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Growing Lily-of-the-Valley

Botanical Name:

Convallaria majalis

Life Cycle:

perennial

Planting Time:

early spring or fall

Height:

12"

Exposure:

full to partial shade
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Soil:

average soil

Hardiness:

zones 4-8

Bloom Time:

spring

Flower:

fragrant, tiny white, bell-shaped flowers

Foliage:

green, blade-like leaves

Propagation:

division (any season)

Suggested Use:

ground cover, shade gardens, fragrant cut flowers, and fillers

Growing Hints:

Start with purchased plants in early spring or fall. Plants should be spaced about 4 inches apart. Plants will benefit if mulched with 2-3 inches of compost to keep soil moist. Once established, Lily-of-the-Valley spreads slowly underground and can be propagated by dividing clumps of pips when plants are dormant in the spring or fall. These plants can become invasive and "take over" areas if not kept within boundaries.

Interesting Facts:

Lily-of-the Valley are often used in wedding bouquets for their fragrant delicate flowers that are not only white, but shaped like wedding bells.
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8 More Solutions

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Three words that describe lily-of the-valley are beautiful, reliable, and fragrant. Its delightful sweet smelling, spring flowers are reason enough to grow them, but lily-of the-valley also offers reliable solutions to problem areas of the garden.

White bell-like flowers of Lily-of-the-Valley

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 5, 2017

I live in Massachusetts; do I need to cut back my lily of the valley patch? It is fall and a lot of the leaves have died back or are turning yellow.

Some are still green. This is a new house, new garden, I don't want to kill anything! Thanks!

Answers

October 6, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Living in Massachusetts you will need to prepare these plants for winter.

  1. October is the best month to start preparing your lily of the valley plants for winter.
  2. Cut back any diseased or dead foliage.
  3. If there are small stands on the plant, cut all the top foliage off. You can cut these down to the ground level to keep your garden looking good during the winter months.
  4. It isn't necessary to cut back all the foliage on the plants. If the leaves are green, just leave them. They will either die or remain green during the winter months.
  5. If you have a large plant, cutting it all the way back to the soil isn't necessary. Leave the plant and let it remain like it is, so that it will feed your soil.
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October 10, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

These are hardy plants that thrive in USDA zones 2-7/9. Your plants should not require very much care except occasional trimming of dead or yellow leaves.

  • You can cut/trim the yellow or dead leaves almost to the ground but leave the green leaves unless you just wish to cut the entire plant back.
  • If left intact, the deciduous leaves turn a lovely golden hue in the fall, accompanied by colorful (but inedible) orange berries.
  • Allow the foliage to remain after blooming as this will feed the pips for more flowers in the next spring.
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June 18, 2013

I'm painting my house and want to mow down the lily of the valley and weeds. Will they return next year if I mow?

By T.

Answers

June 25, 20130 found this helpful

Yes you can. I mow mine down a few months after they bloom. They have always come back. Also,remember to divide them every few years. They multiply fairly fast. Aren't they beautiful when they are in bloom! Good luck with your painting. I hope it is not as hot there as it is here in Ms. Kathy

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June 5, 2019

Can lily of the valley be cut back after blooming or do you have some type of weed control for lily of the valley?


Answers

June 5, 20190 found this helpful

Leave the foliage alone. Lily of the Valley is easy to grow

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Anonymous
June 12, 20190 found this helpful

Lily of the valley can be quite evasive. It also is poisonous to animals. I started with a small amount and now it has taken over in a section of my garden. I have never cut them back, but at the rate theyre growing might just be digging some up to give other things room.

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May 30, 2019

My husband mowed down my lily of the valley in late summer in northern Michigan. This year the leaves seem smaller and the flowers are also short. I have another area that he didn't cut and there is a big difference between the two.

Should they be left to die on their own in the fall, do they need the green leaf to feed the root as with spring bulbs.

Answers

May 30, 20190 found this helpful

I would leave them alone. I would also divide them if they seem to be too crowded.

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May 31, 20190 found this helpful

Let the tops die back and then cut off. Take up every two years or so and transplant the babies.

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June 7, 2016

I planted my lilies of the valley 3 years ago in a semi shade spot. The white flowers are coming every spring, but they are very tiny and not flagrant.

What I'm doing wrong? The flowers did spread a little during the years. Thank you.

Answers

May 27, 20170 found this helpful

I find it very odd that your lilies do not have a nice fragrance as this is one of their strong points. Flowers are supposed to be small so I am not sure what you are referring to in size.
Perhaps you can read up on taking care of these and maybe find something that you have missed doing when caring for them.

homeguides.sfgate.com/care-lily-valley-flower-70556.html

www.thriftyfun.com/Growing-Lily-of-the-Valley-Guide...

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March 5, 2014

I have mail order lily of the valley. I had to trim off lots and lots of roots. If I plant the root without the pips will they develop pips or should I just toss them out?

By Carol

Answers

May 31, 20190 found this helpful

Throw the excess roots out or put them in a compost pile.

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April 22, 2012

How do you grow convallaria lily of the valley? I have got the bare roots, when do you plant them and what do you do with them?

By Carol S

Answers

May 2, 20120 found this helpful

Hello,
My lilly of the valley are in morning sun & afternoon shade. They are in, around & behind the iris. Mostly they like shade. Plant them in shade & you should be fine.

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