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How to Grow and Care for Lily of the Valley

How to Grow and Care for Lily of the Valley

Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) is a perennial herbaceous plant native to Europe and Asia. The plant has gained popularity as a houseplant because of its attractive flowers and ease of care. Lily of the valley is a great indoor plant for beginners. It requires little water or sunlight and grows well in low light conditions. If you want to grow your own, start from seed or cuttings. The name “lily of the valley” was given by the Romans because they thought the flower resembled the shape of a small vase or urn.

If you want to grow lily of the valley, you will need to find a place in your yard that this plant has not already invaded. Lily of the valley plant is very sensitive to overwatering. They won’t flower properly if you don’t give them enough time to dry out between waterings. The best way to care for the lily of the valley is to water it regularly during the day, but only once every two weeks. 

The best way to succeed is to divide the roots into small pieces and replant them in a new location. This will allow you to avoid having the plant spread throughout your garden. Let’s look at the process step by step.

How to Grow Lily of the Valley 

The easiest way to grow lily of the valley from seed is to start them indoors in  early spring. They will germinate best at temperatures between 50°F and 70°F (10°C and 21°C). Once they sprout, move them outside into a protected area. Keep them shaded during the day and give them plenty of water. If the climate is cooler, you might want to consider starting them in a greenhouse instead.

When to Plant Lily of the Valley

The best time to plant lilies of the valley depends on where you live. In the Midwest and Northeast, it should be planted in early spring. In the South, it should be planted after frost has killed off the previous year’s leaves.

Propagating Lily of the Valley

Lily of the valley will propagate itself through seedlings, so you should plant several clumps at once. If you want to grow from seed, sow them in early spring or late summer. They require light shade. Plant them in average soil, but avoid clay soils. The bulbs should be kept moist during dormancy and then watered regularly after they come out. In the garden, they prefer cooler temperatures than many other bulb species.

Lily of the Valley Care

Plant lilies of the valley in rich soil in partial shade. Water regularly during dry periods. Keep the plant out of direct sunlight. Prune back spent flowers and leaves to encourage new growth. Remove any dead or diseased foliage.


Lily of the valley requires partial shade for good flower production. The plant will produce more foliage than blooms if you have full sun.


The soil should be rich in organic matter, which will provide nutrients for the plant roots. If you live in an area with sandy soil, add sand or peat moss to improve drainage. A pH level between 6.0 and 7.5 is ideal.


Lily of the valleys thrives when given regular watering. During hot weather, keep the soil slightly drier than usual. Keep the ground covered with mulch when the temperature drops below freezing to prevent evaporation.

Temperature and Humidity

The best way to grow lilies of the valley is in a greenhouse or heated conservatory. They prefer temperatures between 60°F (16°C) and 80°F (27°C), but they will tolerate lower temperatures during the winter months. They like humidity levels between 75% and 90% but don’t require constant moisture.


You should fertilize your lily of the valley every two weeks during its growing season. You can use a balanced fertilizer such as 10-20-10 or apply a liquid feed. Apply fertilizer when the soil temperature reaches 65°F

Potting and Repotting Lily of the Valley

The best way to repot lily of the valley plants is to cut out the entire plant from its pot, including the roots, and replant it into a new container. This will allow the plant to grow back stronger than before. If you want to keep the plant in its current pot, you should water the soil thoroughly and then wait at least two weeks before repotting.

Bloom Time

The flowers bloom from late April through June, depending on the variety. They grow best in full sun but will tolerate some shade. Most varieties produce a single flower per stem; others form clusters of two to four blooms.

Secrets to Success

The best way to grow lilies of the valley from seed is to plant them in late winter or early spring. They will germinate within two weeks at temperatures between 50°F and 70°F. Once they sprout, keep them warm but not too hot—the soil should stay around 60°F. If you are in a cold climate, you might want to start them indoors under lights before moving them outside.

Is Lily of The Valley Poisonous?

Lily of the valley is poisonous to humans but not to animals. If you suspect you have ingested any part of this plant, seek medical attention immediately.


Do not eat the berries of the lily of the valley. Children are especially vulnerable to toxicity because their tiny stomachs cannot process the high amounts of toxins in these berries.