They grow to roughly 30 cm high, the leaves first appearing in Spring
Lily of the Valley require ground which is moist throughout their growing season. They grow in all types of ground from clay to sandy soils.
They prefer shade or semi-shade and thrive under the canopy of trees and large shrubs which provide dappled shade.
Left to their own devices they will spread easily although they can be kept in check by removing plants which have spread too far.
They are low maintenance if the soil is naturally kept moist.
All parts of the plant are poisonous if eaten.
They can successfully be grown in containers.
Choose a shady to partial shade position. Somewhere where the soils normally moist but not waterlogged.
If the soil is heavy or is not free draining add lots of well rotted compost to the area and dig it in well.
It can be planted all year long if the soil is not frozen and you can water well when conditions are dry.
Plant your plant no deeper than it is in it's pot.
The key need of Lily of the Valley is a moist but not waterlogged soil. This is the reason why they do best in partial shade. Don't let them dry out, they are unlikely to recover.
They require little or no feeding. In their natural surroundings they do fine from the fallen leaves of overhanging trees and shrubs. Do not feed with nitrogen rich fertilisers, this will only encourage leaf growth at the expense of flowers.
Lilly of the valley can be grown in containers and pots but they do need a very regular supply of water throughout the summer as they are not drought resistant.
The root system of a lily of the valley is quite extensive so choose a deeper pot than you would normally use for other bulbs plants.
After flowering don't remove the leaves as they need these to continue feeding for the next five or six months in preparation for flowering the next year. Yellowed leaves can be removed if you want to tidy up.
Pests and disease
Lily of the Valley are strong growing plants and are rarely attacked by pests however sprinkle slug bait after planting. Sometimes, but not often they can suffer from leaf spot. This is usually due to too much dampness.
Wairere Nursery 826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email: Open 7 days 8:30am-5pm