The best varieties of the stunning flower to grow for summer color
Lauren Dunec Hoang
1 of 13Photo courtesy of Edelweiss Perennials
A summer favorite
Don’t write off Alstroemeria (Peruvian Lily) as just an average flower, all too common in super-market bouquets. These no-fuss bloomers are available to the home gardener in a rainbow of colors. We hunted down a handful of varieties for the Sunset Test Garden and have been adding to bouquets—which last for weeks!—every summer since.
To keep plants blooming from June to October, steal this tip from our Garden Editor, Kathy Brenzel. Harvest flowers by gently twisting the flower stem so that it releases from the base of the plant. Using this technique instead of snipping half-way up the stem promotes the plant to produce new blossoms.
Alstroemeria thrive planted in areas with full sun and in soil that drains well. In areas with winter freezes, mulch well to protect underground tubers and the flowers will come back year after year. Our source for plants by mail: Edelweiss Perennials.
2 of 13Photo courtesy of Edelweiss Perennials
Alstroemeria ‘Inca Ice’
A stand-out beauty in the Sunset Test Garden, ‘Inca Ice’ is one of our most reliable bloomers and one of the first flowers we add to bouquets. The luminous peachy petals and blue green foliage compliment everything from yellow roses to deep purple dahlias. Plants have a compact habit and are covered in blossoms held on sturdy 24-32” stems.
3 of 13Photo courtesy of Edelweiss Perennials
Everything about ‘Margaret’ is over the top. Large fuchsia flowers with sunset-colored throats grow on stems that reach up to 4 feet tall. Buds have deeper maroon petals that provide rich contrast to the brilliant blossoms.
4 of 13Thomas J. Story
Alstroemeria ‘Pacific Sunset’
Watermelon-colored blooms with a burst of yellow in the center are a show-stopper planted in masses in garden beds. Cut back spent flowers to keep the blooms coming over a long season. Plant reaches 18-24 inches high and has a clumping habit.
5 of 13Thomas J. Story
This low-growing alstroemeria hybrid from the ‘Princess’ line only reaches about 12 inches tall and is covered in creamy white flowers with flecked throats. Variegated green and white foliage provides interest when the plant is not in bloom. The lower habit and clumping form make ‘Fabiana’ a good choice for containers or the front of garden borders.
6 of 13Thomas J. Story
Alstroemeria ‘Sussex Gold’
Showy 2-inch golden blooms flecked with maroon top exceptionally tall flower stalks—some in the Sunset Test Garden are over 4 feet high. Excellent planted in mass along garden walls where stalks can lean for support or in flower beds with staking. ‘Sussex Gold’ mixes well with autumn-colored sunflowers in bouquets.
7 of 13Photo courtesy of Edelweiss Perennials
One of the best purple-flowering hybrids on the market, ‘Azula’ blooms with large, berry-colored blossoms with faint white throats. Plants reach 32-38” tall and hold the blossoms on long stems. For a sunny garden border, plant ‘Azula’ with golden yarrow and yellow-centered feverfew.
8 of 13Photo courtesy of Edelweiss Perennials
The delicate blossoms of ‘Casablanca’ are closer to true white than creamy-colored ‘Fabiana.’ Pale petals have a blush of pink and pastel yellow at the base of the throat and are freckled with burgundy. Plants grow 32-40” high and produce masses of blooms.
9 of 13Photo courtesy of Edelweiss Perennials
Alstroemeria ‘Third Harmonic’
Similar in hue to ‘Sussex Gold,’ the flowers of ‘Third Harmonic’ deepen in color from gold to a rich orange. ‘Third Harmonic’ also has wider, more blue-green leaves than ‘Sussux Gold’ and stems are a bit shorter (30-42” high).
10 of 13Photo courtesy of Edelweiss Perennials
Alstroemeria ‘Dusty Rose’
The shell-pink petals of ‘Dusty Rose’ open to reveal pale yellow throats freckled with deeper pink. Blooms mix well with other delicate pastel flowers—such as cosmos, lavender, and scabiosa—both in the vase and garden border. Plants grow vigorously with bloom spikes that reach 30” tall.
11 of 13Photo courtesy of Edelweiss Perennials
Alstroemeria 'Princess Felicia'
A true yellow bloomer, ‘Princess Felicia’ produces large lemon-colored blossoms with less pronounced maroon flecking than other golden varieties. As with other hybrids in the ‘Princess’ line, the plants grow in a compact form and only reach 10-12” tall.
12 of 13Photo courtesy of Edelweiss Perennials
Alstroemeria 'Red Sensation’
For brilliant red flowers, ‘Red Sensation’ is one of the best varieties out there. The vigorous plant pumps out cherry-colored blooms with golden throats and unusually dark dashes. Mass plant in borders for the highest impact.
13 of 13Photo courtesy of Edelweiss Perennials
Alstroemeria ‘Wine Red’
Low-growing ‘Wine Red’ would make an excellent edging plant for garden pathways. Covered in bright burgundy blooms, the plant grows to 12” tall and forms a neat-and-tidy mound. Although the stems are short, the blooms make good cut flowers.