Monday, June 7, 2010

Pretty pictures: Alstroemeria cvv.


I was sort of shocked to see these for sale at Lowe's in Cedar Rapids (red one) and Coralville (orange one), because . . . well, because I really love Alstroemerias as cut flowers (I have some particularly vivid positive memories involving them, plus they last a remarkably long time.), and it seemed like surely if people were growing them around here, I would have seen and noticed them a long time ago.


The other peculiar thing is that they must be selling them as annuals. A bit of random poking around at davesgarden.com turned up one variety that was supposedly hardy in zone 5b, and a half-dozen others that were only hardy to zone 7. Which, I don't know, if they were cheap enough and the flowers lasted as long as the grocery-store bunches of flowers, I could see it being worth the money to buy Alstroemerias every year. But I'm still kind of surprised. Anybody know if there truly are zone-5-hardy Alstroemerias out there? As it is I'm inclined to think davesgarden.com was mistaken.


8 comments:

Aralia said...

My grandma has one of those here in Finland. It grows happily in a pot, which is out in the garden during summer and in the cool (stays over 32 F or +0 C) basement during winter. At winter time it is kept dry and doesn't need light. When spring comes, she starts to water it and takes it to the big window at storage room, that isn't as warm as the living spaces (around 59 F or +15 C). The plant loves to flower the whole summer and thrives.

Water Roots said...

The only one that I've run across (while researching) that is supposed to be winter hardy in areas like mine is Alstroemeria 'Sweet Laura', which I've read can grow down to zone 5a. I don't know if it's true though.

Ginny Burton said...

I've never seen any that weren't the insipid light mauve. These are lovely!

Don said...

If my memory serves, Sweet Laura is the only one with claims on Z5 hardiness, the rest are said to be Z6 hardy.

If I remember right, Alstroemerias prefer cool summers. I've also read that, where they grow well, they tend to be weedily invasive in the garden by the brittle fleshy roots.

I've tried and failed once with Sweet Laura, but the position wasn't auspicious, probably too much shade and poor soil. But they say you haven't really failed with a plant till you've killed it three times.

Aerelonian said...

Good luck with your hardy Alstroemeria search. A very nice lily indeed.

Anonymous said...

I know the Amancay(Alstromeria aurantiaca) plant grows in the south-west region of my country, wich, -in winter- gets really frozened up. I haven't had one-to-one contact with this herb, but I've red it has rhizomes, so, eventhough the plant's aerial parts may die, the stalks will grow back every spring.

Lynne said...

Alstromerias are very, very popular garden plants in New Zealand. They survive the relatively mild winter temperatures in the area I live (-2-3 maximum) without batting an eyelid. There are so many absolutely stunning colours. I prefer the brightly coloured ones, from cerise to burgundy reds and bright yellows etc. And the dwarf ones aren't so sprawley in their growth habits.

Anonymous said...

I have Sweet Laura and it's reliably hardy in Southern Delaware (zone 7a). I tried Freedom, but it didn't survive it's first winter (a few years ago and relatively mild winter at that). The local full service garden center said they don't sell alstromerias because they don't like our summer heat and humidity.