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Beginner Flowers: Who Can Help Me with Alstroemerias?

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testman55
West Branch, IA

February 14, 2010
11:56 AM

Post #7558028

Because these are incredibly expensive as potted plants, especially as named cultivars, I bought several "bulbs/rhizomes" last Spring and planted them in the garden. I got almost nothing as a result. But, at the end of the Summer, I noticed that there were short sprouts on 2 of them, so with frosts approaching, I dug them, potted them, and brought them indoors, where they have grown under lights all Winter.

BUT ... they refuse to stand up! They are healthy, vigorous, but growing like vines or tumbling plants for hanging baskets.

Anyone have some tips on growing these plants?

Thanks,
testman
JasperDale
Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10a)

February 14, 2010
4:18 PM

Post #7558457

Sounds like they aren't getting enough sunlight, to me. Do you have a window you can put them in so they get more direct sun vs. what they are getting from the artificial lights ?
Alstroemeria have very brittle roots and can be difficult to transplant as these damage easily.
These may be a perennial you have to grow in containers where you are, and maybe bring them in for the winter. We can leave them in the ground here due to a milder climate.
I used to have several varieties of them and not every stem will produce flowers. Some of the sprouts will do as you describe, and sort of "trail" yet never produce blooms. The stems that produce blooms will be thick and rigid from the get go.

I got my initial ones in pkgs. from a nursery and it took them about 3 years to get established, so don't get discouraged. Being perennials, the third year is usually when you see good results. If you can afford to get the container grown plants, they'll already be "established" enough to give you quicker growth and blooms vs. just the roots from a pkg.

And, yes, you're correct: They are ridiculously expensive when you get them in containers.

Hopefully someone from your zone who grows them can better advise you on their winter care and possibly share some divisions with you.
testman55
West Branch, IA

February 14, 2010
5:56 PM

Post #7558745

Thanks for the info, JasperDale,
They are actually getting more light from my battery of flourescents than they would from any window. This is the same set up I use for all my overwintered plants as well as for my vegetable seedlings a bit later in the year.

I did not know that some stems just "trailed" like this. I can only hope that they are providing food for the roots and I will get some real growth after setting them out in the Spring.
JasperDale
Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10a)

February 14, 2010
6:53 PM

Post #7558844

Forgot to add: I leave the non flowering stems alone. They'll turn yellow eventually. Maybe they should be removed...I'm not sure, but either way, they don't appear to do any harm by leaving them there. As the clumps get bigger and more established, there seems to be fewer and fewer non flowering stems...but that's just my personal experience with them.

Ironically, when your original post showed up, there was an ad right next to it for Alstroemeria !
testman55
West Branch, IA

February 14, 2010
7:48 PM

Post #7558951

I think that's what's called "targeted" advertising!
kathmartoz
Wantirna, Victoria
Australia

February 17, 2010
6:35 AM

Post #7565989

I have a large clump of Alstromeria in the ground, but they are the dwarf variety. Sounds to me like you have the variety that is used for cut flowers. I'm in Southern Australia so they stay in the ground. I think the non-flowering stems that turn yellow that JasperDale mentioned may act like storage for nutrients for the flowering stems. When the stems turn really yellow and even dry you should twist and pull them out cleanly rather than cut them off, as sometimes the remainder of the stem in the ground can cause a rot to start. They almost totally disappear in Summer here, then appear when it cools down and main flowering is in Spring. They are one of the hardiest plants in my garden. K
testman55
West Branch, IA

February 17, 2010
1:38 PM

Post #7566284

Thanks for the VERY helpful info, kathmartoz! I'm thrilled to know that these have some hardiness, as well as being warned about the way to handle the non-flowering stems. Yes, the ones I have are the ones used for cut flowers. I just love them in bouquets so much that I decided I had to try to grow them!
amorecuore
Ft Lauderdale, FL
(Zone 10a)

April 2, 2010
2:40 PM

Post #7674934

I would think you're right of the border for hardiness zone testman. If you do decide to plant them in the ground it would be a great idea to put mulch around them in the fall for added protection. Agree with everyone else that the outer most foliage is a bit floppy and doesn't usually produce blooms. Usually the stems get stronger/thicker and much more upright as the blooming season approaches. I leave the outer floppy stems alone, but do remove the spent flower stems right at ground level right after the stem has finished blooming. If I remove the spent flowers the plant continues to send up new flower branches for a good 3-4 months down here in South Florida.

Here is a photo I took this evening of Alstroemeria "Freedom" on the left and "Premier Red" on the right. "Freedom" is the best performer I've had and its been in the ground for 3 years now. It has tripled/quadrupled in size in three years. "Premier Red" is brand new to me. They are just beginning their blooming cycle right now. I was surprised to see Lowe's carrying the "Premier Series" Alstroemeria plants down here, this winter, in gallon containers for only $5.99 each. First time I've seen Alstroemeria plants for sale down here. Maybe they will carry them in your area this summer???

Jon

Jon

Thumbnail by amorecuore
Click the image for an enlarged view.

FlowersinZone9
San Jose, CA

May 30, 2012
10:11 PM

Post #9145657

If alstroemeria gets too hot it stops flowering and sometimes the foliage yellows. Are your plants too close to the lights?
When you remove stems that have flowered, yank them out. Pulling them seems to strengthen the root system and promotes (temporarily) shorter growth. Good luck!
FlowersinZone9
San Jose, CA

May 30, 2012
10:16 PM

Post #9145658

If alstroemeria gets too hot it stops flowering and sometimes the foliage yellows. Are your plants too close to the lights?
When you remove stems that have flowered, yank them out. Pulling them seems to strengthen the root system and promotes (temporarily) shorter growth. Good luck!
(Here are some of our Alstros--photo taken last week)

Thumbnail by FlowersinZone9
Click the image for an enlarged view.

powerbookgal
Salem, OR

June 11, 2012
8:51 AM

Post #9160554

I am looking for ZsaZsa Princess Lily. I had one, planted it in the ground then hubby put ground cover in and it destroyed the ZsaZsa. Now I am unable to find one. Has anyone seen one for sale? Does anyone have any to trade? I have other colors.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 11, 2012
9:06 PM

Post #9161553

Monrovia is a wholesale grower that carries it--I don't know about OR but their stuff is carried in almost every nursery here in CA, so if that's the case there too you could probably ask one of your local nurseries to order you one.

You may not have lost yours either--how exactly did your hubby destroy it? If he just damaged/removed the leaves it could still resprout.

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