All About Lily of the Valley

Your Guide to Planning, Planting, and Growing Lily of the Valley

Lily of the valley is known for its pure white, bell-shaped flowers and unforgettable perfume. This shade-loving plant is also a tough and reliable ground cover that will grow almost everywhere in the country. Planted beneath shade trees, on steep banks or against a foundation, it will give you a lush carpet of green from spring to fall. 

Start with a Better Plant

Longfield Gardens offers lily of the valley as grade #1 bare root plants. Each plant (sometimes called a "pip") has a well-developed root system. Once planted, it will quickly settle in and start growing. Shop for lily of the valley HERE.


Plan for Success

Shade and Sun: Lily of the valley blooms best in partial shade. The plants will also grow in full shade, but may not produce as many flowers.

Zone: Lily of the valley is hardy in zones 3-9. Not sure about your hardiness zone? Check the USDA zone map here.

When to Plant: Plant bare root lily of the valley in early spring while the plants are still dormant. Potted plants may be planted at any time during the growing season.



Lily of the valley is a shade-loving groundcover with a dense root system. As the plants grow, the roots spread and will eventually crowd out weeds and most other nearby plants. Over time, just a few plants will become a lush carpet of green. From spring to fall, lily of the valley will keep landscaped areas looking neatly maintained with little or no attention.

Lily of the valley should not be planted in a perennial garden. Instead, treat it as a ground cover, giving it a place where it can roam. Suitable planting locations include shady or partly shady areas under trees or shrubs, steep banks and uneven terrain where it’s difficult to maneuver a lawn mower, and derelict areas where few other plants will grow.


How to Plant Lily of the Valley

1. Loosen the soil to a depth of 12”. To improve the soil, you can mix in compost and all-purpose granular fertilizer (follow package directions).

2. Dig a hole deep enough for the roots, and position the plant so the crown (where the roots meet the stem) is about an inch below the soil surface.

3. Cover the roots with soil and water well.


Tips for Growing Lily of the Valley

If the roots seem to be relatively dry at planting time, you can soak them in cool water for an hour before planting. As with all new plants, lily of the valley should be watered weekly for the first 4-6 weeks after planting.

Lily of the valley is an extremely tough plant and it will grow in almost any type of soil or climate. Though the roots love moisture, once the plants are established, they are quite drought tolerant.

In warmer zones, the foliage of lily of the valley usually stays green throughout the winter. Deer rarely bother the plants or the flowers.


How to Care for Lily of the Valley

Lily of the valley may be the easiest plant you'll ever grow. It requires zero maintenance!

After the flowers finish blooming, they quickly fade away. No need to deadhead. The foliage stays green throughout the season, especially if the plants have access to plenty of moisture and are grown in part to full shade. 

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