Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Princess Lilies -- Perennial in Zone 6

Not all alstroemerias are alike. I have been enjoying my Princess lilies (alstroemeria hybrids from Holland) over the past 6 years. They have been surprisingly winter hardy in zone 6-b where I garden. Further south in zones 7 and 8, Princess lilies prefer part sun to partial shade.

I grow'em on the east side of the garden in full sun. The harsh afternoon sun of summer is filtered through the tall shrubs and trees nearby. Mulching the soil provides extra freeze protection to roots in the winter and guarantees their return next spring.

Princess lilies need little care after planting. I feed'em a handful of granular 10-10-10 around each plant in late winter. Give them a weekly irrigation for 1/2 hour or more during summer dry spells. Plants grow short and compact and are also suitable for containers on the deck or patio.

Currently, there are 17 varieties, richly colored in whites, yellows, pinks and reds. This spring I will be adding 1 or 2 new Princess lilies to the perennial flower border .

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