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Hi,  I have been trying to establish lily of the valley for some years now.

I have a few that come out every year, planted under a bush with sun/partial shade, however, I thought they spread?


Any tips on how to get these going stronger?  Thanks


I had at least three goes to get these going. Not even sure they are now. My childhood home had great patches of it. Spread like mad. 

Jean Genie

Ava, I have some in a pot and like Nutcutlet says , once established , it will spread like crazy. The first year I planted it nothing happened but I was advised to leave it until the following year . Glad I did because now it comes up every year and has grown into a nice clump.

They don't like rich soil and I have never fed mine or re-potted it but it comes up and flowers every year now.

Maybe you could try doing this and transplant it once estabished ?


Good idea, I should have done that. You can supervise them better in pots

Jean Genie

I tend to treat them like nasturtiums. They seem to thrive on poor soil. Just thinking about the amount of time they've been in that pot - must be about 4 years now

Maybe I'll re-pot them in the Spring. Do agree though - they are hard to get going.


For me they are like weeds now after years of trying to establish them. They are a bit invasive. Aren't we odd? When we can't grow something we complain, then when they grow too well we complain?.

There are a number of invasive plants I've had trouble starting. Chinese lanterns and japanese anemones are 2 of them. Chines lanterns have invaded but I still lack a good clump of the anemone. 

Nutcutlet, try new anemone wild swan instead of jap ones. It's superb

Just did a search, love the colour on the back of the petals. That'll be one for the next season.

It is brilliant white and a beautiful blue on the reverse which means it looks good "from the back" too. Flowered for ages with me.
flowering rose

I have them in the garden from when we came here,but they are on the decline.They like damp shady spots and do not like being disturbed and of course sometimes they need thinning out.if you leave them alone ,they will spread .


Thanks to you all, wonderful tips - looks like I have been trying to hard and spoiling them so great tips - I will try some in a pot and ignor them x 


Jean - thanks I have a small little clump and do reappear so I shall leave them alone if they make an appearance this year (hope so)!

I too have lily of the valley and chinese lanterns which have spread yards along the border, also into the lawn which hubby moans about so he just mows them off as he does with everthing which droops over onto the lawn. The lily of the valley are in several locations in the garden from full sun to shade so I cannot say how best to grow them as I don't do anything to them. They just come up every spring, sorry not to be more helpful. 



Ava they will reappear if they've done it before for you.

Mine are in poor soil- that seems to be the trick- but at the front of a hot slope, so in sun but also get any moisture draining down.Thug-like tendency, but easily pulled out of the adjacent paving!

Seeing it growing wild in the woods in Austria, which has a high rainfall, in both sun & shade! J.


Thanks all

Well, Lilly of the Valley is not that particular about soil, it prefers areas that are moist and well drained. During periods of drought, adding mulch to these perennials along with occasional watering will keep them happy. If they are growing under shrubs and trees, a yearly application of fertilizer can be beneficial.

I love Lilly of the Valley but the pips are really expensive so I asked on my local branch of Freegle (Recycling/reuse forum) and got quite a clump of them and as they were free put them in a pot at the end of my box hedge so don't know if it's survived yet but if it doesn't I managed to get some at my local 99p shop along with Gooseberry and Blackberry plants.

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