Lilies of the Valley in full bloom
image by Michigan Bulb Company http://michiganbulb.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_01693_A_Lily+of+the+Valley_E_
Lilies of the Valley make quite a statement with their white or pink bell-shaped flowers against the bright green leaves. They grow just high enough to make a superior ground cover or border, and they are perfect for that vase that is too small to hold other flowers. They will multiply very rapidly, giving you enough plants to make gifts. Dig them up, plant them in a nice pot and you can spread your wealth of Lilies of the Valley around the neighborhood.
Pick the location for your Lily of the Valley bed. Lilies of the Valley can grow as far north as zone two and as far south as zone nine. They can survive just about any condition your garden has--rocky or wooded, acid or alkaline. Lilies of the Valley love partial shade and well-drained soil.
Lily of the Valley rhizomes can arrive in different conditions, depending on where you purchase them. If they come looking fresh, they are ready to plant. But if they come looking dried up, you need to moisturize them first. In most cases, they will come packed in a bit of peat moss. Add water until the moss is just wet and let them sit for a couple of hours. They will look much different and fresher, and when you plant them they will already have a head start. But don’t do it until the day you are going to plant them.
I always plant my Lily of the Valley rhizomes in raised beds. Mix some mulch in with the soil.
Don’t plant the rhizomes too deep--about 1 inch is perfect. Give them a lot of water and make sure it is draining properly. Puddles should not sit around for hours. Leave room between the rhizomes. They will multiply and fill in the spaces. Lily of the Valley rhizomes can be planted in the spring after the danger of frost, or in the fall and after winter is over in the warmer zones.
In the coldest zones, you may want to bring the rhizomes in over the winter and replant them in the spring when the danger of frost is over. If you are going to leave them in the garden over the winter, be sure to cut them back and cover with a light mulch.