Learn All about the Lily of the Valley

Learn All about the Lily of the Valley

The lily of the valley or the Convallaria majalis is the famous woodland flowering plant. The sweet scent, the pendent, and the white flowers are some of the most beautiful flowering plants you can have. The bell-shaped flowers look adoring. They are native to the cool and temperate parts of the Northern hemisphere, especially in Asia and Europe. They are also considered to be invasive in some parts of North America. They are also known as the America lily of the Valley. Remember that there is a high concentration of cardiac glycosides, and they are poisonous when consumed. Some other names of the flowers are May bells, Mary’s tears, and Our lady’s tears. In the pre-modern times in England, they were known as the Glovewort and Apollinaris.

Spread with their underground stems

The Convallaria majalis is a perennial plant and they are herbaceous. They do form colonies that are extensive by spreading their underground stems, those stems are known as rhizomes. By the end of stolons in the summer, new upright shoots are formed. These stems are also known as pips. The new leafy shoots in the spring always remain connected to the ground. The stems can grow as tall as 15 to 30 cm. 2 leaves grow with the stems and are 10 to 25 cm long. The flowers of the beautiful lily have about 6 white tepals. They often can be found as pink. The flowers are fused at the base and forms a bell-like shape. The scent of the flowers is sweet and spreads over the whole place. The flowers can be about 5 to 10 mm in diameter. The plant flowers in the late spring. They also bore orange-red berries. The fruits can be 5 to 7 mm in diameter and they contain large whitish to brownish coloured seeds. The plants are self-incompatible, so the colonies with a single clone won’t set seed.

Lily of the valley maintenance

The lily of the valley flower can grow in almost any place, just give them some shade and they will be fine. Gardeners use them under trees - and not many plants grow there due to shade. You always need to be careful about the fact that they don’t escape the given bounds. They do spread quite quickly. They just demand a little bit of your time to thrive. Do water during the dry spells. You can proceed with replanting whenever you find them having some more space.


The lily of the valley plant needs partial sun to full shade. The direct morning sun is good for the plant, but you need to ensure that they are protected from the afternoon sun. if you live in any warmer part of its growing zone, give them full shade.


They prefer being moist. That doesn’t mean that they like soggy soil. Whenever you feel the soil is getting dried due to hot weather, water them. Too much dry soil can affect its growth.


The plant lily of the valley likes to grow in organically rich soil. A proper drainage system is necessary. They can grow in a different range of soils as well. They like acidic to neutral pH of soil.


They prefer mild weather to grow along with average humidity. Temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees F are the best-suited temperature. They don’t like too much of hot and dry climate. Protect them from the hottest summer days.


They don’t generally need fertilizer. If your soil quality is poor and lacks nutrients, you can apply some slow-release granular fertilizer in the spring season.

Lily of the valley height

A lily of the valley plant can grow about 6 to 12 inches tall and about 6 to 12 inches wide.

Lily of the valley origin

It is said that the lily of the valley sprang from the tears of Eve when she was exiled from the garden of Eden. It’s also said that the Virgin Mary’s tears at the cross of Lord Christ got dissolved in the flower. That’s where the nickname – Our lady’s tears, came from. They are native to Eurasia and eastern North America. They are cultivated in the shaded garden in temperate regions around the world.

Lily of the valley season

The plant generally blooms the flowers in the early to mid-spring. The flowers can be seen for about 3 or 4 weeks. In the colder parts of the world, their bloom does start later and can start in the early summer.

Lily of the valley seeds       

The plant can be propagated from their seeds and also their rhizomes. Lily of the valley seeds does take months to germinate. Propagating from the rhizomes is the more popular way though. The seeds are sown in flats that are covered with compost. They have a large layer of glass protection as well. The germination can also take about a year. Plant them by the late fall in the cooler temperatures. The flowers would then arrive in the mid-spring. One can find 1 to 3 seeds per pod.

Lily of the valley colours

There are different lily of the valley colours. The most common colour is white. Other types bloom the pink, blue, and variegated patterns as well.

 Blue lily of the valley

Beautiful blue blooms

Pink lily of the valley

Lily of the valley shrub    


Have beautiful pendulous chains

They are commonly known as the lily of the valley bush. They are also referred to as Andromeda and Japanese Pieris sometimes. They have beautiful chains which are pendulous. The puckered flowers resemble the perennial lily of the valley. They can grow to a height of 3 to 8 feet or 8 to 20 feet. The foliage colour can be green and blue. They can be spring bloom or also grow in winters. They can grow in 5 to 8 zones.

Lily of the valley tree

Glossy foliage

The Clethra arborea is commonly known as the lily of the valley tree. They are the flowering plant in the genus Clethra. This evergreen narrow upright shrub is about 6 m tall and 4 m wide. The foliage is quite dense and the leaves are about 7 to 10 cm long. the foliage is quite glossy. The small and white flowers leave a sweet fragrance. The plant is toxic to humans too, and it can cause diarrhea and can even cause sudden. The tree generally likes moist, acidic, and well-drained soil.

Growing lily of the valley in pots

The lily of the valley flower can perfectly grow in pots. The plant generally grows from rhizomes. With proper and good quality soil, it can even push out the neighbouring plants. Growing the plant in pots makes sure that the rhizomes don’t spread and spread nearby plants. You can also move the plant anywhere you like, along with the pot, goes the scent. Dig up some of the rhizomes of the patch, and put them in the pots. You can also buy rhizomes and pick a container that is deep enough to accommodate the long roots of the plant. You can also trim away some of the roots if they don’t fit well. Use standard potting mix ad space the rhizomes about 1 to 2 inches apart. When you plant the store-bought rhizomes, cover the tops of the buds with some soil. Place the pots in indirect sunlight.

Lily of the valley pips

The rhizomes of the lily of the valley are known as pips. One can easily grow the plant from the lily of the valley bulbs. The pips quickly extend the roots underground. Some of the 2-year-old pips can also be forced to grow indoors, and they can bloom the sweet-scented flowers in just weeks.

Lily of the valley benefits

The roots, stems, and flower tips are often used to make medicines. They are often used to cure heart problems including heart failure as well. It is also used for treating Urinary Tract Infections, kidney stones, and fluid retention, eye infections, and strokes as well. They can also affect contractions, heart rate, and excitability as well. They are also said to be Epilepsy, strokes, and paralysis as well.


How poisonous is the lily of the valley?

The plant is poisonous and can prove to be dangerous if they are consumed by humans or animals.

Is it OK to touch the lily of the valley?

Touching the lily of the valley can also affect the body like stomach ache, slow and irregular pulse, and blurred vision. In some cases, vomiting and diarrhea are also possible.

Why is lily of the valley Bad?

The plant is poisonous. They can cause a lot of problems if ingested or touched. As the plant spreads over a lot of areas, they can also push out the neighbouring plants in the process.

Where should I plant lily of the valley?

Put them in places where they would receive full or partial shade. Ensure that they don’t get burned due to the scorching afternoon sun.

What does the lily of the valley look like when it first sprouts?

They are usually thin, tapered, and typically vertical then. The sprouts are generally bright green. They slowly start unrolling in leaves.

How to stop the spreading of Lily of the Valley?

The best way is to plant them in pots. Or, you can also use a physical barrier like edging to keep them contained. A skink sheet roll aluminium or stiff plastic barriers can be beneficial.

Are there any health advantages of Lily of the valley?

The plant is used in making medicines. They can also be used in treating heart diseases. Strokes, eye infection, and paralysis as well.

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