Clear Mountain Garden Treasures
 

Clear Mountain Garden TreasuresCulture and Germination - Alstroemeria psittacina

deciduous
Shedding of leaves at the
end of the growing season
see also Plant Life Cycle.
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tuber
A swollen underground stem, crown or root
see also Bulbs, Corms and Tubers.
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Alstroemeria psittacina

Flower head
Family Alstroemeriaceae
Name Alstroemeria psittacina
Common Names New Zealand Christmas bell, parrotlily, parrot flower, red parrot beak, lily of the Incas

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This species Alstroemeria is a hardy deciduous perennial that survives as underground tubers in the Winter. In the Spring, little umbrella shapped leaf heads appear above the ground, followed by tall flower stems in the Summer.

Like most alstroemerias, the long-lasting flowers are great for cutting, having long straight stems. The red flowers have green tips and dark brown markings. Appropriately named, New Zealand Christmas bell, the flowers open during Christmas.

Although quite popular in older gardens in New Zealand, it is now relatively hard to obtain, as garden centres tend to only stock hybrid alstromerias.

Warning This plant can be slightly invasive.

Culture

This alstroemeria grows best in a semi shaded spot that gets dappled sunlight. Provide a well drained, slightly sandy soil that has plenty of compost.

Water well in the first season, and thereafter, it looks after itself. Feed yearly, in the spring with a general garden fertiliser, at the manufacturer's recommended rate.

After flowering, remove the spent flower stems. This promotes more growth that will flower the following year.


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