Common name: Peruvian Lily
Alstroemeria aurea originated from Chile and Peru.
They can reach a height of around 900mm (3ft) and spread to around 450mm (18”)diameter, and are widely grown as a cut flower.
They can be quite invasive due to the spreading nature of the tuberous root system.
The showy multi-coloured flowers appear in mid summer.
Many species can be propagated from seed and take around two or three years to grow from seedling to flowering size.
The seed is best sown fresh.
Prick out seedlings sown the previous year into 75 mm (3”) pots and place in cold frame to grow on until planting out time.
Sow commercially purchased seed in well-drained compost, cover and place in a propagator or plastic bag.
Maintain a temperature of 20°C (68°F) for three weeks, then place the container into the refrigerator (not freezer) at around 4°C (40°F) for three weeks, then move them back into the propagator at 21°C (70°F).
Germination can be quite erratic and they may take 6-8 weeks to germinate.
Alternatively; sow seeds in trays of seed compost and place in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse to germinate.
If weather conditions are suitable, divide established plants and replant the divisions immediately.
Take care to disturb the root ball as little as possible to avoid damaging the root system.
To further increase stock, take root cuttings by potting up any pieces of root left, in a proprietary compost, and place in a cold frame to grow on for a further year.
Developing Root Cuttings
If spring sown seedlings are large enough to handle, pot up into 75 mm (3”) pots and place in cold frame to grow on until planting out time the following spring.
If conditions allow, plant out over wintered seedlings in groups 380mm (15”) apart and about 200mm (8") deep where the soil is fertile and moist, but not waterlogged in winter.
They prefer a sheltered, shaded, or semi shaded site,
Planting in containers can also prove very decorative, however the pots will have to be kept in a frost free area during the winter months.
Feed fortnightly, and water freely during the growing period.
Regular dead heading is recommended to prolong the flowering period.
Collect ripe seed, if available.
If the seed are quite dry, soak them in warm water overnight, then sow them into a well-drained seed compost.
Place the tray in a coldframe or cool greenhouse at a temperature of around 5°-10°C (40°-50°F) to germinate.
When seedlings are large enough to handle, pot up into 75 mm (3”) pots and place in cold frame to grow on until planting out time the following spring,
Alternatively; leave pricking out until next year (circa Week 7).
Withhold watering from now and until till there are signs of new growth.
When the autumn foliage has died back, cut the plants down to ground level, and protect the roots from hard winter frosts with an extra deep mulch.
In colder areas it is advisable to leave the tops on until spring to offer added protection to the root system and new growth.
Some people, generally those who live in quite cold areas, will advocate lifting some or all of their plants at this time, and potting them up and storing in a well lit frost free place.
Having said that, it is up to the individual grower on which option to take.