Lily of the Valley Growing Guide

Convallaria majalis

Lily of the Valley

Crop Rotation Group



Fertile soil that holds moisture well, with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH.


Partial shade.

Frost tolerant

Yes, convallaria are hardy perennial bulbs, tolerating cold to -30°F (-34°C).


The need to feed convallaria depends on the site. In poor soil, feed plants with a balanced organic fertilizer in early spring when they are actively growing.


Single Plants: 3" (10cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 3" (10cm) with 3" (10cm) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Plant dormant bulbs, called pips, in groups of 3 or more in fall, after the soil has lost its summer warmth, covering them with 2 inches (5 cm) of soil. The plants will slowly grow roots through winter and bloom the following spring. Convallaria forms vigorous clumps that also can be dug, divided and replanted first thing in spring.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


The plants naturalize easily in partial shade, spreading by rhizomes and seeds. They are considered to be invasive in some areas, though dry soil or deep shade will check their spread. To be cautious, grow convallaria in containers. All plant parts are poisonous.


Gather fragrant stems for use in cut arrangements as you need them. Stems have a vase life of about 5 days. Dig out wandering plants in early summer, before they can shed mature seed.


Convallaria have few pest problems. Poisonous compounds in leaves, stems and flowers makes them resistant to rodents, rabbits and deer.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Lily of the Valley