South American import makes for hardy perennial

South American import makes for hardy perennial

One of our most beautiful imports into the American plant world is the Princess Lily, which originated on the slopes of South America. They are found in Brazil and the Andes in Chile. The Princess Lilies are a series of plants belonging to the Alstroemeria family. We can consider these beauties hardy perennials. You can find them in pinks, rose, red and lavender shades.

“The Lilies” made their debut in 2001, known for their spectacular and long lasting flowering buds. Their category, Alstroemeria, was named for Swedish researcher Clas Alstroemer. He brought these plants related to the Princess Lily back to Europe in the 18th century. From 1950 onward, the production of cutting-Alstroemeria started in Europe. Florists and gardeners alike loved them for the variety of color options and the long-lasting blooms.

Look for a sunny spot you can water regularly and you will probably be able to keep this Princess contented. They want great soil with great drainage. (The lily is a princess, after all.) Adding fertilizer when you see blooms beginning will boost their energy level. Look for blooms from May until October. The more you pick, by just pulling the stem out of the ground, the more the flowers reproduce.

They are popular with gardeners because you can use them in borders, containers and planters, and cut them to bring inside for a vase as well. Two newer Princess Lily varieties you can find are great discoveries. Eliane is the “Sweet Sensation,” known for its profuse flowering with a lot of pink-colored blooms. Amina is the “Orange Power,” with a pure orange color and lots of impressively big flowers. Alstroemeria Inticancha purple is an easy to find “Princess Lily.” It is touted for its impressive foliage and beautiful flowers, which you can expect to see grow rapidly about a foot wide and tall.

To share your gardening news with Joette, call (409) 832-1400. Her e-mail is joreger [at] msn [dot] com.