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I really love these but have never managed to grow them in my own garden. I buy from reputable sellers, have tried direct in ground and in pots/troughs but never had any grow. What am I doing wrong? In desperation I am having some from my neighbour's garden in the hope that, if they grow there, they will grow here

You're not alone. Although they have a reputation for spreading it took me 3 goes to get them started. 

Lily of the valley either doesnt seem to grow or it will become a weed. For years I tried to grow it ..without success. Now I am removing it. It needs not to be disturbed and to be, in my opinion, growing in good moist soil or at least that doesn't dry out. Also maybe out of direct sun
Bunny ...
Mine came amongst loosestrife from a friend of OH , it is in sun from late morning, I have clay soil but area it is in has hoggin/stone amongst , stays moist there .
Caro Klein says they're fickle as well.

Sorry, you'll have to copy and paste link.

I'm trying again this year with some clumps from a friend's garden, some are in the shady Borders and I'm also experimenting with forcing some in pots in the greenhouse.


Jean Genie

I bought my lily of the valley from poundland as a bare root and put it in a pot as I've heard it can be very invasive. Nothing happened the first year and I was advised to leave it alone until the following year.

It's now grown into a nice clump and comes up every year. Mine have never been fed as they enjoy poor soil  conditions and like to kept on the dry side, I agree they are tricky to get going but are well worth the effort . Mine seem to thrive on neglect.

Thanks all - I'll just keep trying!  Our soil here is very stoney clay, very wet through the winter but dries out quickly/cracks in summer. First year in this property so the entire garden needs attention!

I have fond memories of lilly of the vally from when I was a child - my dad grew a lovely clump of them under a Forsythia.

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