How to Plant and Grow Alstroemeria

Grow these in your garden for an abundance of cut flowers.

Purple and White Alstroemeria

Edward Gohlich

The cut flower of all cut flowers, alstroemeria (Alstroemeria sp.) is a staple flower for mixed bouquets. With blooms that can last up to two weeks and a color palette almost as wide as the spectrum, these perennial plants became a commodity for the flower markets and worked their way into home gardens.

The flowers of the alstroemeria plant are so interesting and diverse that they are often likened to orchid flowers. You can always find an alstroemeria to meet your design needs, thanks to the wide variety of color combinations available. The center three petals on these beautiful blooms feature streaks and speckles that are almost reminiscent of whiskers. Some flowers come in multicolor blooms with brushstrokes of color.

Alstroemeria Overview

Genus Name Alstroemeria
Common Name Alstroemeria
Plant Type Bulb, Perennial
Light Part Sun, Sun
Height 1 to 3 feet
Width 1 to 2 feet
Flower Color Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White
Foliage Color Blue/Green
Season Features Summer Bloom
Special Features Attracts Birds, Cut Flowers, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 10, 6, 7, 8, 9
Propagation Division, Seed
Problem Solvers Deer Resistant

Where to Plant Alstroemeria

Alstroemeria plants are easy to grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 6–10. These plants, also referred to as Peruvian lilies, are native to South America and have naturalized in the U.S.

Invasive Plant

Although alstroemeria species haven't yet been officially classified as invasive in the U.S., they do have a reputation for spreading aggressively throughout their growing zones. Control alstroemeria by digging up the tubers wherever you don't want the plant. Be warned: If you leave a single tuber, a plant may spring from it. Contain the plants in your garden by planting them in pots rather than in the ground.

Alstroemeria Care Tips


For the best display of flowers, grow these plants in full sun. Many varieties can handle part sun, but they are much more likely to flop over and not be as floriferous.

Soil and Water

As you would when caring for any perennial, plant alstroemeria in well-drained soil that won't stay too wet. Because of their fleshy tuberous roots, alstroemeria are likely to rot in too much water. They do appreciate consistent moisture, especially during flowering.

Once the plants are established, they can handle short droughts without a problem. The tubers allow the plants to store nutrients and water for times of need. This allows the plants to deal with drought and other stressful periods better than most.


When first planting alstroemeria, add a high-nitrogen fertilizer, such as a 12-4-8, to the top few inches of soil, following the product label directions. Fertilize established plants with a high-nitrogen water-soluble fertilizer in early spring to support blooming, casting it on the ground while avoiding the foliage of the plants. Follow the product information for amounts.

Pests and Problems

As with many garden plants, alstroemeria is susceptible to aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, snails and slugs. When they are planted in overly wet conditions, the plants are susceptible to root rot.

To prevent flopping, which is especially likely with older varieties and varieties grown for cut flowers, provide some sort of support or stake to hold up the tall stalks.

How to Propagate Alstroemeria

Tuberous roots mean that these plants are easy to divide when you want to expand your collection or share with friends. The plants form large colonies, so digging up and dividing the plants periodically helps keep the size of the colony in bounds. When dividing plants, make sure there are healthy tubers in the root ball, then replant and water well.

In general, alstroemeria don't appreciate having their roots disturbed often, so avoid dividing every year. With some of the more temperamental varieties, you may have wait a year or two after dividing before you get blooms again.

Cut Flower Care

Growing alstroemeria is a great way to supply cut flowers from your garden with minimal care. It's best not to cut alstroemeria blooms from the stem as you would other cut flowers. Instead, pull the entire stem out of the plant. Simply grasp a flower stalk at its base near the ground and pull upward until the whole stem comes up from the ground.

This method encourages the plant to form new shoots at the base. Cutting the stem halfway down (like you might any other bloom) can slow the growth of the plant. Once you pull the whole stem up, cut the stalk to the length you need, remove any lower foliage that might be sitting directly in the water, and place it in a vase. You'll have blooms for weeks.

Types of Alstroemeria

More than 120 species of alstroemeria produce blooms in colors of purple, red, orange, pink, yellow or white, some of which are striped or speckled with other colors.

Alstroemeria Aurea

Pink And Yellow Alstroemeria aurea
Edward Gohlich

Alstroemeria aurea has yellow or orange clusters of lilylike flowers on graceful stems 2 to 3 feet tall. Zones 7–10

Alstroemeria Companion Plants


Sedum in rustic brown planter
Jo-Ann Richards


Sedums are nearly the perfect plants. They look good from the moment they emerge from the soil in spring and continue to look fresh and fabulous all growing season long. Many are attractive even in winter after their foliage dies and is left standing. They're also drought-tolerant and need very little, if any, care. They're favorites of butterflies and bees. The tall types are outstanding for cutting and drying. Does it get better than that? Only in the fact that there are many different types of this wonderful plant, from tall types that will top 2 feet to low-growing groundcovers that form mats. All thrive in full sun with good drainage. Groundcover types do a good job of suppressing weeds but seldom tolerate foot traffic. Some of the smaller ones are best grown in pots or treated as houseplants.

purple asters with raindrops
Jay Wilde

Asters get their name from the Latin word for "star," and their flowers are indeed the superstars of the fall garden. Some types of this native plant can reach up to 6 feet with flowers in white and pinks but also, perhaps most strikingly, in rich purples and showy lavenders. Not all asters are fall bloomers. Extend the season by growing some of the summer bloomers also. Some are naturally compact. Others are tall types that grow more than 2 feet and benefit from staking or an early-season pinching or cutting back by about one-third in July or so to keep the plant more compact.


morning light ornamental grass
John Reed Forsman Photography

Miscanthus is one of the most popular ornamental grasses, but it can spread aggressively in some regions. Statuesque miscanthus makes dense clumps of arching grassy foliage in an assortment of widths, decoration, and fineness, according to variety. Erect, dramatic plumes of flower spikelets rise among the leaves or well above them and last beautifully through the winter. Site miscanthus with good drainage and plenty of space in sun or light shade.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should alstroemeria be cut back for the winter?

    No. Cutting back the entire plant for winter stunts the flowers in the following season. However, you can remove individual spent stems at the soil line after they die.

  • Are Peruvian lilies toxic for cats?

    Alstroemeria (Peruvian lilies) are not true lilies and are not toxic for your felines.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles