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Lily Valley Flowers

Lilies of the valley are beautiful, but difficult to eradicate.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

How to Get Rid of Lily of the Valley

Dig up your lily of the valley rhizomes, which typically grow just below the surface of the soil. Remove as much of the roots as possible. If you leave a little bit behind, they will grow again.

Remove the roots again if your lilies of the valley return. Repeat this process several times to completely eradicate your plants.

Spray glyphosate on the shoots as they emerge. Do not get the herbicide on any other plants. Apply on a day when rain is not forecast. Repeat if new shoots appear.

Growing Lily of the Valley Indoors

Fill a 3-inch deep container or plant pot with a mixture of half potting soil and half peat moss. Tap the bottom of the pot on a hard surface to settle to soil mix.

Soak lily of the valley pips. Add warm water to the bag they came in so the peat moss packing material is very wet. Set the bag into the sink and leave it for an hour. The pips will absorb water and plump up. This "tricks" them into thinking it is spring and they will begin to wake up.

Cut off the bottom inch of the roots. Do this right before inserting them into the soil. This will help the pips take up water and they’ll start growing right away.

Plant the pips into the prepared pot, spacing them about 1- to 1½-inches apart. Set them into the soil so that the tops are just at soil level or slightly poking above its surface.

Water until it drains out of the bottom of the pot. Check the pot daily and keep the soil evenly moist but not soaking wet.

Put the pot in a place that is 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit with low light levels. Keep out of direct sunlight. The leaves will begin to grow in about a week.

When to Transplant a Lily of the Valley

The best time to transplant a lily of the valley is in the fall. It can also be done in the summer, but this is not the preferable time to do so.

Facts About Lily of the Valley

Description

Lily of the valley is a short, shade-loving groundcover that grows 6 to 12 inches tall and has two or three 6-inch-long green leaves and small, white, bell-shaped flowers.

Landscape Uses

Lily of the valley is good for woodland garden settings, perennial beds and rock gardens where it has room to spread. It grows well in shady areas under trees.

Care

It requires moist, well-drained ground to stay green after blooming. Grow it in partial shade with morning sun to full shade. The USDA recommends it for zones 3 through 8.

Propagation

This plant naturally spreads by underground rhizomes that can be dug up and replanted. Thin an established bed when flowering becomes sparse.

Medicinal Uses

Although it is considered toxic, it has been used to treat heart disease. Ointments and teas from this plant are used for burns, fever and as a diuretic and sedative.

About Mountain Fire Andromeda Plants

Features

Mountain fire andromeda blooms in stacks of flowers that cascade down the flower stem. The shrub also sports bright green leaves and colorful new growth, which sprouts in scarlets and pinks. Mountain fire andromeda grows from 4 to 6 feet tall.

Blooming Season

Mountain fire andromeda blooms in the springtime with snowy white flowers, and gains its name from its new foliage, which opens up through summer in brilliant shades of flame red. All foliage fades to dark green in the fall.

Growing Needs

Mountain fire andromeda does best in full, bright sun during the day, but will also grow in partial shade. Full shade keeps the shrub from blooming. Andromeda plants require completed drainage and prefer rich organic compost in their soil, to maintain acidity.

Winter Season

Andromeda plants are evergreen, and retain their foliage year round. The plant is hardy down to freezing and grows in both landscaping and wild situations in USDA zones 5 to 8.

Types

Other types of andromeda include forest flame (a taller version of the shrub), japonica (which features pink and bronze foliage), valley rose (a pink version that stays small), and variegata (which sports green and white leaves).

How to Ship Lily of the Valley Flowers

Clean the roots. Place them under running water and remove all soil from them. Set them on paper towels to dry.

Wrap the roots in newspaper. Place them in a Ziploc-type bag and seal the bag. Place the same varieties in a bag together and label each bag.

Put together a priority-mailing box. Place a 1-inch layer of packing peanuts in the bottom. Place one bag at a time in the box and cover with a layer of packing peanuts. Fill the box to the top with packing peanuts to make sure that the bags do not shift during shipping.

Seal the box with packing tape. Make sure to properly address the box. Use priority mail to ensure a fast, safe delivery.

Lily of the Valley Information

Geography

The plant is native to portions of Europe and Asia and is the national flower of Finland.

Considerations

The plant can tolerate dry conditions but prefers moist soil. Lily of the valley thrives in the shade and is a simple plant to transplant, requiring only that the gardener dig it up, place it somewhere and cover the roots with soil.

Time Frame

The white bell-shaped flowers of lily of the valley hang down on the 6-inch tall stalk. They bloom in the spring around the middle of May before eventually turning into small red berries during the summer.

Famous Ties

Lily of the valley goes by the name of Our Lady’s Tears in some places, with the legend being that the tears of the Holy Mother at the crucifixion turned into the flower as they hit the ground.

Benefits

The leaves and roots of lily of the valley produce a medication that acts the same way as digitalis does to stimulate the heart. In World War I, this medicine helped those suffering from the effects of gassing.