How to Plant Lily of the Valley


Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) is a perennial plant with underground root structures called rhizomes. The rhizomes self propagate and are divided and replanted, usually when the garden becomes overcrowded. Lily of the valley grows to be about 6 to 12 inches in height and has clusters of either white or pink, bell-shaped flowers. Lily of the valley is usually planted in the fall and in United States Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 7.

Step 1

Choose a location to plant your lily of the valley. They can grow in both shade and full sun, although they thrive best in partial shade.

Step 2

Work the top 6 to 8 inches of the soil and then incorporate about 2 to 3 inches of compost, leaf mold or rotted manure. Also, add bulb fertilizer to the planting bed. Follow the dosing instructions on the label.

Step 3

Plant the rhizomes so that the tips---called pips---are just 1 inch beneath the soil's surface. Space rhizomes 6 to 12 inches apart.

Step 4

Backfill the soil and tamp it down so you don't leave any pockets of air.

Step 5

Water the soil with about 1 to 2 inches of water.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe or tiller
  • Compost, leaf mold or manure
  • Bulb fertilizer
  • Trowel
  • Water


  • Michigan State University Extension: Convallaria majalis--Lily-of-the-Valley
  • The Plant Expert: Lily of the Valley
  • Spring Hill Nursery: Lily-of-the-Valley

Who Can Help

  • United States Department of Agriculture: Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: plant lily of the valley, lilies of the valley, Convallaria majalis

About this Author

Melissa Lewis graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has written over 20 episodes for the radio drama entitled "A Work in Progress." She also writes for several online outlets, including Gardenguides, Travels and Examiner, and is currently finalizing a movie script to be filmed in 2010.