Wednesday, October 13, 2010


LILY OF THE VALLEY (Convallaria majalis) is a very aromatic little flower--one whiff of the wonderful scented dangling bells has you wondering how such a tiny little flower can have such a big scent!  It is used mainly as a ground cover, and spreads by creeping roots that branch out.  It spreads quickly, and I must warn you, can take over if you let it; it can be very invasive  For this reason, plant them away from other perennials.  Lily of the Valley does well under trees or shrubs, where they will quickly form a thick matt of 8-inch glossy green leaves.  They like partial shade to shade, and evenly moist, rich soil.  Once established, they will tolerate dry shade.  They will not, however, tolerate wet, poorly drained sites.  Fall is the time to plant the "pips", as they are called--bare root pieces of their fleshy rhizomes, which has both the roots and the little bud, spacing about 3 inches apart, and about 1" deep. These plants  require little, or no care--and plants can survive for years with complete neglect!  One thing I like about Lily of the Valley is that it's easy to force for winter blooms.  Go out and pot up some of your divisions and plant in a regular houseplant mix.  Set them in a cold frame or a protected place on the north side of your house, and cover them with  1-2 inches of chopped leaves or wood chips.  Bring them in in January, but keep them in a dark room for 2-3 weeks.  (This will encourage long stems).  Then, just simply move to a sunny window and they will bloom in about 3-4 weeks!  (Try to keep the temperature around 65 degrees).  Their aroma will  fill your house! The neat thing is that after you've enjoyed them inside, you can replant them in the spring in your beds!  They keep their nice green color through the whole season, and have wonderful red berries in the fall for the birds to enjoy.
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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