What is the Peruvian Lilies Meaning?

5 min read

Peruvian lilies also go by the name Alstroemeria or the Lily of the Incas. It is a flower that is native to South America, specifically the mountain ranges of Chile, Peru, and Brazil, but in modern times has been naturalized to the likes of America, the Canary Islands, Australia, and New Zealand.

It is a beautiful flower that, while dainty in its infancy, can grow up to 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide when fully grown.

We’re going to talk a little bit about this flower, here is what you can expect to learn:

• The history of Peruvian Lilies.
• What Peruvian Lilies represent.
• How to grow Peruvian Lilies.
• When should you gift Peruvian Lilies?

The History of Peruvian Lilies

Earlier, we mentioned how Peruvian lilies are also sometimes called Alstroemeria, and that name comes from the botanist who introduced the flower to Europe.

During the 18th Century, Swedish botanist Baron Von Alstroemer took a trip to South America, during which he collected seeds of the Peruvian lily, and returned to Europe with them.

The flower was an immediate success in Europe due to its appealing appearance, and botanists began to cultivate it even more.

What Peruvian Lilies Represent

Lilies are one of the most recognized flowers that carry with them special meaning. Typically, lilies are a symbol of honor, or grace, although these meanings change depending on the region and culture.

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Peruvian lilies, on the other hand, have a different meaning. These flowers represent devotion, friendship, and achievement.

How to Grow Peruvian Lilies

Peruvian lilies are late spring bloomers and fall under the perennial variety of flowers. You can get them in a myriad of different colors, from pinks to oranges, whites to reds, so if you plan on planting them, chances are that it comes in a color suitable for your garden.

You can plant Peruvian lilies from a bulb or from seed. Both of these should be easily available from your local gardening center, but if not, you can order the seeds online.

The flower is especially invasive, so you need to plot out a space for it that is away from other flowers. We mentioned that it grows to 4 feet high and 2 feet wide, so you need to take that into consideration while picking out a plot for these lilies.

Peruvian lilies are partial to a soil that is slightly acidic, and like the soil it’s planted in to be well-drained, so make sure, at the very least, that you aren’t planting these in an alkaline soil. You can plant them in soil that isn’t ideal, like sandy soil, just be sure to plant them deeper and to help the soil along with more fertilizer and compost.

The flower likes both the sun and shade, so if you have a spot that gets a midday sun, and shade in the mornings and evenings, plant them there. If you live in a particularly hot climate, consider planting them in a better-shaded area.

Peruvian Lilies are fairly easy to grow, and shouldn’t give you much hassle when it comes to caring for them.

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Provide the flower with a balanced fertilizer mix a few times throughout the year and provide an annual application of mulch to its soil.

The lily likes plenty of water, especially in hot climates, but be sure not to overwater and drown the plant.

The most work that this plant is going to require you to do comes in the form of pruning. If the plant happens to dry out, you can cut them back down to 4 inches, at which point it should be much easier for it to recover.

You’re also going to have to do some pruning on the leaves. Keep an eye on the flower, and if you notice any leaves starting to yellow, make sure you pinch or cut them off. Otherwise, you risk your flower dying.

Peruvian lilies are also prone to a variety of common garden diseases, so make sure you’re keeping an eye out for those along with your other plants.

While Peruvian lilies may be perennials, the flower still does not like the cold. So for the winter, if you can, it is recommended that you dig the flowers up and store them somewhere that is between 35- and 41-degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in an area with a temperate climate, then you might get these temperatures outdoors naturally, but if not, you’re going to need to relocate the flowers.

When Should You Gift Peruvian Lilies?

Peruvian lilies caught on rapidly once it was introduced to Europe, and there is a very good reason for that. The flower comes in a stunning array of colors, and the bloom of the flowerhead looks wonderful.

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This means that you can, realistically, gift a Peruvian lily for any occasion. Whether as a part of a bouquet or gifting a bouquet made up entirely of the lily, it is a beautiful flower that nearly anyone would be delighted to receive.

However, you may want to be a bit more sentimental with the flower. In that case, reference back to earlier when we talked about the meaning and symbolism behind the Peruvian lily.

The flower represents three things: friendship, devotion, and achievement.

So, you could give the flower to a friend, as a symbol of friendship or admiration. However, a more common use of the flower is to gift it to a lover, representing both devotion and friendship to the person.

On the flip side, you can gift the flower to someone who has just achieved something great, like passing their driving test or graduating.

So, long story short, you can give the flower to anyone as a nice-looking bouquet, to a friend or a lover, or to someone to say well done!

Wrapping Up

There you have it. Hopefully, you learned a little here about the Peruvian lily.

The flower is beautiful, and has such a pure meaning and symbology, making it a great gift for a lover, so if you want to get your partner a little gift, why not go with Peruvian Lilies.