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19 messages
11/04/2014 at 02:08


I have searched the internet for an answer and have got nothing... I really hope someone can help. (I don't know why pics keep uploading sideways)... this lily of the valley keeps showing little tiny crystal like things in the soil. When I water, they disappear and then come back... I have not used any fertiliser on them or anything but I am wandering if the garden centre did before I bought them?

How should I care for this plant? Should I plant it outside or?


11/04/2014 at 06:39

I suspect the crystals are water retaining gel used by growers to conserve moisture in the pots.

Yes, plant the poor thing outside - it won't be at all happy indoors - it needs moist humus-rich soil in a fairly shady place - if you can get the conditions right it'll spread and you'll have a carpet of fragrant flowers in springs to come. 

11/04/2014 at 07:56

Dove, what kind of soil do they like; they grew like anything in my London garden on a baking hot rockery; here in the Fens, carefully planted in a moist shady area they just die

11/04/2014 at 08:07

Lily of the valley became a weed in my garden so I am trying to eradicate them.  They are not the best behaved 

They don't really like it too dry or hot, for me.  Good soil and they will romp 

11/04/2014 at 08:08

Hi Artjak

At my granny's garden when I was a child, they ran rampant on well-drained loam with a lot of leafmould in a north facing bed against the house where they got dripped on by inefficient guttering.

 When we left our last place I'd just about got them going in well-drained city dirt with the addition of lots of compost, FYM, and leafmould, this time in a northfacing garden against a shed wall with a constantly dripping gutter.

I've not yet decided where to try them here - the guttering is too good.  

The constant factors seem to be leafmould and drips. 

11/04/2014 at 08:11

I've never really got them established here. In my mother's garden they were rampant, very hard, dry, gravelly soil but in the shade.


11/04/2014 at 08:12

Oh good - I've got a leaky overflow...

I meant the house...

Plenty of drips living round here Dove, I just  need the leaf mould!  

11/04/2014 at 10:49

I've got leaf mould, just need a drip! 

I find them quite hard to grow, but in my mums or nans garden they just went on and on 

11/04/2014 at 21:00

Right, I'll put it in the garden then... ha-ha! I read that they couldn't be put into the garden until after their first flower, but I think you're right... it's not doing well inside!!!

11/04/2014 at 21:20

I could never grow them at our last house but when we moved we discovered some growing in a small shaded area near the house wall and they're thriving, fingers crossed, and I leave them alone so hopefully that'll continue.

11/04/2014 at 22:16

Hopefully, summerwine . I'll pop mine outside this weekend, I might plant it in a shaded corner of the rockery?

11/04/2014 at 23:03

Seems they are just a plant for mums and grans then!.  Mine are in a pot and are up only about one inch. Maybe when I am older?

11/04/2014 at 23:24

Looks that way!!

12/04/2014 at 11:11

Tried in the past to grow this, with zero success. Some time ago I accquired an old metal planter thing and they were in there! Just starting to see the new shoots now.

I still have the same dilemma.......leave them be and enjoy them where they are? Or move and plant out but don't want to kill them. Anyone know whether you can split/divide them?


12/04/2014 at 11:20

From my experience, Lily of the valley has no 'mid ground';  It either won't establish and dies on you or decides to invade your garden taking no prisoners!  A bit like an awkward child really - you either can't get them into their bed at night or can't get them out of it in the morning!

12/04/2014 at 11:33

Think I might leave them be for a while longer and contemplate the same question at a later stage

12/04/2014 at 16:03

I'm giving up on mine hollie hock!! I've just left it in it's pot... I'll see what happens!

12/04/2014 at 16:10

I've got a lot in a dry bed with ferns, gets some sun but not much, soil isn't brill. I planted a root a few years 6 ? and no show then last year it performed. It isn't in a bed where it can really spread anywhere else unless it can strangle conifers  

I think it's like mint, it either grows like billio or won't grow.

Only reason I wanted it was because my Grandma was named Lily.  

12/04/2014 at 16:17

Bob - I have one of each of those children ! 

I love lily of the valley and I'm always meaning to get it. I like a challenge...

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