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Margaret's Blog

 

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alstroemeria-inticancha

 

 

Plant alstroemerias in a sheltered site, in part shade or full sun, any time between May and August in good soil. All alstroemerias like good living, so give them plenty of organic matter at their roots. If watered regularly they will thrive; add a slow-release fertiliser in the spring.

All the taller forms need staking, or they will collapse in the wind or rain. Pick (or deadhead) them regularly and you'll get successional waves of flowers. The best way to do this is to pull each sten from near the base, like rhubarb. That leaves plenty of room for the next wave to come through which - in some varieties - grow taller than the previous generation.

 

Dwarf varieties give the best result in our windy climate!

Alstroemeria blooms are familiar to anyone who frequents the local florist's shop, but it's been a long wait for alstroemeria plants that are suited to home gardeners' needs. The wait is over. These dwarf beauties, known as Princess Lilies, were created to produce long seasons of vibrant color, blooms richly festooned with contrasting shades and lots of those endearing "whiskers". Dwarf alstroemeria are ideal for brilliant containers, alone of mixed with other plants, and for accenting smaller garden beds.

 

A lot of people are misinformed about these little-understood beauties. Many think they are not hardy, that they need copious amounts of water or that hardy ones only come in mixed colours (the ligtu hybrids), but all that has changed now and there are a fabulous range of colours from whites, pinks and maroons to sizzling oranges and yellows.

Their appearance is so exotic it is not surprising we cannot believe many are hardy (down to -12°C or more, providing they have a thick, 8" mulch in their first two years). They look like smallish lilies, but they have more staying power. Some will flower from June to November. Mine, Alstroemeria 'Sunlight’, stood up well to the relentless, hammering rain last summer, performing with perfect flowers, while roses nearby looked bedraggled in the extreme.

 

We have absolutely stunning new 'Inticancha' varieties at Griffins, all of which I am extremely impressed by! They are: 'Imala', 'Red', 'Sunlight' and 'Navayo'. Colourful, bright and surprisingly hardy - Alstroemeria is a flower more people need to hear about!

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