Peruvian Lily (Alstroemeria) Planting and Care Guide
Quick Facts About Peruvian Lily
Widely used in mixed floral bouquets, Peruvian Lillies are excellent for cutting and have a long vase life. They are tuberous perennials and not true lillies, but they do closely resemble lily flowers. They are native to South America, and there they can be seen growing in the wild. Where the plants are happy, they spread vigorously. Cut them often for indoor bouquets, and divide plants to share with friends to keep the spreading in check.
Peruvian Lily seeds can be started and grown indoors at any time. When grown from seed, the plants take 2 - 3 years to produce blooms, and there needs to be a cold treatment for the seeds to germinate.
The Peruvian Lily plant prefers full sun, but in the hottest climates, it would do best with morning sun and afternoon shade. The plants do best in rich soil that has been amended with composts to give nutients and to help the soil drain well. The lillies do well in raised beds.
How to Plant Peruvian Lily
- The Peruvian Lily seed has a hard outer coat that needs to be softened
- Mix the seeds into some damp soil and place this in the refrigerator for 4 weeks
- After the cold period, sow the seeds into pots filled with damp soil
- Cover the seeds with 1/8 inch of soil
- Place the pots in a warm location with bright indirect light for germination and growing
- Once the plants have developed true leaves, place them in full sun for continued growing
- When potting or re-potting, care should be taken with the roots as they do not like to be disturbed
- Once there are two true sets of leaves, the plants can be hardened off for 7 - 10 days and then planted into the garden
- Space the plants 8 - 10 inches apart
Care And Maintenance
- Water the plants at least 1 inch of water each week
- Each spring, feed the Peruvian Lily plants grown in the border with a balanced flower fertilizer
- Potted Peruvian Lily plants will need to be fertilized monthly
- Cut the plants back after flowering to prevent self-sowing
- Divide plants in the spring before new growth appears
- Some plants may require some support to stay upright
- For colder climates, tubers can be dug up and stored indoors for winter, or if the plants are in pots, winter the pots in a warmer, protected area