Convallaria majalis


The best period to plant lily-of-the-valley rhizomes is from October until February. They are dormant at that time and re-planting won't harm them much.
Take care that the roots don't dry out between digging them up and re-planting.

Before you start to plant out Convallaria rhizomes in your garden, it would be good to mix quite some compost through the soil.
Plant the noses so deep that the rhizome or the base of the nose is covered with 7 to 10cm of soil.
The tips of the noses are then just a few centimeters below the surface.
When you add some liquid fertilizer to the plants right after flowering or dried cow manure or bone meal in autumn, growth and florescense will be more abundant in the next year.

To get some more growth in the first years after planting, remove all fruits that appear after flowering.
Then the plant can put all energy in growth instead of seeds.

When you see misshapen shoots in a Convallaria colony, for example because of a virus infection that can be caused by aphids, they can be best removed as deep as possible.
First dig out the shoot until the rhizome and then remove the shoot including a part of the rhizome.

Variegated cultivars can sometimes develop normal green shoots again. These can be removed on the same way as written above, to keep the cultivar pure.

Although the lily of the valley isn't very sensitive for diseases and plagues, still aphids, spider mites and vine weevils can attack your plants.
As soon as the leaves unfold in spring, check them for aphids.
Spider mites won't appear very often and later in the season in June/July.

An attack by vine weevils is clearly visible by eaten leaf edges.
A first hunt for the evildoer is often useless, because the black beetles won't become active until a few hours after sundown.
So in the evening, just before you go to bed you take a flash light, check your lilies and catch each vine weevil one by one.

But beware, they won't let catch themselves so easily: a touch of the leaf where they are sitting on, is often enough to let them "drop dead" on the ground and it's very hard to find them there.
The next evening you'll get another chance...! :-)

Below you see a picture of the cream white grubs of this vine weevil. They can destroy the root system significantly. The black beetles lay eggs during summer.
In autumn, winter and early spring these grubs (about 1cm long) eat from all underground parts of the plants and later in spring they come, transformed into beetles, above the ground to eat from the leaves.

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Ordering Convallaria plants

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