Dividing Alstromerias

Dividing Alstromerias

Third Harmonic Orange Yellow Alstromeria
An well established alstromeria that is very overgrown. I think it is called Third Harmonic Alstromeria. It is a tall orange yellow colored alstromeria and an excellent cut flower for arrangements.

Although my gardening passion is mainly for edible plants, I feel having a variety of organic cut flowers to bring in the house or share is another good use of our growing space.  I create all sorts of floral arrangements, depending on what is in season.  One of my favorite flowers for arrangements is Alstromeria.  I like that they last a long time after being picked, come in a variety of pretty colors, and are a bit drought tolerant.  However, potted Alstromerias are initially an expensive plant to buy in the nurseries.  I am a patient gardener and don’t mind buying just a single 1 gallon plant and waiting for it grow.

I have learned the high price of alstromerias is just an investment in my garden and in future floral arrangements.  I get many dozens of multi-flowered stems from each individual plant every year.  Once they are established in a spot they like, they slowly spread and expand their crown.  And to get more, I gently take a sharp shovel and divide them down the middle or into sections, depending on how much they have managed to spread.  Around here, October and November are probably the easiest months to move them since most are either totally dormant or at least somewhat dormant.  A few weeks back, I divided two of my varieties, a creamy yellow named Daniela Princess Alstromeria and a orangey yellow Alstromeria called Third Harmonic.  

Third Harmonic produces orange flowers almost all year round with its biggest flush of blooms from late February to June, and then sporadic flowers the rest of the year.  This one I got from the Green Scene at the Fullerton Arborteum in a 1 gallon can for about $12, not too bad as far as Alstromeria prices go.  This one never goes completely dormant.  I like that it almost always has at least a few flowers and that it doesn’t mind that I grow it in an area that gets more than half day shade.  It grows about 3 feet tall in the spot I have it, but it might be a little shorter if it got more sun.

Daniela is a patented Princess variety.  It was painful spending $24 for a one gallon plant seven years ago, but I didn’t have any yellow Alstromerias at the time, I had been looking for a nice shade of yellow for years, and I decided it was necessary to splurge.  I am glad I did.  Through patience and careful dividing, I now how three very large clumps plus two smaller ones, in different parts of my yard.  I have to say, it has been my favorite Alstromeria.  It has a soft buttery yellow flower and only grows about 12 inches tall.  It is another good one for a really long bloom season, often blooming by the new year.  It is much slower to spread than some of the other varieties I have.

Princess Daniella Alstormeria
yellow Princess Daniela Alstromeria
How to divide Alstromeria Inca lily peruvian lilies
This is as dormant as the orange Third Harmonic Alstromeria gets. I know it looks like a tangled mess. I have neglected to divide it the last four years and now it has outgrown its area. Right after I took this picture, I dug up the majority of it and made nine new plants, but left a 2 x 2 ft section in the ground for next spring.
roots of alstromeria
Here is a Third Harmonic clump, right after digging up a patch of the swollen roots and stems.
divisions of alstromeria are potted up plants
Some of the Alstromerias divided and potted up for sharing next spring. They don’t look like much now, but they will start growing actively again after the new year.
which part to save on a peruvian lily transplant
I don’t normally remove all the soil around the roots, but to demonstrate, this is a picture of a bare root Alstromeria to show what is necessary to successfully grow a new plant from a divided section: the swollen tuberous roots need to be firmly attached to the base where the stems will grow out of. Stems are not really necessary for success, but the horizontal rhizome section that the roots attach to is. It also helps if the roots are swollen with water, rather than shriveled and used up.
Princess daniela inca lily
This is as dormant as my Pricess Daniela Alstromeria goes. A passerby wouldn’t know it by looking, but 3/4 of the plant is dormant, and just a small amount is still actively producing stems and flowers above ground. Almost all the bare dirt in the picture is covering the majority of the Alstromeria under ground.

A few other colors of Alstromerias I grow:

bright red tall alstromeria in the cutting garden
This is an unknow tall red alstromeria I got from the LBCC horticulture department spring sale. It makes a great cut flower.
pink and white alstromeria
This is another unknown alstromeria. It is a very common pink and white tall variety. This one reseeds, but it has lots of room to do so in a part of the yard not much else blooms

One thought on “Dividing Alstromerias

  1. Hii my nameis Jan,from Tasmania We call the short alstros Princess and I do love the yellow ones too, I have the red tall one the red with white small princess one and the small pink one also a princess, as well the one I initally mentioned the small yellow princess. People often say they are a pest as they spread, but I love them all anyway.
    Happy gardening Jan French. Somerset, Tasmania

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