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Lily of the valley - Growing Guide

Growing Lily of the valley

Convallaria majalis

These are ever popular, clump forming and spreading plants which have creeping and branching rhizomes. They work best in shade in a damp situation either in the border or in a reasonably weed free bare patch in a woodland garden. Top dressing the clumps when dormant in the winter will both feed and protect the plants as well as encouraging the rhizomes to spread.

Each individual rhizome will produce a pair of basal leaves which will develop to being 6-8in tall. In March or April arching racemes of strongly scented bell shaped flowers appear to scent the garden.

If you have a large clump of lily of the valley in your garden why not lift some rhizomes and pot them up so that they can perform in the house in flower and then be returned to the border after flowering.

Ordering small clumps of rhizomes with three to five leaf shoots from late autumn through to the spring from Burncoose can avoid the need for pots or expensive postage. However the more rare and choice varieties of lily of the valley which we offer are grown in pots are not sold bare root. These are C. majalis rosea with mauvish pink flowers and C. majalis ‘Albostriata’ with leaves striped with creamy white bands.

Lift rhizomes in late autumn from the main clump if you want to spread the plants elsewhere in your garden. They can be kept moist in the potting shed over winter and planted in the spring if need be.


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