It’s no coincidence that awesome rhymes with autumn.
But what’s so awesome about autumn?
While we may be tempted to put away all the gardening equipment and wait for the warmer weather, autumn is actually the most favourable season for gardening. Plants enjoy the cooler weather and they’ll still be cosy in their beds as the soil will likely be a bit moist and warm still. Best of all worlds!
Also, if you have alstroemeria in your garden or are thinking of adding some, you will definitely think autumn is awesome because they will still be flowering.
In fact, they’ll keep bursting with blooms right up until September and possibly even November.
Alstroemeria as Perennials
Alstroemeria are perennials and therefore repeat flowering plants. That means they die down in the winter and regrow every spring for 3 years or more. This makes them a fabulous foundation in the garden.
If your alstroemeria has been in your garden for a few seasons, you will know that they are hungry plants. They benefit from regular weekly feeds throughout growing season (May to September) with a high potash fertiliser such as our Alstroemeria Feed. This encourages them to carry on their enthusiastic flowering.
As perennials they are:
- not so thirsty and require less water and care after they’re established
- low maintenance – needing just a little dead heading (see tugging method here) to keep them neat and growing vigorously
- happy in pots and do well in pots and once they outgrow them they’ll do just as well in the garden
- loved by pollinators, thus providing a long term service to your garden’s ecosystem (pollinators stick around and multiply where the food source is sustainable and thus consistent)
- great companions for food growing - veggie patches and fruit trees do better when surrounded by perennials as they have a better chance of being pollinated
Preparing for winter
Get ready to mulch!
All of the alstroemeria plant varieties we grow are garden winter hardy. However, it is best to mulch the surrounding soil for the first couple of winters while they are establishing. Mulch is a layer of material, at least 5cm thick. Mulching can be done late autumn to late winter (Nov-Feb) and will help them to stay cosy and get through the winter outside.
If you’d like to keep them in their pots outside, you can also lay the pots on their sides once the plants are dormant.
However, if your alstroemeria are still new little sprogs you’ll want to make sure they are protected until they are well established and can get through the winter without any assistance. It is worth keeping your alstroemeria inside in a greenhouse or similar sheltered spot to keep them frost free and to protect them from heavy winter rains.
Remember to give them a good soak every so often, making sure their soil is free draining. Nothing worse than soggy feet...
So now you know what to do, what are you waiting for?
Go on! Get in your garden!