Lily of the valley: how to plant and take care of the flowers

Delicate, airy and fragile lily of the valley – a popular crop that has won the hearts of gardeners. The plant used to be called the romantic lily of the valleys or porcelain bells. There are many legends and tales associated with lily of the valley. The unpretentious plant blooms in May. If you create culture conditions similar to those in which the flower grows in the natural environment, lily of the valley can be up to 10 years in one place and enjoy its blooming.

Lily of the valley: how to plant and take care of the flowers

Lily of the valley: botanical description

Lily of the valley is a herbaceous perennial, the only one of its kindLily of the valley, the species – May, which includes 3 subspecies:

  1. Caucasian;

  2. mountain;

  3. Far Eastern .

Squat plant reaches a height of 30 cm, width – 15 cm. In spring, between the leaves form a flowering arrow with snow-white bell-shaped flowers, located on one side only. Flowers thin out a persistent, specific fragrance.

Petals are colored white or pale pink. Flowers of the garden varieties are colored in yellow or purple tones. There are some varieties with macroflowers.

flowering lasts about a month. If the bellflowers were pollinated by insects, after flowering, red poisonous berries form on the arched stems. Despite this, the fruit is a favorite food of birds, some rodent species.

The root system is located superficially, strongly branched, with many points of growth. Thanks to them, numerous specimens with delicate flowers appear in the spring. All above-ground parts of the plant die off, while the roots spend the winter in the ground.

In nature lily of the valley grows on waterless ravines, in forests, in low places. Remarkably, but delicate-looking plants are not afraid of obstacles – they are not afraid of return frosts, resistant to other weather disasters.

In the bed feel well in the neighborhood with periwinkles, tulips, daffodils, crocuses.

Choosing the time and location for planting

Autumn planting in September-November is recommended. When choosing a location, it is worth paying attention to shaded areas, for example, lily of the valley will feel well in the shade of trees or shrubs. The fact is that moisture evaporates poorly in such places, and high humidity is the ideal condition for the normal development of porcelain flowers.

However, remember that without sunlight, lilies of the valley will not bloom.

Planting flowers is recommended in moist soil with neutral acidity, fertilized with organics.Too acidic substrate should be neutralized by adding when digging:

  1. lime – 250 g;

  2. Peat – 10 kg;

  3. superphosphate – 100 g;

  4. Potassium sulfate – 40 g.

The dosage is given on the basis of 1 m2. Prepare the site for planting lily of the valley in advance.

Planting lily of the valley in autumn

Prepare grooves for planting. The distance between the plants in a row is 10 cm, the distance between the plants in a row is 20 cm.

Attention!When sowing lily of the valley seeds, it should be taken into account that the planting material itself is often not germinating. If plants do appear, it is very difficult to wait for flowering, because the seedlings grow very slowly.

According to gardeners, lily of the valley is best propagated by dividing the rhizome. A dividing plant should have a growth point, a small rhizome and roots. Flower buds have already begun to emerge, so that plants planted in the autumn will flower in the spring. Sprouts with flower buds not less than 6 mm in diameter. If the apex is pointed and the diameter is less than 6 mm, it means that there will be no flowering next year – the plant will engage in building up green mass.

When planting the rhizomes to a depth of 2 cm, you will have to slightly compact the soil and give it a good watering. With the onset of the first frosts, the area with the plants should be covered with a mulch layer. This treatment will help the plants survive the winter, especially if there is no snow during the winter. In one place plants can grow up to 8-10 years, as in nature.

Lily of the valley: Planting in spring

Planting porcelain bells can also be done in spring, but there will be no flowering this season because the lily of the valley needs time to adapt. To avoid frost damage to the first sprouts, it is recommended to cover the plants with lutrasil.

Care of lily of the valley

Lily of the valley is an unpretentious plant that can grow without much care. But, if there is a desire to get decorative bushes, the soil needs to be loosened, remove weeds, the plants need to be watered. Fertilizing will strengthen the root system, accelerate development and prolong the flowering period.

Due to the fact that the plants grow quickly, it is recommended to thin the bushes once every 3 years. Excessive overgrowth will cause lily of the valley to stop flowering.

Flowers tolerate frosts well, but decorative varieties will still have to be covered for the winter, as they are more delicate. Plantings should be mulched with overcompost.


Feeding, carried out according to all the rules, will allow to grow enviable plants. Fertilize by moistening the soil once every 14 days. The optimal composition – complex fertilizers, which can be alternated with organic fertilizers. Fresh manure can be used as organic material. From it you need to prepare a concentrate: mix 1 part of the manure with 5 parts of water. After 14 days, you need to dilute the resulting remedy with water at a ratio of 1:10. The working solution is applied under the roots of the lily of the valley.

