Does it take a green thumb to grow Alstoemeria? Not to get the plants – The real question is, when do you get the flowers?
These are great flowers! found all over South America, I took this photo in 1980 in the Chilean Desert North of Santiago, near the town of La Serena. This one grows near sea level and in a climate that is very dry as you can see from the cactus spines it was entwined about. I have found other varieties of Alstromeria at altitudes nearing 10,000 ft. (3,000 meters) in the Chilean Andes, two days ride into the mountains. I have a photo of a specimen from high above the Colorado River in an extremely remote area which has an alpine climate, so these flowers can grow just about anyplace world wide. .
Need Seeds? Try Outside Pride Alstomeria seeds
I have so far had great success with my alstroemeria seeds. I put my first packet of 200 seeds into the lower part of my refrigerator in a plastic bag mixed into damp potting soil. I then left them for actually over three weeks, took them out of the refrig. and put about 1/2 of the soil with seed into a flat and the other half into small pots and kept them inside for a month or two and they sprouted and came up inside. Then when the weather got above 40 – 50 degrees at night I put them out in as many habitats as I could find around our garden, so I have some in fertile soil, some in gravelly soil. some in clay and some in a loam and all except for the couple that I put into a south facing really dry area seem to be doing ok and I have them up about 12 inches now. So that means in the next month or so I will probably get some flowering. So, unless there is a mycorrhiza problem of them needing something found only in S. American soils, I feel I will be successful.
Having lived in Peru, Chile and Ecuador for a number of years, these plants have a wide variety of strains that can be all the way from sea level dry semi-desert to 10,000 ft. in the Chilean Andes where there are snows and extreme cold and heat, so probably the most common problem for a lot of people is that they treat them too softly, and as a consequence get weak stems and plants that died. I have another 200 seeds which I am putting into the soil in the fridge next week and will see if I can germinate them as well and put out in July-August for later season plants. Then I’ll leave all of them in the ground over the winter and see if any make it through the Hood River, OR winter under the snow and come up next year, or produce seed that comes up. It’s a game! Experiment and try different things to see what you get.
Here it is February and I have a bunch of alstomeriainside that grew all last summer, But alas, no flowers. Hoping they bloom this next year. If they grow them in London near Buckingham Palace for decoration, why not Hood River Oregon?
More later as the flowers appear this year!
All the best!
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