Alstroemeria (50 photos): bright and attractive lily of the Incas
Alstroemeria (or Alstroemeria) is a flower of extraordinary beauty native to South America
Alstroemeria is a Peruvian lily or Inca lily, native to South America. It is a perennial plant that is highly valued for its unusual beauty flowers that retain their attractiveness for a very long time when cut. That is why the cultivation of alstroemeria is widely used on an industrial scale – in a greenhouse, a flower can be distilled twice a year..
Alstroemeria is a great opportunity to add exoticism to your garden. It is quite high (in some varieties, the flower stalks reach 80 to 150 cm in height), the flowers are collected in racemose inflorescences – when alstroemeria blooms, it seems that a flock of exotic butterflies has descended on the flower bed. Alstroemeria flowers very much resemble lilies, only smaller – the largest ones reach only 6 cm in diameter. The color of flowers is very diverse: pink, yellow, red, pale lilac, almost always – with specks on the petals. Another characteristic feature of alstroemeria petals is longitudinal dark lines, which shorten and become thinner closer to the center of the flower..
Alstroemeria Pelegrina in its natural habitat in the mountains of South America
In the language of flowers, a bouquet of alstroemeria is a gentle, but unobtrusive compliment – “You are so cute” or “You are the most adorable” with wishes of good luck, prosperity, wealth and friendship. Alstroemeria is an odorless flower, so it is perfect for people prone to allergies..
Alstroemeria is a genus of South American rhizome and tuberous flowering herbaceous plants from the Alstroemeria family, numbering about 50 species
Alstroemeria is grown all over the world as flowering ornamental plants – primarily for cutting, less often as garden plants
Alstroemeria in landscape design
In landscape design, a rose is often selected in a pair of alstroemeria, as if playing on the opposites of colors – the tenderness and fragility of the Peruvian lily favorably sets off the charm and power of the studded beauty. That is why most often alstroemeria acts as a background for roses..
In flower beds, Peruvian lilies are often combined with roses.
The genus Alstroemeria was named by Karl Linnaeus in honor of his student Baron Klas Alstroemer (1736-1794), a Swedish botanist. It is more correct to call these flowers “alstroemeria” in Russian, but the first option indicated here also took root
The combination of alstroemeria with chrysanthemums will look bright and tender. There can be two approaches – to plant together chrysanthemums and alstroemeria of delicate tones combined in color. Or vice versa, pastel colors of some colors will be a winning background for bright inflorescences of others. Another successful combination is with gerberas, such a union will look very decorative, while you can use the widest palette – pink, orange and red shades. Purple and blue irises will look good next to alstroemeria; small roses and lilies can be added to this composition.
The color of alstroemeria petals is very different: yellow, red, pink, white, often with spots (usually yellow)
Alstroemeria looks great as a tapeworm in group plantings and in flower beds, while low-growing plants, such as tenacious or stonecrop, are selected for her companions.
Alstroemeria in natural habitat with succulent plants in the mountains of South America
There are a large number of varieties and types of alstroemeria, but the following are best adapted to our conditions:
- Golden – a variety originally from Chile, shoots up to 90 cm in height, flowers – bright orange color. The cultivar is famous for the fact that its flowers are often used to create hair ornaments.
Alstroemeria golden is found on semi-boggy meadows, as well as on acidic and volcanic mountain soils
- Virginia is a variety with high, up to 70 cm, strong, large shoots, on which large white flowers bloom. Flowering begins in June and can last until the first November frost
- Alicia is a beautiful bicolor flower, petals are pink and white
- Lemon – a variety with a very large flower of a spectacular, bright lemon color, with a slight greenish tinge
Alstroemeria Lemon is a commercial variety grown in Europe
- Brazilian lily – very tall, shoots can be up to 2 m tall
Alstroemeria brasiliensis (Brazilian Alstroemeria) is a tall species (up to 2 m high), with fluffy inflorescences, in which there are more than thirty flowers
- Blood-flowered – a variety that attracts large (up to 15 flowers) lush inflorescences.
Bloody-flowered alstroemeria is distinguished by yellow spots with clearly defined borders on scarlet petals
White alstroemeria varieties are popular in wedding decor
Growing, planting, caring for alstroemeria: basic recommendations
Alstroemeria cannot be called very capricious and demanding in care, but there are several points that must be taken into account in order to admire the flowering.
Whether the alstroemeria will bloom at all depends on how correctly the landing site is chosen. The place should be bright, but not very sunny, with light, well-drained soil. On heavy soils, the flower feels very uncomfortable, develops poorly and practically does not bloom. In this case, the soil must be prepared by adding a baking powder to it – high peat, leaf compost or rotted manure. The optimal acidity index is pH 5.5-6.5, but if the pH exceeds 7, it is recommended to use phosphoric acid for fertilization..
Advice! It is very important to protect the roots of alstroemeria from overheating. As soon as the soil temperature exceeds 22-23 degrees, the root system (tubers) begins to develop very intensively, and this happens to the detriment of flowering. To prevent this, the soil around the roots is mulched.
Alstroemeria is a tenacious mountain plant. If you do not control her growth, she may even begin to behave like a weed.
