Seed Swaps

Lily of the valley        

Convallaria majalis

  • 153 plantings
  • 4 for swap
  • 21 wanted
  • 15 stashed

Lily of the valley is a member of the Convallaria family. Its botanical name is Convallaria majalis.

This plant is often grown in shade and makes good ground cover once established. It is about 30 cm tall with broad green leaves that are retained for most of the year, dying back with the frost but re emerging from rhizomes in the spring. The plant is cultivated for the elegant, fragrant, waxy, pendulous, white bell shaped flowers, that grow on a spike held above the leaves in the late spring
The rhizomes spread resulting is large clumps in favourable conditions.

There is also a shade of pink cultivar. Convallaria majalis rosea

Blooms normally grow to 0.6 cm (0.23 inches imperial) in diameter and produce a floral scent, whilst showing as a colour very similar to   White and   Floral white and   Navajo white. The mature flowers take a single form, with an approximate petal count of 6. Its fruits normally ripen as a colour very similar to   Ferrari Red and   Red-orange. Leaves usually appear in   British racing green and   Kelly green

Lily of the valley grows as a deciduous and is a flower / ornamental. Being a Deciduous plant, it will shed its leaves annually.

Normally growing to a mature height of 25.0 cm (9.75 inches), Lily of the valley grows with a ground-cover habit. Expect blooming to occur in late spring and harvesting to start by mid summer.

Try planting Lily of the valley if you'd like to attract bees to your garden.

United Kingdom is thought to be the country of origin for Lily of the valley.

Lily of the valley is known to be toxic to humans and/or animals, so be careful where you position and how you handle this plant.

Lily of the valley is normally fairly low maintenance and quite easy to grow, as long as a level of basic care is provided throughout the year. Being aware of the basic soil, sun and water preferences will result in a happier and healthier plant.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Lily of the valley have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Lily of the valley

  • Full Shade

  • Partial Sun

  • Medium

Likes moist soil, but will tolerate drought in shade
Z9 – Central Pacific Coast, USA

  • can handle dense shade and will spread as ground cover
  • plant in Jan/Feb → blooms ~Apr/May.

After a few years Lily of the valley flowers will become sparse and that is the time to divide the plants either in spring or fall. Dig up main clumps, separate, and replant.1

Plant in a location that enjoys full shade / partial sun and remember to water moderately. As a rough idea of the types of climates Lily of the valley does best in, check to see if your local area is within USDA Hardiness Zones 4 and 9. Lily of the valley needs a loamy, clay and potting mix soil with a ph of 5.0 to 6.0 (moderately acidic soil - weakly acidic soil). Lily of the valley is generally regarded as a hardy plant, so it can be safe to leave outdoors for the majority of winter (although if in doubt, using a row cover is often a good idea).

See our list of companion Plants for Lily of the valley to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Lily of the valley from seed

Best grown from root cuttings or ‘pips’. Place root in hole so top sits 1" below surface, cover with soil, water thoroughly
Z9 – Plant after last frost
Slow from seed

Aim to sow 0.94 inches (2.4 cm) deep and try to ensure a gap of at least 7.8 inches (20.0 cm).

Transplanting Lily of the valley

Lilly of the valley is traditionally a plant that is given away by gardeners as the easiest way to grow it is by planting pips. These are the freshly dig rhizomes.

Plant bulbs 8-12" apart in full to partial shade

Dig a 1-2in. layer of compost or well-rotted manure to a depth of 6 in., as soon as the garden soil can be worked in spring. Wait a week and then dig out the soil in the bed 1 in. deep and pile it neatly on a plastic sheet placed to the side of the bed. Plant pips horizontally covering with soil and water well. Keep lightly moist throughout the season. Mulch with compost or rotted leaves once foliage emerges. Fertilize in spring with a balanced slow-release fertilizer.1

Choose a position in a woodland garden, under deciduous shrubs or a hedge, or in shade cast by buildings. Lilly of the Valley prefers shade and even miosture

Lily of the valley is hardy, so ensure you wait until all danger of frost has passed in your area before considering planting outside.

Harvesting Lily of the valley

Used as a valued cut flower. Fragrant and elegant, used in buttonholes and brides bouquets.

Seed Saving Lily of the valley

The fruit are small red pea sized berries that contain two to six seeds. Lily of the valley is however, slow from seed and best grown from a piece of the root or rhizome.

How long does Lily of the valley take to grow?

These estimates for how long Lily of the valley takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Days to Germination How long does it take Lily of the valley to germinate?
58 days

Average 58 days | Min 58 days | Max 58 days (4)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Lily of the valley?
+ days

Average days | Min days | Max days (0)

Days to Maturity How long until Lily of the valley is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 300 days

Average 300 days | Min 9 days | Max 1098 days (4)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Lily of the valley?
= days

Lily of the valley Folklore & Trivia

This plant is poisonous, but has been used in herbal medicine for its cardioactive properties that are similar to digitalis. but much less cumulative. 2 It is better appreciated for its fragrance.
Leaves easily visually confused with wild garlic that grows in similar shaded woody places. A sniff of the crushed wild garlic leaves should confirm its identity

Other names for Lily of the valley

European lily of the valley, May Bells, Our Lady's Tears

Convallaria majalis L.

Misspellings: Lilly of the valley

Latest Lily of the valley Reviews

See all Lily of the valley reviews and experiences »


1 “Gardening Made Easy, Pk 02”

2 Plants For A Future

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