Looking for a low-maintenance flowering plant that produces vivid, colorful blooms from early spring until frost? Let us introduce you to the perennial Colorita flower! We think you will fall in love with this beautiful plant. It’s a showpiece that is certain to impress visitors or passersby. In addition to its beauty, growing Colorita flowers in your flower garden or on your deck will attract hummingbirds.
The Colorita plant has deciduous and evergreen varieties. It is a perennial plant native to South America. Growing 12 to 15 inches tall, it will look spectacular in your flower garden, or in a planter on your patio or deck. The plant has attractive, lush, dark green foliage. The bright, colorful, long-lasting flowers grow atop sturdy stems, making them a popular cut flower. The flowers are azalea-like, available in a wide range of colors, including orange, pink, red, rose, white, and two-toned.
Plant Height: 12″ – 15″
Other Plant Names: Peruvian Lily, Parrot Lily, Princess Lily, Lily of the Incas
Flowers Bloom: Early spring throughout the growing season up until the first frost.
Garden Tip: Keep soil moist, but not wet or soggy. Wet soils can result in root rot.
Colorita plants are grown from tuberous rhizomes or from seeds. If you prefer to buy them, they are readily available in most garden stores in the spring.
Gardeners most often propagate new plants from Colorita rhizomes. You can dig up and separate clumps, or dig them up and separate the rhizomes. Do so carefully. Mound the soil slightly around the planting site to promote good soil drainage. Set the rhizomes on top of the mound and cover them with 2 inches of rich garden soil. Tamp down the soil lightly. Make certain that any stems or shoots protruding from the rhizomes are above the surface of the soil. Water lightly.
Colorita plants can also be grown from seed. The trick is to harvest mature, dry seeds. It is essential that the Colorita seeds are properly dried. This could take several weeks. Store seeds in a cool, dry place until spring. Some growers put the seeds in the freezer for a month or two. Just before planting, rough up the outside seed shell with a fine sandpaper or emery board. Soak seeds overnight.
Colorita are an easy to grow, low maintenance plant..
The plants prefer full to partial sunlight.
The plants grow best in rich soil. Good drainage is essential, as the rhizomes can easily rot or get diseases in wet or soggy soils. If grown in planters, use a planter that has a drainage hole in the bottom..
Water as needed, to maintain moist to slightly dry soil.
Container grown plants – Plants grown in containers have a limited source of nutrients and the soil in planters dries out quickly. Fertilize the plants every 3 to four weeks. Liquid fertilizer works well. During hot, dry summer weather, you may need to water the plants every day.
Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0.
Deadhead spent flowers, to promote more blooms.
Perennial Colorita plants are seldom bothered by insects and disease.
Keep an insecticidal soap handy for the occasional aphid or spider mite infestation.
Rhizome root rot and root fungal diseases are common in wet soils. This includes fungal disease, mosaic virus, and blights. Keeping the soil moist to partly dry helps minimize these problems.
No over-wintering is needed in warm weather areas. Your Colorita flowers will grow year-round. In colder areas, these perennial plants die back after the first frost in the fall and can be cut back down to the soil level. In some areas, you can leave the rhizomes in the ground and cover them with a heavy layer of mulch.
The further north you live, the more likely you will need to do more to tuck your plants away for the winter. In cold, northerly climates, there are several ways you can overwinter the plants. For plants in containers move them into a garage. You can also bring container plants indoors for the winter. Caution: check carefully to be sure no insects are looking for a free ride into your warm home. In addition, you can carefully dig up the rhizomes. Next, place the rhizomes in slightly moist soil or peat moss. Then, place them in a completely cool, dark area of your basement. Using this method, you should check the plants for any signs of mold or premature sprouting.