Most varieties of alstroemeria are very thermophilic (although hybrids have already been bred that can withstand frosts down to -25 ° C), so it must be covered for the winter. With the onset of autumn, the plant ceases to be watered, before the onset of the first frost, the aboveground part is cut off, and the place itself is covered with spruce branches, dry leaves or straw, then everything is covered with plastic wrap, on which a layer of earth, straw or mulch is again poured. All this should protect the ground from freezing. The older the plant, the better it tolerates frost. In the southern regions, alstroemeria can also winter outdoors..
Alstroemeria is a mountain plant, therefore it painlessly tolerates short frosts – daily temperature drops. But in the conditions of our winter, it requires preparation for a full winter.
Advice! In the northern regions, it is preferable to dig up tubers. So that the roots do not rot during storage, the earthen lump is slightly dried. They are stored similarly to dahlia tubers – in the basement (cellar) at positive temperatures.
In our climatic conditions, the tubers of perennial alstroemeria are better to dig up and transfer to winter.
Alstroemeria loves moisture, the soil should not dry out, but at the same time the flower does not tolerate waterlogging of the soil, from this its roots easily rot. Therefore, it is often watered, but moderately, and to maintain moisture, the soil around the plant is loosened and mulched (leaf compost, sawdust, peat).
With the exception of a few species, alstroemeria does not like excess moisture and waterlogged soil
If the plant is not cut off, then 80 to 130 buds can appear on it, however, they will be very small. In the spring, after the first shoots appear, the plant requires thinning – only the strongest branches are left, cutting off about a third of the shoots. In the future, dried leaves and wilted flowers are removed, old stems are also cut off, leaving about 10-15 cm of shoot from the root. Such pruning not only improves the appearance of alstroemeria, but also acts as a prevention of possible diseases..
Alstroemeria is highly prized for cutting, and can stand up to a month when cut
Advice! The stems of a young plant are very fragile, therefore, so that they do not break in the rain or in the wind, they will need to be supported.
Alstroemeria ligtu (Ligtu). One of the most cold-tolerant species, native to Chile
For normal flowering of alstroemeria, it must be fed 3-4 times a month. Before the beginning of flowering (the appearance of buds), a complete mineral fertilizer with an increased potassium content is applied. From the moment of budding and until the end of flowering, fertilizers are applied (select those that are recommended for flowering plants) with a minimum nitrogen content. Organic matter (mullein, bird droppings) can also be used as top dressing, but in small quantities, well rotted and in low concentration.
In the photo: Alstroemeria variety “Inca Ice” of unusual color.
Alstroemeria feeding is frequent, 3-4 times a month. Before the buds appear – a mineral fertilizer with a high potassium content, after (and until the end of flowering) – a mineral fertilizer with a low nitrogen content
Diseases and pests
Despite its rather fragile appearance, alstroemeria is quite resistant to pests and diseases. First of all, the moisture regime will require attention – if the drainage of the soil is insufficient or the air is humid (for example, close to a body of water), then alstroemeria is often affected by botrytis (gray rot). Therefore, after long, prolonged rains, the rhizomes and the entire plant must be treated with a solution of foundationol (or its other analogue-fungicide). Re-processing is carried out after 2-3 weeks..
The main pests affecting alstroemeria are thrips, slugs, spider mites, leaf-eating beetles and caterpillars. For the prevention and control of them, such drugs as aktara, actellik, fitoverm, karbofos and others are effective..
Remember to remove the bottom third of the leaves when cutting alstroemeria. You need to cut it off at the stage of the appearance of buds
Reproduction of alstroemeria
Reproduction of alstroemeria can be carried out both by seeds and by dividing rhizomes. When growing a flower from seeds, flowering will occur only in the third year. Alstroemeria seeds are planted on seedlings in February-March, having prepared the composition of the soil from 1 part of sod and 2 parts of leafy soil. The seeds are sown on the ground and, slightly pressed, they are literally sprinkled with soil. The container with seeds is placed in a plastic bag and sent for stratification, which is carried out at a temperature of 2-5 ° C for a month, after which the container is transferred to a warm place – about 20 ° C. Exposure to low temperatures leads to emergence of seedlings in 10-20 days (but some seeds may germinate much later). Seedlings are planted in the ground in late May-early June, when the threat of night frosts will completely disappear..
Alstroemeria is naturally pollinated by bees, as well as hummingbirds. But in their absence, wind pollination is also possible.
Dwarf alstroemeria is found in Argentina and Chile (including the Andes) on the pebbles of the shores of lakes. Plant height – up to 8 cm
It is preferable to carry out the reproduction of alstroemeria by dividing the rhizome – if you plant it in the fall, you can get flowering in the spring. The rhizomes of adult (about 3 years old) plants are divided, while at least 5 buds should remain on each division. In addition, it helps to rejuvenate plants and streamline their growth, for example, parrot alstroemeria grows very quickly and can literally “squeeze out” neighbors in a few years. Before planting, a small amount of organic fertilizers is introduced into the hole, after planting, the soil is mulched.
Cut alstroemeria in water willingly bloom buds, and will decorate your home from 2 weeks to a month