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Alstromeria in pots

Hello, I'm new to gardening and need some advice on alstromeria. I have two pots of these and after flowering in the autumn I brought the pots into my garage (I don't have a greenhouse) to keep them safe from winter frosts. Unfortunately (?) the plants have continued to grow and now look a bit 'forced'. What should I do? Leave them until Spring? - Take the new growth off now? Move them outside again and get some fleece around them? I don't want to lose them as I think they are the most beautiful flowers I presently have. Thank you anyone with advice. David.

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  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,533
    Hi @david.doolin2   I thought that most Alstromeria are hardy in the UK, but not all. You probably didn't need to put them in your garage at all.  I have some in pots, and they have been left outside, even though we have a greenhouse.

    I think it would shock your plants to move them in mid-Winter from the relative warmth of the garage to outside, so I would leave them there for now.  I personally would leave the new growth for now, as cutting it back might encourage it to put on more growth, which might exhaust the plant before Spring.

    In early Spring I would cut back the foliage to soil level. Then add a bit of fresh compost on top of the pot, plus a regular liquid feed should see it flower reliably next year.

    I'm not an experienced grower of Alstromeria, so someone with more knowledge may suggest an alternative approach.

  • floraliesfloralies Haute-Garonne SW FrancePosts: 1,596
    Your plants are looking forced @david.doolin2 probably because it's not too cold in the garage but not getting enough light?
    I don't know where you live but I would have thought they would be fine against a south facing wall and then cover with fleece if it looks like freezing. It's more likely to be the wet than the cold that gets them in the winter. 
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,955
    Hi, David. I grow them in the ground and in containers. They survive chill and winter wet but not extreme cold or waterlogging, so if you live in a warm place and the winter is mild, they will be OK outside against the house wall. You could always pop them inside during a cold spell.
    My container plants go into an unheated greenhouse and continue to flower through the winter.
    Yours clearly need light; do you have anywhere cool but light where they could go? If not, they are so lovely that I would take the trouble to put them outside on mild days and bring them in at night. I wouldn't cut them back at all. Good luck.
  • THANK YOU all so much for your comments and guidance. I'll get some fleece and let them live outside with protection from the fleece and a wall. I am really grateful for your help and assistance. FYI: I'm in Stockport, South East Manchester, in the UK.
  • Tanty2Tanty2 Posts: 146
    Hi David - I'm on the east coast of Scotland on top of a cliff so prey to all the winds, frosts, snow and rain imaginable and it's regularly several degrees below freezing for most of the winter.  I plant my alstroemeria in the ground and do absolutely nothing.  They thrive :)  You could mulch them the first winter they're in the ground, but apart from that, you really don't have to worry unless they're specifically marked as not being hardy.  Some of mine are in flower today!   Other advice is right - do make sure the soil is free draining.  The golden rule with alstroemeria is never to cut them - if you want to take flowers for the house, or remove dead stems, always pull them away, never cut.  Pulling them out promotes new growth.  For healthy happy plants, have a look at HW Hyde.  If you're going to keep them in pots, make sure the pots are raised off the ground so they can drain properly.
  • Thank you Tanty2. They're now living outside covered in fleece with the pots wrapped in bubble wrap. In the spring I'll move them from the pots and into the garden to a nice spot I've already prepared. From there on I'm looking forward to a fantastic season full of beautiful flowers. Thanks again. David.
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