As a mineral fertilizer, it is customary to use an extract of superphosphate. For its preparation pour 100 g of fertilizer 1 liter of boiling water, put on the fire and boil for half an hour. When ready, the concentrate should be strained and diluted with water at a ratio of 100 ml per bucket of water.

What to do with lily of the valley after flowering

After the flowers fade the lawn will be covered with green leaves for a long time. The fleshy stems can not be touched, leave them to sprout. But you can divide the rhizomes and plant in a new place, covering the plantings with mulch material.

Is it true, that lily of the valley are poisonous??

Growing lily of the valley one should know that the vegetative parts of the plant are poisonous, so all work on planting and transplanting should be done with gloves on. Children should be explained that red berries are poisonous!

On the Internet there is a selection of folk recipes with the main ingredient – lily of the valley. Under no circumstances should you prepare medicinal remedies from the poisonous flower, as there is a high probability of incorrect dosage calculation.

Pharmacy selling lily of the valley preparations. Such an extract should be taken only with the permission of a doctor and under his supervision.

Lily of the valley

Cut rhizomes prepared for propagation can be used for bunting in winter time. To obtain healthy seedlings in the spring, plants are fed with complex fertilizers. It is constantly necessary to loosen the soil, remove weeds and water.

The rhizomes are dug up at the end of September. Among the dug up planting material, select pieces with well developed, large buds, the top should be rounded.

Prepare a suitable container for planting the rhizomes, fill it with fertile soil, plant and place in a cold room where they will be kept at +2°C over the winter.

In the first decade of February, a plane with plants is transferred to the greenhouse and start watering the plants.

Attention!The greenhouse should be heated!

After 3 weeks from the start of watering, the first sprouts will appear.

The art of making lily of the valley bouquets

Lily of the valley: how to plant and take care of flowers

Gardeners advise not to cut lily of the valley flowers, but pluck them by hand to speed up the growth. You do this by finding the base of the stem, gripping it firmly in your fingers and pulling.

Varieties with strong and powerful flower stems are suitable for compositions. Berolinensis, Grandiflora, Dorienne varieties with large flowers will look good in bouquets.

Attention!To make compositions, you need to choose such plants, on which the flowers are not fully bloomed. The top two bell-shaped flowers should have a faint white color.

To get a good bouquet, you need to pick 20-23 flower stalks. When placed in a vase, the porcelain bells should look in one direction.

To prolong the life of cut flowers, add 2 pills of crushed activated carbon to the water. The water should be changed twice a day.

For your information!Lily of the valley should be placed in a pass-through room, but not in the bedroom. The fact that the specific aroma of plants can cause headaches.

Reproduction of lily of the valley by seeds

Lily of the valley grown from seed begins to flower on the 6th year after planting. After sowing seeds in the first year, the development of the root system occurs, in the second year the plants will release an arrow like a leaf, which during the growing season never opens. Only in later years will these leafy plates begin to unfurl. At this time the rhizome will expand, taking over new areas.

Pest and disease control

Lily of the valley: how to plant and take care of flowers

Because the plant is poisonous, pests are reluctant to infest lily of the valley. However, nematodes, lily leafcracker, fungal infections can destroy plantations of spring flowers.

The lily leaf beetle

These beetles are often found on lilies. If they are disturbed – taken and hidden between the palms, the insects begin to make interesting sounds, for which they received the appropriate name.

Adult beetles feed on green plant parts and can damage plantings. The female on the underside of lilies lays brown larvae, when they grow, the adult beetles choose lily of the valley as their habitat.

For preventive purposes, regularly inspect lily plantings and if pests are detected, immediately spray the plantings with pesticides, using Carbaphos, Arrivo.


Root and stem nematodes multiply in moist soil, affecting roots and stems respectively. Affected flowers look weak, have a depressed appearance, lag behind in development and stop blooming.

Leaves and stems are covered with necrotic brown spots. To save the varieties, you need to dig up the plants and treat the roots with the drug Prestige. Treat the site with pesticides such as Carbathion.

Gray rot

Fungal disease develops in high humidity, poorly ventilated areas.

You can recognize the disease by the gray plaque on the green shoots. At first it can be easily rubbed off with the palm of your hand, then a soft cluster of fluffy hairs appears in place of the plaque. Over time, the affected areas become covered with mucus, rot and fall out.

As soon as the first signs of the disease are noticed, it is recommended to treat with fungicides – Topaz, Fundazol, Actellic. With severe damage plants are dug up and burned.

The lily of the valley can grow undisturbed for 10 years in one plot. Next, they need to be seeded in order to rejuvenate the plantings. The fact that old plants stop blooming. Thinning of the planting is recommended once every 3 years. Thus, new places are filled with young specimens and the plants bloom uninterruptedly.

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