Alstroemeria is on the Flower Agenda in May
The Alstroemeria - the flower that symbolises enduring friendship - will be on the Flower Agenda in May. And now this symbolism also refers to the friendship with Mother Earth: research is being carried out into how Alstroemerias can be produced in a climate-neutral way. Innovations in the greenhouse with LED lighting and better insulation mean that 30% less heat is required, whilst the yield is already 35% higher.
The Alstroemeria or Inca lily grows wild in Peru, Brazil and Chile It derives its unusual name from the Swede Clas Alstroemer, who brought the flower to Europe in the 18th century. Alstroemeria is a rhizomous plant, which means that the underground rootstocks keep branching.
Alstroemerias are strong flowers with a long sturdy stem, available in a rainbow of colours. One stem bears six to eight flowers, and the dark lines on the flower add an exotic detail. New additions to the range are the spray Alstroemerias such as Alstroemeria ‘Charmelia’. This Alstroemeria has branches bearing many small and mainly open flowers. Some new varieties do not produce pollen, such as the new Florinca cultivar: an ideal solution for flower fans with hay fever.
What to look for when buying Alstroemerias
- The ripeness of the buds, since the flower’s beauty is still hidden within them. Buds that are already showing some colour often open better and have more intense colour during flowering.
- Also check the length, sturdiness, leaf quality and the number of buds per stem. This determines the weight, which is what Alstroemerias are sold by.
- Alstroemeria’s flowers and leaves can suffer from botrytis. Check that the flowers are disease-free when buying.
- Buds are sometimes dried out during the winter months, so check carefully for freshness. Many growers treat the flowers in order to improve the vase life and counter yellowing of the leaves.
Care tips for professionals
- If you look after Alstroemerias well, they will remain fresh for 14 days. You should therefore place the flowers in clean water with some conditioner. The flowers will then develop their colours without opening too much.
- Regularly refresh the water, and feed them again.
- A cool location extends the Alstroemeria’s vase life.
- Watch out for high humidity: this can lead to the fungal infection botrytis. Look out for small spots on the flowers (blight) or grey mould between the leaves.
Display tips for professionals
Alstroemerias and fresh foliage are excellent ingredients for an attractive and budget-friendly bouquet. You can also use Alstroemerias very successfully in a cheerful field bouquet. You should then combine the flower with Alchemilla and Anethum as fillers. Add a Gerbera, Aquilegia and Antirrhinum as the floral accents. Or combine pink Alstroemerias with other flowers in the same shade, such as roses, germinis and lisianthus.
Care tips for customers
- Remove as much foliage as possible from the stem so that all the energy goes to the blooming flowers.
- Trim 2 to 3 cm off the stem with a clean knife or scissors.
- Add special cut flower food for Lilium & Alstroemeria to the water.
- Regularly refresh the water, and feed the Alstroemerias again.
- Do not place the flowers in a draught, near a source of heat or beside the fruit bowl.