LILY OF THE VALLEY
Lily of the valley, or Convallaria majalis, is found in woodlands throughout Hardiness Zones two through nine in the United States. This perennial is well-known for its fresh floral fragrance and tiny, bell-shaped flowers that appear in early to mid-spring and last for up to four weeks. Each stem has up to fifteen white flowers, and the plant often grows in large colonies when finding in the wild.
Lily of the valley self-propagates with underground rhizomes that spread and produce flower-bearing pips, making it the perfect landscaping option for woodland meadows. Well-drained, moist soil is the ideal growing medium, and the plant thrives in indirect sun and partially shaded locations. The leaves are light green and glossy, with each pip producing two leaves at the base of the stem. The leaves are up to ten inches long and three inches wide. The central stem reaches up to fifteen inches high and has several strands of flowers.
Occasionally, bright red berries appear when the plant flowers in spring. The berries add color and texture to both cultivated gardens and untended meadows.
Lily of the valley has a stunning floral scent that is easily recognizable.
The scented flowers draw pollinators, including bees, and the plant is easy to grow from a bulb. To grow lily of the valley, soak the bulbs in warm water for up to two hours before planting to boost growth. Amend the soil with organic matter, if necessary, and cover the top of the bulb with a half-inch of soil. After opening, give the bulbs plenty of water. The pips typically appear within a week of planting, giving your garden a quick burst of color in early spring. After the blooms appear, use the abundance of flowers to create sweetly scented floral arrangements.