The tia plant is short for the Alstroemeria tiara, a perennial flower native to South America. The tiara is a hybrid of Alstroemeria that grows to over three feet tall and comes in a wide variety of colors, from cream to deep red, according to information published by North Carolina State University. The flower petals usually feature darker colored markings. Tia plants are popular as cut flowers due to the fact that they live for a long time in a vase. They are often called Peruvian Lilies .
Tias can be planted in any climate where the temperature does not drop below 23 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point the bulbs will be injured, according to information published by North Carolina State University. In such climates, the bulbs can be dug up and stored over the winter in a warmer location. Alternately, the flowers can be planted in containers and brought indoors when cold weather threatens.
These flowers bloom best when exposed to a full day's worth of sun. Morning sunlight is best, and a location that receives some dappled afternoon shade will benefit those tia plants grown in warmer climates, such as United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) growing zones 8 through 11.
Alstroemeria plants in general need plenty of water, according to information published by Weidner's, and the tia cultivar is no exception. Too little water, and the graceful leaves of the flower will turn a brownish-yellow color. Keep the soil moist and cool, but not muddy or so wet that the flower is surrounded by standing water, which can rot the delicate tuber. Stop watering in the fall when the foliage dies down and the plant goes dormant.
Fertilize your tia plants each month during the growing season (spring and summer) with a water-soluble bulb fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the label as per the size of your planting area. Stop fertilizing in early fall.
Alstroemerias should be cut on a regular basis. Not only do they last a long time as cut flowers, but also the more they are cut, the more flowers the plant produces. Do not let the flowers go to seed, as this wastes the bulb's energy. Note that if you live in a climate where you can leave the tubers in the ground, they will spread rapidly and quickly fill an area in your garden. Unlike many bulbs and tubers, they do not like to be divided.