How to grow lily of the valley

How to grow lily of the valley

We show you how to grow this delightfully scented spring-summer perennial.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is not at its best in January

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is not at its best in April

Plant is not at its best in May

Plant is at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is not at its best in September

Plant is not at its best in October

Plant is not at its best in November

Plant is not at its best in December

To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

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.

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Discover how to grow richly-scented lily of the valley, below.

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You Will Need

  • Lily of the valley crowns
  • Pots
  • Multi-purpose, peat-free compost

Total time:

Step 1

Lily of the valley bulbs
Lily of the valley bulbs

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.

Step 2

Planting lily of the valley bulbs in pots
Planting lily of the valley bulbs in pots

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.

Step 3

Watering the lily of the valley bulbs
Watering the lily of the valley bulbs

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.

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