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How to grow lily of the valley

Overview

Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) is a woodland plant, much valued for its fragrant summer flowers. Its low, spreading habit also makes it ideal for growing as a ground cover plant. Convallaria thrives in a moist, shaded spot, and gradually spreads to form dense clumps of lush, green foliage.

Newly planted Convallaria struggles to grow in cold, wet conditions, so it pays to plant the crowns into pots during March, then grow them on indoors before planting out. By mid-May they'll be sufficiently developed to plant in your borders. This head start will increase the likelihood of flowers in the same year.


How to do it

Growing lily of the valley: lily of the valley crowns

1

Lily of the valley crowns are available in garden centres or online, at around £4 for 15. They’re hard to establish in cold, wet soil outside, so plant in pots first.


Growing lily of the valley: soak before planting

Soak roots in water for half an hour if they look dry. Carefully separate into individual crowns, each with a shoot and set of roots. Plant one per 7-8cm pot.

Growing lily of the valley: planting in pots

Fill the pot with compost, leaving the shoot just above the surface. Water, then place in a cool greenhouse. Keep watering and plant out once the roots fill the pot.

Growing lily of the valley: flowers in summer

Plant in March for fragrant flowers in summer.



Discuss this project

Talkback: How to grow lily of the valley
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gardengnome2 07/03/2013 at 21:51

Help ! i have loads of leaves and very few flowers. What am i doing wrong?

7894982628 07/03/2013 at 22:34

Could I grow twelve Lily of the Valley bulbs in a large pot and keep it from year to year?

Verdun 08/03/2013 at 00:03

I think lily of the valley is a temperamental thing...it grows where IT wants to and when it chooses. It's devilishly difficult to start...it seems...and then devilishly difficult to erase. I now no longer want it..it trawls underground straying from where it once was. Ok, the question......will it grow in a pot? Not sure it will unless it's given adequate moisture without drying out and out of strong sun and if it as the will to grow in one. I will try it though when I dig up some of my clumps. Most of us struggle to grow lily of,the valley according to the info I read

Gardening Grandma 08/03/2013 at 10:18

I once had a garden where lily of the valley had become a weed. But, then, I suppose weeding is just part of gardening, the process of choosing which plants one chooses to allow in one's garden.

I have read that it is best to plant them where their roots are confined and they can't spread too much and that they do fine in pots. i have no personal experience of this. They like moist soil and don't mind quite deep shade, but also survive in sun.

7894982628 16/03/2013 at 22:56

Ok thanx for that ....I will plant some in a large urn and just leave them undisturbed and see what happens