Jane McGary
Thu, 01 Jun 2006 15:28:15 PDT
Jim Waddick reported on his success keeping hybrid alstroemerias in the 
greenhouse for setting out after frost.

Last summer I decided to trial some of the new "Princess" series of alstro 
hybrids, which are short-growing bedding plants. I bought half a dozen 
forms (a considerable investment) and planted them in what should be a 
perfect site. Unfortunately, not a single one made it through the winter, 
during which the low was 17 degrees F without snow cover.

I think these pretty plants have A. pelegrina in their ancestry (the bright 
green, glossy, rather succulent leaves of most forms suggest this), and 
that is a very tender species that grows right on the coast. Thus, Jim's 
management technique may be the only way for those of us in cooler regions 
to enjoy "Princess" alstros.

I did keep a piece of one gorgeous purple one (I suspected the color alone 
indicated tender ancestry, e.g. A. paupercula) in a pot indoors and it's 
now flowering.

Fortunately there are hardier species available, some of which I've grown 
outdoors for 4 or 5 years, but they tend to be big and lax in habit. I 
don't know if there are hybrids exclusively from these tougher ones.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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