Alstroemeria ‘Tassie Tiger’
Flowers galore! As Alstroemeria ‘Tassie Tiger’ produces wonderful bunches of blooms for so many months.
Bunches of cream & pink blooms for months
Alstroemeria ‘Tassie Tiger’ blooms have the prettiest soft colours of cream and pink.
But each also flashes a golden yellow throat spotted with dark marks, just to keep it interesting.
(The spots are actually the landing strip markings for our pollinating insect friends).
Alstroemeria ‘Tassie Tiger’ begins blooming in spring and continues with flushes right through summer, autumn and into winter.
So this reliable old florist’s variety provides wonderful colour for both garden and vase.
I originally bought ‘Tassie Tiger’ in Salamanca Market in Hobart, from one of Tasmania’s traditional growers who grew all his florists flowers in open fields.
A hardy all-rounder
Although fickle floristry fashion has now moved on to more glamorous hot house varieties, hardy old Alstroemeria ‘Tassie Tiger’ is still a firm favourite with practical gardeners.
Because it is such a reliable all rounder for both vase and garden.
In the garden it is a neat and compact grower, and bunches of blooms will last at least a fortnight in a vase.
They have no scent, so do not become musty smelling after a long vase life.
Hardy & tough in the garden
Full Sun is the preferred position for Alstroemerias, because it promotes stronger flower stems.
Though Alstroemeria are hardy and adaptable to a variety of conditions.
So they can still grow happily in 1/2 Shade, Dappled Sun and Shade, though they will be a little floppy with more shade.
Reliable old florist’s variety
These wonderful old florist’s varieties can be relied on for good performance.
In areas with very hot summers, some Dappled Shade or Shade for part of day is an advantage, to keep the fleshy tubers blooming well. A good summer mulch is a real help in hot areas.
Frost hardy down to approximately -6C, but with overhead shelter from trees they can do even better than that.
In very hard frost areas a mulch over winter will also help protect the crowns.
Alstroemeria are not a bit fussy about soil, though they must have good soil drainage so the fleshy roots do not rot.
Because they are such abundant producers of blooms, they do need some fertilizer during the long growing season.
Alstroemeria tolerate humidity quite well, and so do well in subtropical areas such as Sydney.
Low maintenance and easy care
Alstroemerias are very low maintenance, hardy and easy plants.
The only work required is to tidy up over winter by cutting back any old stems to ground level.
Clumps last for many years in the garden, so some slow release fertilizer in the growing season will reward with abundant blooms. Though Alstroemeria clumps have been known to persist for decades even when abandoned.
Because their fleshy, tuberous root systems allow them to store water and nutrients ready to survive tough times, and withstand periods of dry so well. A mulch over winter is an advantage in hard frost areas.
Cutting for the vase
Twist and pull the stems upwards to harvest from the crown, rather than cutting. This promotes rapid regeneration of flower stems and keeps the clump healthy.
Growing: Alstroemeria ‘Tassie Tiger’
– Height with flowers: 90cm approx.
– Position: Full Sun to 1/2 Shade
– Soil: Happily tolerate sandy soils to heavy clay, as long as it is well drained. Will rot in waterlogged soil because of the fleshy tuberous roots. Or raise the planting mound in heavier soils to give better drainage.
– Frost: Hardy down to approximately -6C, but with overhead shelter from trees can do even better. In hard frost areas mulch in winter.
– Growth: Hardy herbaceous perennial.
– Beware: Wear gloves when cutting, as the tulipalin compound in the sap may cause skin irritation in susceptible people. Do not plant the species Alstroemeria psittacina, as it is an invasive, declared noxious weed.
– Beneficial to wildlife: The long blooming period gives a steady supply of food to nectar and pollen gathering bees, birds and butterflies. The Alstroemeria flowers make it easy for our insect friends to zoom in accurately, using those handy landing strip markings on the petals.
Easy work & resilient
– Care: Very easy low maintenance, only requiring some fertilizer during the growing season, and a winter trim to the ground to tidy. In very hot summer areas mulch in summer. In hard frost areas mulch in winter.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: The whole plant contains a toxin called called tulipalin which burns the mouth. So rabbits and deer are wise enough to leave them alone.
– Origin:Alstroemeria are native to South America, particularly in Chile and Peru. Hence their common names of ‘Peruvian Lily’, ‘Lily of the Incas’ or ‘Parrot Lily’.
The name Alstroemeria commemorates a gardening hero – Claus von Alstomer. Claus was wise enough in 1753 to send some Alstroemeria seed home to Sweden from Spain, where he had spotted the spectacular flowers of recent introductions from the Spanish conquests in South America.
Myths & legends
– Myths & legends: Tradition says that each of the six Alstroemeria petals represents a special desirable quality: understanding, humour, patience, empathy, commitment and respect.