Care for Lily-of-the-Valley Bulbs

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Caring for Lily-of-the-Valley bulbs requires planting them in cool climates, watering them consistently through the first year and making sure the bulbs never dry out. Care for Lily-of-the-Valley bulbs with tips from a professional gardener in this free... View Video Transcript

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Yolonda Vanveen

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Hi I'm Yolanda Vanveen from Vanveen bulbs dot com. In this segment we are going to learn about how to take care of lily of the valley bulbs. Now we all have seen Lily of the valley in gardens and they are gorgeous. They have the most beautiful aroma. And people always remember them to their childhoods. I always remember seeing them at the neighbor's house and stopping by and taking just a little one and just so tiny and they are just beautiful. I love lily of the valley. But the bulbs are hard to grow, sometimes you know to get them going everyone says, I can't get them going, I kill them. So let's look at the different ways that we can take care of lily of the valley bulbs. So lily of the valley is just so beautiful, it's also known as Convallaria. And it's very hardy to like minus thirty, minus forty degrees. So you really can't lose it in cold climates. In warmer climates, it's sometimes hard to grow because even places like San Francisco when there's not a cold winter at all. They are not coming back. They need a cold winter. So in colder climates we'd actually have to dig them up and throw them in the refrigerator for about three months. And then put them back outside, you might get them to bloom again. But still they are getting to the point, you need to grow them in colder climates for them to do really well outside. But they are just a root and tuber, so they're, anything that goes dormant is considered a bulb, but because their root that goes dormant they are a bulb. So as long as they have a pip ,or the eye, they are going to survive. And it's all about this eye. There's lots of roots and the roots will continue to grow eyes so every little piece of root will multiply. So no matter what you'll have you'll get more. But the key is they can not get dried out at all that first summer. If you dry them out even one time, you will lose them, because they will turn to dust. They need to be moist so that the roots can get established. Once the roots are established you probably wouldn't have to take care of them at all and you'll never lose them and they'll take over. They are really easy to maintain but you got to get them through that first year, cause the roots have to be established. So plant them at least three inches deep in a shady area or part sun, but not too hot. Cause sometimes it gets too hot and just cooks them. And that way they'll multiply really well and they'll come up and bloom every May, June of the year. They are usually about Mother's Day is when they bloom in the northwest. Sometimes they bloom earlier or later in other parts of the country. But they are easy plant and once you get them established you can dig them up in the fall as well and force them to bloom inside for Christmas. It's an easy trick. As soon as they are done blooming in the spring you just let them go dormant, in about October, November dig some up then put them in the house, add some water to them. A lot of times you can force them to bloom inside too. Then turn around and put them outside and then they should bloom the next winter again. Or actually in the next spring. But sometimes you miss a year when you do that because it confuses them, but it's always worth the effort. I love lily of the valley, I love the fragrance. And it's really easy to take care of them. And the bulbs the trick is to not let them dry out no matter what. But don't let them sit in a swamp either. So put them in a shady spot with good drainage but yet give them lots of water, give them room to multiply and if the leaves are green leave them alone, if they are brown cut them out. But besides that it's really easy to take care of lily of the valley bulbs. You can always throw them in a bag as well if you are moving or you want to take them with you or give them to some friends. Just throw them in a plastic bag and keep them moist but not too moist cause sometimes they'll rot. Try to give them some air, give them some air holes cause they do need some oxygen still. And you can store them for six months even a year. And then turn around and plant them back in the ground as soon as possible. Because you never want to leave them out of the ground too long. And even when they are all dried up and you think you've lost them, add some water and some wet soil to them, give it a week or two and check on them, cause I have thought that I've lost bulbs before even when they were moldy, you think that you've lost them. Just add some soil to them, leave them alone and check on them in a week or two and I've been amazed. I've actually saved a lot of bulbs. Or I just throw them in the ground and then it's survival of the fittest if they make it they make it and if not they don't make it. So lily of the valley is a really neat plant to have in your garden. It belongs in a moon garden, it's all white ,has a great fragrance, belongs in the fragrance garden and it's just a delight for all to see. I just love it one of my favorite plants and one of the easiest plants to grow.