Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) is an easy to grow ground cover for shady garden areas. It is easily found at most garden centers or online (both colors are usually available online.)
Beloved of storytellers and extremely fragrant, this plant does, however, come with two warnings.
- This plant is poisonous and should not be eaten.
- Second, this is a fast-growing spreading plant and once in the garden can be difficult to eradicate.
How to Grow
- Put it in the ground in a shady garden spot. (green side up – it ‘s that simple)
- If you start with “pips”, rather than potted plants, put the pips about an inch below the surface, they’ll wander to their preferred depth on their own.
- If you start with pots, plant at the same depth as in the pot.
Water to establish this plant, then pretty much ignore. Spring conditions and damp soils will let it grow and expand nicely. You may have to water during hot summers or you’ll find the leaves will go pretty ratty and brown off.
This is a plant that likes it cool and shady.
Right up to USDA zone 3 and this should be fine.
Dig a few roots in the very early spring and move or give to friends. It can also be divided in early fall successfully.
Very early spring for about a month. After this Lily of the Valley simply sits there as a green ground cover.
Edge in the early spring to keep it within the bounds of your garden. This is a spreading thug.
The species is white but there is also a pink flowering plant as well as a slightly harder to find variegated leaf form. All grow pretty much the same.