Alstroemeria: The Peruvian Lily


Alstroemeria, commonly known as the Peruvian Lily or Lily of the Incas, is a popular flower known for its vibrant colors and unique patterns. Native to South America, particularly the Andes region of Chile, Brazil, and Peru, Alstroemeria has become a favorite in gardens and floral arrangements around the world. This comprehensive guide explores the fascinating world of Alstroemeria, from its botanical characteristics to its cultural significance and care tips.

Botanical Characteristics

Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Liliales
  • Family: Alstroemeriaceae
  • Genus: Alstroemeria

Physical Description

Alstroemeria plants typically grow between 12 to 36 inches in height. The flowers are trumpet-shaped and come in a wide range of colors, including pink, purple, orange, red, yellow, and white. Each flower has six petals, often marked with contrasting streaks or spots, giving it a distinctive and exotic appearance.

Leaves and Stems

The leaves of the Alstroemeria plant are narrow and lance-shaped, with a unique twist at the base that causes them to grow upside down. This twisting is known as “resupination.” The stems are sturdy and upright, supporting clusters of blooms that can last several weeks.

Cultivation and Care

Planting Alstroemeria

Alstroemeria can be grown from seeds or tubers. Here are some key steps for successful planting:

  1. Location: Choose a location with well-drained soil and partial to full sunlight.
  2. Soil: Ensure the soil is rich in organic matter. Alstroemeria prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil pH.
  3. Planting Depth: Plant tubers about 6 inches deep and 12 inches apart.
  4. Watering: Water the plants regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged.

Care and Maintenance

  1. Fertilization: Feed the plants with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season.
  2. Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
  3. Pruning: Remove spent blooms and dead foliage to encourage new growth.
  4. Pest Control: Keep an eye out for common pests like aphids and spider mites, and treat them promptly with appropriate measures.


In colder climates, protect the tubers from frost by covering the soil with a thick layer of mulch or by digging up the tubers and storing them indoors over winter.

Uses and Benefits

Floral Arrangements

Alstroemeria is a popular choice for bouquets and floral arrangements due to its long-lasting blooms and vibrant colors. It pairs well with other flowers and adds a touch of elegance to any arrangement.

Garden Planting

Alstroemeria’s colorful flowers and lush foliage make it an excellent addition to garden beds, borders, and containers. It attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies, enhancing the garden’s ecological balance.

Cultural Significance

In various cultures, Alstroemeria symbolizes friendship, prosperity, and fortune. It is often used in floral gifts to convey heartfelt sentiments and well-wishes.

Varieties of Alstroemeria

There are many varieties of Alstroemeria, each with unique characteristics. Some popular ones include:

  1. Alstroemeria ‘Princess Louise’: Known for its striking pink and white blooms.
  2. Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’: Features vibrant orange and yellow flowers with a compact growth habit.
  3. Alstroemeria ‘Inca Ice’: Boasts soft peach-colored flowers with dark streaks.


Q1: How long do Alstroemeria flowers last in a vase?

Alstroemeria flowers can last up to two weeks in a vase if properly cared for. Change the water regularly and trim the stems to extend their lifespan.

Q2: Can Alstroemeria be grown indoors?

Yes, Alstroemeria can be grown indoors in containers. Ensure they receive adequate sunlight and maintain proper watering and fertilization practices.

Q3: Are Alstroemeria plants toxic to pets?

Alstroemeria contains saponins, which can be toxic to pets if ingested in large quantities. Keep the plants out of reach of curious pets to avoid any issues.

Q4: How do I propagate Alstroemeria?

Alstroemeria can be propagated by dividing the tubers or by planting seeds. Division is typically done in the spring or fall, while seeds can be sown in a controlled environment.

Q5: What are common problems with growing Alstroemeria?

Common problems include root rot due to overwatering, pest infestations like aphids and spider mites, and leaf scorch from excessive sunlight. Proper care and regular monitoring can prevent these issues.


Alstroemeria, with its vibrant colors and unique appearance, is a beloved flower in gardens and floral arrangements around the world. By understanding its botanical characteristics, cultivation requirements, and cultural significance, you can enjoy the beauty and elegance of this remarkable plant. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a novice, Alstroemeria is a wonderful addition to any garden or home.

By gungunn

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