(Alstroemeriaceae the Peruvian lily family) Common name: Peruvian Lilies.
Culture: Alstroemerias are long-lived perennials suitable for the herbaceous or mixed border. Peruvian Lily hybrids are a favourite of the cut-flower industry. Originating from Chile, and Brazil, Alstroemerias grow to a height and width of 300 mm from a fleshy 'jelly bean'-like tuber. The named Alstroemeria hybrids are well worth growing and are a beautiful addition to any garden, however Alstroemeria psittacina commonly known as New Zealand Christmas Bells, have become a weed in Australia and are very difficult to eradicate. (zones 7-10)
Position: Alstroemerias can cope with full sun for most of the day but they prefer dappled light to shade in summer afternoons.
Flowers: Alstroemeria flowers are mildly scented and bloom in Spring, Summer and Autumn in Sydney. Colours range from red, orange, pink, crimson, salmon, yellow, cream through to nearly white, with deeper coloured flecks on the petals and often a yellowish toned throat.
Care: Alstroemerias should be grown in moist, well drained soil enriched with orgainic matter.
Propagation: Established clumps can be divided in late Autumn or Winter. Red Spider-Mite, Tetranychus urticae can occasionally attack Alstroemerias the best method of control is to squish them.