Story and Photo by Russell Studebaker
As a cut flower, Peruvian lily (Alstroemeria) has long been a favorite of florists as a cut flower. And now hardy cultivars, such as ‘Inca Ice’, extend their use in our gardens. This cultivar has been bred for large blooms on shorter, compact stems, which gives long-lasting blooms from mid-summer until frost. It is winter hardy to Zone 5, and slowly grows into a 2-foot clump, but it is not invasive. The many attractive flowers are a favorite of hummingbirds in the garden.
Quick Facts and Keys to Success
Common Name: Alstroemeria, Peruvian lily
Botanical Name: Alstroemeria x ‘Inca Ice’
Type: Herbaceous perennial from a tuber, and in time forms a sizable clump
Height: 18-20 inches
Flowers: Light pink with cinnamon flecks, flowers 2-2½ inches wide, with up to 20 per stem, cut flowers last up to two weeks and longer uncut.
Bloom Time: June until frost, after the first season more flowers are produced.
Picking Blooms: Grasp the stem and gently pull it to detach from the base. This triggers more flower production.
Foliage: Linear, in time clumps can spread to 2 feet
Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Soil: Organic and well drained
Watering: Regular watering
Maintenance: Plant 2-4 inches deep, and 12 inches apart, rhizomes are brittle. Strong flower stems do not require staking. Mulch in fall to keep early spring growth from coming up too early.
In Your Landscape: Use a border plant, in a potted container, or as a cut flower. These are hummingbird favorites.