The Lily-of-The-Valley, otherwise known as the Convallaria Majalis or Lily of the Valley, Conval Lily, Word Lily, Mayflower, Mugget, Liriconfancy, May Bells, May Lily, Our Lady’s Tears, Lady’s Tears, is a rather popular perennial plant loved by gardening enthusiasts around the world.
Best known for its low maintenance and fast growth, this perennial will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green-colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.
This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this Lily-of-The-Valley Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!
The fundamental caring guidelines for every Lily-of-The-Valley can be summed up into the following:
- Water: The Lily-of-The-Valley loves moist soil but will still survive dusty soil when it is established.
- Light: Keep your Convallaria Majalis in an environment where it can receive full to partial shade on a daily basis.
- Soil: Make sure to keep the Lily-of-The-Valley in soil with moisture-retentive but with well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of loam and clay.
That’s it – sunlight, water and soil! The basic 3 fundamentals for all plant care, and with the Lily-of-The-Valley this is no exception. With these three elements, your leafy friend will live healthy and happy.
Scientific / Botanical Aspects
In botanical terms, the Lily-of-The-Valley belongs to the Asparagaceae family, the genus Convallaria and the species Majalis, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Convallaria Majalis.
As with other Convallaria’s, the Lily-of-The-Valley is a herbaceous plant, which means it will die back to the ground every year.
The Lily-of-The-Valley is a plant native to Eurasia.
You might be wondering why your Lily-of-The-Valley’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environment conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.
With this in mind, the Convallaria Majalis will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 7 region, and in climate zones that range between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, A1, A2, A3.
Growth and Size
In terms of size and growth, the Lily-of-The-Valley is a relatively fast grower, which makes things tricky for any plant enthusiast.
But what exactly does this mean for your Lily-of-The-Valley? How large a pot should you consider, how tall, how wide can it get? Let’s jump in…
The Convallaria Majalis can grow up to 6″ – 1′ (15cm – 30cm) in 6″ – 1′ (15cm – 30cm) and 9″ – 1′ (22cm – 30cm) in 9″ – 1′ (22cm – 30cm).
Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful spreading shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.
In terms of watering, the Lily-of-The-Valley is a fairly complicated plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.
Specifically, most experts agree that the Convallaria Majalis loves moist soil but will still survive dusty soil when it is established.
Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water.
As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Lily-of-The-Valley in soil with moisture retentive to moist but well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive.
However, in our experience, the best solution to knowing the right amount of water for your Lily-of-The-Valley is with the ‘thumb’ technique. Basically, you insert your finger into the soil, and based if you feel the soil moist or dry, you determine if it needs any water, which is the most appropriate way to go about watering your leafy friend.
The Lily-of-The-Valley’s ideal soil potting mix is made out of loam and clay.
In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.
Light and Exposure
In terms of light & exposure, the Lily-of-The-Valley requires full to partial shade in order for it to thrive under the right conditions.
Most experts agree that this perennial will do well as long as you keep it in partial sun to shade, and it will be able to grow properly.
Specifically, we recommend that you place your Convallaria Majalis in from little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to dappled or moderate shade (under other plant’s canopy).
Being a herbaceous plant, the Lily-of-The-Valley will die back to the ground every year. But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (mid, late).
You can expect your Lily-of-The-Valley to flower around the spring months from April to June (spring). In particular, this perennial is well known for its fragrant and showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.
The Lily-of-The-Valley produces some beautiful white flowers around this time of year.
The leaves from the Lily-of-The-Valley have a beautiful green color during most of the year.
In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a rosulate organization in its leaves.
Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance
The Lily-of-The-Valley is well known for its tolerance to dry soil, clay soil and animals like rabbit and deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along; your Convallaria Majalis will be fine.
How should you then organize your garden to include your new Lily-of-The-Valley? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.
Most Convallaria Majalis owners agree that this perennial will look great in most cottage gardens of all types. Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage styles.
In particular, the Lily-of-The-Valley’s best location within your garden is in patio and containers, ground covers, and in underplanting roses and shrubs, others use it for landscaping in a rock garden, or a woodland garden.
Lily-of-The-Valley’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Hosta x ‘Blue Cadet’, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.
Others consider that a nice Heuchera eximia ‘Stuart Boothman’ will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!
So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Lily-of-The-Valley in your garden or home.