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How to plant and cultivate the lily of the incas (alstroemeria)?

How to plant and cultivate the lily of the incas (alstroemeria)?

Characteristics of the Inca lily

  • Type: flowers and flowering plant
  • Height: up to 1m
  • Flower color: white, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple and variegated
  • Desired exposure: sun, partial shade
  • Type of soil: well drained, humus rich in humus
  • Foliage: obsolete
  • Interview : easy
  • Sanitizing: no
  • Varieties:Alstroemeria psittacina, alstroemeria hybrida, alstroemeria auriantica

Origin and peculiarities of the lily of the Incas


Also known as alstroemeria, the lily of the incas is originally from South America. More specifically from Chile. It is a perennial herb, more or less hardy depending on the variety.

The genus indeed includes more than fifty perennial plants. The majority of the varieties come from Chile, but others have been created, notably for container culture. Among the varieties, we find Sweet Laura, Mona Lisa or even Exotica.

In the language of flowers, the lily of the incas symbolizes the joy of being together. It is just as suitable in love as in friendship.

How to plant the lily of the Incas?

It is recommended to choose a sunny or semi-shaded place to plant your Inca lilies. Alstroemeria just needs a rich, light and well-drained soil. Attention, it does not support a plantation in a calcareous ground.

Prefer March or April for planting. For plant the lily of the incas in the ground, it is necessary :

  • plant in a group of 3 or 4 plants to obtain beautiful beds
  • space plants between 20 and 60cm depending on the varieties chosen
  • for bucket subjects, it is important to moisten the root ball well. Take the plant out of the pot, taking care that the roots are not damaged.
  • place the plant in the hole, then fill with soil without covering the collar.
  • pack well and water regularly after planting.

Remember to mulch the plants well, to protect them from the cold. If you have opted for climbing varieties, plan the installation of stakes to help the plant to climb properly.

The lily of the incas will only see its flowering reaching full maturity after 2 or 3 years after planting. Indeed, the plant prefers to favor the good establishment of its network of roots before giving everything to its flowering. Sometimes it will take more than a year to see the young shoots.

Maintenance of the lily of the Incas

The lily of the incas does not require much care. Certain gestures are however necessary to have a beautiful flowering:

  • water the plants regularly to ensure that the soil is always moist.
  • mulch with dead leaves or straw to protect the lily from the incas in winter
  • during the flowering period, add liquid fertilizer.
  • put the pots in a veranda or a greenhouse
  • remove wilted flowers to promote flowering of the plant
  • cut the foliage 10cm from the ground after the first frosts

Multiplication of the lily of the Incas

The lily of the incas easily multiplies. For that, it is enough to divide the old tufts in March or April. This requires choosing tufts that are at least 3 years old.

Lift the tuft with a spade. Cut it out with a knife to take a block of roots and stems.

In another place, replant the whole by adding decomposed manure or an equivalent product. Water abundantly and maintain the new plant like your usual Inca lily plants.

The alstromera cutting is not possible since it is a bulb flower. We can still recover the seeds produced by the wilted flowers, which we dry to replant in the spring.

Diseases and pests of the Inca lily

This is good news for gardeners: the Inca lily is not susceptible to disease or pest attack.

However, special attention should be paid to slugs and other snails. They love to feast on young shoots. To attract them away from your plantations, install beer traps.