I have just ordered some interesting looking alstroemerias with variegated foliage called 'Spitfire'. Could anyone give me tips on growing them - best soil, position etc. Can you put them outside straight away when they arrive in March (as 5cm plugs) or do you have to keep them in the greenhouse? Also in the winter when flowering is over, can you keep them outside?
They are beautiful! I grow them outside all year in the south east but they need good drainage to overwinter in the ground as winter wet will kill them before the cold does. They could also be grown in pots and over wintered in a frost free greenhouse. As they are supplied as plugs I would pot them up and grow on in a cool greenhouse until after the last frosts this year then put them in full sun/ light shade.
I have had one for about 9 months; in a pot, in the g/house, it has not stopped flowering I think next year I will pot it on and harden it off, then have it outside in the summer. Just read in Sarah Raven (very expensive) plant catalogue that to pick them you pull from the base as with rhubarb. Will try that. Mine is 'rhubarb and custard' and is very pretty. As cut flowers they last for ages.
Thank you. I will grow them on in the greenhouse and plant out in June as suggested and overwinter in the greenhouse. They are a bit too expensive to risk losing.
Ive also been thinking about buying an alstroemeria to put in my nans garden, does anyone have any very reliable and paler coloured ones they'd like to recommend?