Lily of the Valley trouble & transplanting

SharonC1951March 16, 2011

I have had 0 luck trying to start lily of the valley in my house to transplant outside in the spring. I bought 15 pips that already had shoots on them. I put each of them in their own big peat pot. 5 of them continued to grow. Every other time I have tried to grow them by planting them directly outside they do nothing. I tried starting them in the house last year. Some had shoots on them. They starting doing pretty good but shortly thereafter they died. I have been really careful not to over water them. The leaves on the ones that are growing have started turning a tan color and are brittle in areas. What am I doing wrong now?? At what point should I try to place them in the ground outside?

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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

You might want to post this on the perennials forum as this forum is for true lilies (lilium).Not sure what your zone is. They like loamy soil, moist but well-drained( doesn't almost everything) with dappled shade.I wish I could be of more help but here if you leave a pip lying on the ground you'll have a plant. Very aggressive. I know that zones over 8 are to hot for them and possibly even some parts of 8. It may be a zone thing?!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 10:40PM
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They should do best planted directly outdoors (although they can be forced indoors). They like a richly organic soil with good drainage but also with even moisture. And some shade. And make sure to locate somewhere where they can be allowed to spread as once established, they can be quite aggressive.

In hot summer areas or with high humidity, they can go dormant quite soon after blooming.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 12:58PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

They are a weed here. Throw the pips on the ground and they take off. I've been digging them out for a decade and haven't made a dent. They smother more desirable perennials and their fabulous scent only lasts a week.

I would not think they needed to be started indoors. It may be too hot in summer for them in your climate. I'm zone 8 but we barely get any days over 80* and we get tons of rain.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 12:58PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

If you lived in my zone, I would say you are in luck. When we bought this house 28 years ago, I found them here and have been digging them out every year since, and cannot get rid of them. I would recommend you plant them outdoors in a shaded spot with adequate moisture. They should take off. But beware of them, they are agressive.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 4:32AM
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I have been trying to dig these up and give them to anyone who wants them. In My Enfield home they were kept in check by a swamp maple (lots of thin roots at ground level). When I moved to Middletown they just invaded everything so I made the decision they had to go. I dug one bunch up, just pulled on it and pulled a 3 foot by 12 inch bunch of rhizomes all tightly packed together.

I often joked, because the local plant shops sell three pips for about $5.99, that I could pay my mortgage selling this invasive weed to unsuspecting gardeners.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 11:19AM
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I just have to tell you a funny concerning lil of the valley. Been married now for over 50 years I got these plants from a friend planted them and for years they just sat there now last 2 years they are really getting out of control. Only thing I can figure out the mulch helped vitalize the soil. ODD

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 6:25PM
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I bought pips at well respected greenhouses in my area. For years I had no luck. They'd never come back. My Mom told me the secret to getting them to grow was to get them from someone who loves you. She got hers from a friend. I got mine from her. They are just starting to spread, which is what I was hoping for.

Mind you I planted the ones I got from her in the SAME locations where the bought ones had died! Go figure.

They do like shade. Peat pots are usually for starting seeds. Peat pots provide no nutrients to the plant. Try potting it in potting soil or plant it outside.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 4:45PM
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ingami(z3b AB)

Oh boy, they are a weed here too, in some places, kind of a nice weed, but how they do travel, terrible!
** the first year after planting the pips, they usually take a year to look like anything, before I got smart and realized how invasive they are, I wanted some, and I was disgusted because the year I planted them, they collapsed, looked like nothing. Next year, onward ho!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 1:11PM
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