely image!
I have a tendency not to be suspicious enough, which means there’s always a price to pay. My front garden is full of bluebells gaily making seeds, oblivious to the fact that there is no root room for them. If they were the wild kind, I would find somewhere to shake them, but they are not. It is not all that pretty a sight when the leaves fade.
This was the main cut flower crop I worked with in the summer of 1986 while I was still in school. Those in the landscape here are similar cultivars to those grown for cut flower. However, those in the nurseries are low and compact garden varieties with weird rubbery foliage. They look neater in the garden, and happen to produce stems that are sufficiently long for cutting. I just am not as keen on them.
It’s funny how their leaves seem to open upside down. Is that what gives them the rubbery character you mention?
No, they are rubbery all over.
Gorgeous flowers with lovely markings – hard to pick a favourite shot so I’ll say the last three 🙂
It was a bit too sunny a day for the first two.
So true about being suspicious, it is a funny attitude 🤔 Lovely flowers 😊
It brings to mind the saying that you should be very wary of any plant that someone wants to give you a lot of. 🙂
These were one my favourites for my counselling room
They’re a good, cheery choice. I like Lisianthus too, especially the doubles.
They seem indestructible with it. I accidentally sliced one in half horizontally this year while struggling to move it (those fleshy roots are awesome). It still survives!
That’s impressive – a horizonal slice is a big ask!
I’ve asked myself why I don’t grow this plant, and also why I see it so rarely in garden centers, while it is everywhere in flower shops. True that there is a tendency to prize difficult plants while the easy ones get little appreciation. The difficult plants, if they thrive, reflect glory on the gardener, I suppose.
They do. And difficult ones often need less space, helping us squeeze more plants in.
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