Lily of the Valley
image by Flickr Randy OHC
Convallaria, also known as Lily of the Valley, have a reputation for being difficult to grow. Actually, they are relatively simple to maintain. Thriving in areas of partial sun, Lily of the Valley provide good ground cover and the fragrant, bell-shaped white or pink flowers bloom just around the end of spring.
Choose a well-irrigated plot of garden in partial sunlight. Lily of the Valley require some sunlight, but will thrive in lightly shaded areas. Though they will survive full shade, they will not produce as many flowers. When choosing a planting spot, take into consideration that the flowers and berries of Lily of the Valley are highly toxic if digested.
Till the soil in your desired area of garden just near the end of winter. Be sure to break up root material beneath the soil before sowing seeds. Dispose of any weeds so they don't reroot and overpower your plants.
Disperse the seeds over the tilled earth and cover by hand with a thin layer of dirt. Inspect the earth to make sure all the seeds are covered. If the ground is hard from winter, add organic potting soil to the dirt to ensure the seeds are covered.
Add a 2-inch layer of mulch and grass clippings for protective cover from early spring frost. You can buy mulch from your local garden shop or create your own compost to nourish the soil.
Water regularly as the days grow warmer and watch for signs of budding Lily of the Valley seedlings. Check online or in your garden manual to see how the seedlings appear.
Replant healthy seedlings in your bed at least 12 centimeters, or nearly 4 3/4 inches, apart for best growth results. After replanting, add a healthy dose of natural fertilizer to your flower bed.
Water, fertilize and mulch regularly, but do not overdo it. Too much of a good thing could damage your plants, rather than nurture them. During summer months, keep the soil adequately moist, to avoid the plant drying out and shriveling.