Alstroemeria 'Inca Ice'- reliably hardy in z5?

christinmk z5b eastern WAApril 28, 2012

We just got this in at the nursery I am working at. This cultivar is reputed to be hardy in zone 5. Just curious to know how well it has done for others in my zone and if it has been totally hardy. I'm kind of debating weather or not to get one or not... While I've always wanted to try Alstroemeria, I am not entirely convinced by the fleshy apricot color (slightly wishy-washy, though it could be because it has been in our greenhouse and not exposed to real sunlight yet) of this particular cultivar, or the "reliably hardy in z5" comments, lol. Yeah, I have fallen for that line before ;-)

Anyhoo, wanted to know if anyone here grew and had actual experience with it it and what their general opinion was of it. Also, how do you think it stacks up against A. 'Sweet Laura', which I have read is also another cultivar stated to be hardy in z5 and possibly lower?



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I've found all alstro's to be reliably hardy here on the border of 5a and 6b with just a little extra work. What I have done with mine is to cut off the stalks after frost kills them, throw a piece of styrofoam over the clump (I used to save packing foam from boxes, or you could cut up a sheet of foam insulation from the hardware store), and then put a mulch of leaves, at least 6", over the foam. They always made it through the winter that way, I never lost any to cold, although several times I would lose nearly an entire clump to voles that would tunnel under there and eat them -- fortunately a few sprigs always seem to survive.

And, FWIW, I also have found them easy to overwinter in pots just by stopping water and drying them out in the fall, and then storing the whole pot dark and completely dry all winter in the basement at around 60 degrees. By the time spring rolls around, April, the pots always have the first thin white sprouts poking up. Put them out in the light, water, and viola, instant regrowth.

I haven't every grown that particular one, I started with Sweet Laura and a couple of florist's potted ones and went from there. I think I actually like the dwarf types the best, as they are very free flowering and the mounding habit looks good with other perennials and annuals.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 2:48PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

wanted to know if anyone here grew and had actual experience with it it and what their general opinion was of it.

==>> so what.. WAG's arent good enough of you now???



ps: how about this.. if you have to ask.. then its not RELIABLY hardy ... and that is the key word ..

if you want to play the zone pushing game.. then all the power to ya.. but sooner or later.. z5 will have a z4 winter.. and you will have 'reliably' lost it ...

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 3:31PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-denninmi, thank YOU for the information. I will be sure to do a generous mulching/plant in a sheltered spot if I end up getting one.

-Ken, so basically you have NO experience with the hardy Alstroemerias??? Why comment then??

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 12:39PM
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Dont grow it myself - Alstroemeria can be extremely weedy in my area - but Walters Gardens, located in Michigan, has been trialing it for several years and they seem to think it's great. I'd assume if hardy in MI, it'll be hardy for you in Spokane, Chris :-)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 7:24PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-Pam, that is good info, thanks! I didn't know it had been trialed for so long in a similar zone- that does make me feel better about giving it a whirl then, lol!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 8:40PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

I couldn't help myself. After debating it for awhile I decided to get one. The color seems a bit darker out of the greenhouse by the way.

Will comment next year on weather or not it makes it!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 9:45PM
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Hi! I did not see a follow-up, but I hope yours made it through it's first winter.

Just wanted to share my personal experience with that lovely plant. I live near Ottawa, Canada, in what would probably be a USDA zone 4. Anyhow, mine survived it's first winter... and it was a very cold one! But It was planted in a relatively sheltered area, in fairly rich and very well drained soil and protected over the winter with a small styrofoam cone (made for roses) stuffed with dry leaves, just to make sure. When I removed the protection in late March-early April, it was already showing a couple of pale shoots sprouting out of the ground a few inches away from the initial clump, so I was VERY excited,,, but these quickly seemed to decline and died. Maybe the roots were too damaged by the cold to sustain such enthusdiasm?

Anyway, fortunately, it came back near the center and it seems to be doing well for now. No flowers yet, but maybe in a couple of weeks? My fingers are crossed.

So, long story short, if it survives the winter here, it must be pretty hardy!

This post was edited by jardinomane on Thu, Jul 4, 13 at 13:02

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 12:57PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Just the fact it made it through the first winter is a good sign. I saw a couple of these online and they really are nice, good to know they should be hardy too. Looks like there's another plant added to the wish list!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 9:46AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Yep, mine came back okay. It was pretty dinky though- much smaller than last year. I dug up one section to try elsewhere and the roots were HUGE. I mean massive, which was surprising since the above-ground plant was so tiny.

My co-worker got one too and said hers is pretty big. So I'm thinking I might have put it in the wrong conditions first time round. Who knows...

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 11:05AM
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Thanks for the update on this. I have read about these, but haven't seen them for sale around here or seen anyone growing them, so an update like this is really helpful. I may start with denninmi's strategy of growing it in pots, and then storing the pots, and only try one plant in the ground.

The color of this one looks like it would do well with some of the burgandy foliage that is currently on the combinations 2013 thread.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 1:51PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Update: dead. ;-(

I thought I saw signs of life early this spring, but maybe not. Both of my co-workers said theirs didn't make it either. I'm thinking the wet winter/spring "did it in". Maybe a couple cold nights without snow cover contributed...

Bummer. I just loved the color on this baby.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 2:04PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Update from NH.......dead. Was really hoping for this one. Might be tempted to try it again in a different location.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 9:01PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-Susan, that stinks yours died too. Did you mulch yours? Open or sheltered site?

Mine was planted in a semi-micro-climate (at least a zone higher), no mulch. Not sure that would have made a difference or not.

It makes me curious about the other hardy alstros out there. Maybe I will give a different cultivar a try another time- Lazy S'S seem to have several...

Here is a link that might be useful: alstros at Lazy S'S

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 11:04PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Christin, you be the guinea pig, OK? LOL!
Mine was fairly sheltered, no mulch and I didn't see any vole activity in that area either.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 2:36PM
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