when to transplant lily of the valley

komi(z7/8 DC)April 20, 2003

I bought a couple of half gallon (I think) pots of lily of the valley last weekend. They are putting out leaves (already a few inches tall). When is the best time to plant them? Are they one of those that should be placed while dormant?


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Dagget(5/6 Central OH)

No time like the present, I say. I have several beds of these various places around the house, and they are always getting in the way of digging projects. I plant the ones dug up, and they always do well.
They will spread quicker in the ground than in the pot.
I would just be sure to give them some water over the summer from time to time.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2003 at 8:16AM
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Don't worry. They'' be happy whenever you do it!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2003 at 12:11PM
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carnivorous23(z5 Il)

I would also recomend doing it quickly, the roots really spread fast.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2003 at 2:25PM
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This type of thread always makes me feel so inept! I have planted LofV pips three times and can't get them to take. My soil is well prepared, shady (perhaps too much?) and most things planted there grow very well - bleeding hearts, sweet woodruff, etc. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2003 at 1:26AM
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komi(z7/8 DC)

Hi Sue. I was warned that pips often don't do well so I picked up a couple of plants and some pips. The pips have done nada (even though they looked viable) whereas the plants are doing well. (Maybe the pips will do something later, who knows....) Since I grow in containers on my balcony, my conditions are different (but I can monitor those pips well). But, based on what I've heard from others, I would recommend that you hunt down some plants for next year and give that a try (people with LOVs in their yard often have some to spare). That way you'll know whether the problem is the location or the pips.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2003 at 7:37PM
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Shade ought not to be a problem. I would, however, plant them in an area that can be controlled, o they will be everywhere

    Bookmark   May 31, 2003 at 10:37AM
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kirsona(z5 IL)

Sue if you need some starts off of some well growing plants i have some to trade. I can easily give you a square foot of plant. I have moved the stuff i have from almost full sun to dense shade and both are doing well a bit to well....thus the ability to trade so much! *lol*

    Bookmark   May 31, 2003 at 10:58AM
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I ordered some pips last fall and now it's march here in georgia and I haven't seen a darn thing come up in the ground. The area is somewhat more moist than other areas. When should the pips be "coming up"? Perhaps I will have to buy transplants as well.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2004 at 12:09PM
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highdesertrose(z3-4 OR)

I would like to know how to KILL lily of the valley!!!Mine is strangling out my daylilies, creeping under the sidewalk to the other side. I'm afraid if I put an herbicide on some of them, it will transfer to the other plants they grow through. I can dig until doomsday and still will have more than I want.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2004 at 5:33PM
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komi(z7/8 DC)

LOL. I started this thread almost a year ago and it's funny to see it's still here. I can report that I think I see a bit of lily of the valley sprouting from my transplants last year. I grow mine in a container on my balcony - we'll see if who wins the battle - the toad lily (chunk of roots) or LOV.

If anyone is digging some up and would be willing to trade, it looks like a few of us might be interested. ;)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2004 at 5:48PM
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krschroder(z5 Colorado)

I'm looking to transplant some LOV from my late grandmother's Kansas garden to containers on my apartment balcony in Colorado. Any tips would be much appreciated!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2004 at 7:51PM
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waplummer(Z5 NY)

Hoe do y ou get rid of lili of the valley? We planted some 40 years ago and a few leaves keep coming back.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2004 at 1:46PM
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i am looking for tips on how to dig them up...

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 4:39PM
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Poochella(7 WA)

SueZ5, don't feel left out: I've also bought plants and planted these 3 times and killed them! Now I've got starts coming up from a trade last Fall and one is even blooming. I couldn't be happier, but reserve the right to complain about how they spread in another two years.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 8:22PM
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susanargus(z7 NoVA)

I've been impressed by the "contained locations" I keep seeing LOV in. My mother had a tiny square off the driveway, surrounded by asphalt and/or house, and the previous owners of my house put them in a tiny bed between a concrete path and the garage. Good luck to all of you for identifying a similar prison area for your Lily of the Valley!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 4:04PM
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eden_in_me(5a Maine)

I put a few in a sunken flowerpot a few years ago which is now getting a little crowded. After flowering I plan to dug up the pot and leave just a few and put some in other pots to bury in a different part of the garden.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 9:19PM
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I know it is only a matter of time until I am over run by LOV.
I should start digging now while I still have other plants, but they are about to bloom. I hear about people haveing trouble and I cannot imagine. YOu say dirt near them and they spread. I think a wise gardener would sink a container and then plant. I of course am not a wise gardener. I have them sprinkled all over the place. I hear dry shade slows them down.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 1:39PM
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Hello People!..I purchased some white pips and some pink pips last year and potted them up in a one gallon container...I never got around to planting them in the ground, and now I am glad I didn't!...they wintered over just fine and are now a good sized group of nice looking leaves...I think sinking them in a container to keep them under control is a GREAT idea...I will replant them in a bit wider pot and maybe put a few into several other pots and sink them here and there under the aspens...are the holes in regular nursery pots adequate for drainage?....or should I drill in a few more holes directly in the bottom?..I don't want them to rot, but also don't want them to escape!...GardenLove

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 12:18AM
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You never got an answer Garden love, hate that!I think they would be fine. Is it? i have wondered if they would escape over the top. My roots run fairly shallow it seems. If there wasn't a lip sticking above the soil I thnk they could jump out of the container. I jsut pull the ones I don't like up as I weed my gardens. As my son says soe day when I am too old to weed our yard will be a mess. when I am too infirm i can hopefully watch the race and see which plant takes over. Ihave LOV, snow on the mountain, creeping jenny, baby tears,ajuga. All would love to run amuck.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 9:02AM
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okay...all you people who are trying to get rid of the stuff need to let me send you postage...LOL.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 9:25PM
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Hi, I'm a new Member, and this is actually the first time I've ever been on a forum. Newlywed, new gardener, new everything. Lily of the valley is my favorite plant (well, it's tied with a few others!) and I'm currently trying to grow one in a pot. Got a root at walmart and am amazed at how well it's doing, since it was so cheap. I actually found this forum because I was searching the web for advice on planting lily of the valley. Thanks! ~liz

    Bookmark   January 25, 2006 at 1:02PM
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sheryl_ontario(Muncho Lake, BC z2)

Well, Liz, you've come to the right place. You'll probably be over run with lily of the valey in a few years. Plant it somewhere in the shade. It deosn't like a lot of sun.

Oooo Arcy! I've had all of those at one time or another! I had to pull out the snow on the mountain and grow it in a contained space. I also have had creeping buttercup - that tops them al for invasiveness!! I was told to abandon it and just run away, but I didn't. I stuck with it and dug it all out. Creeping Jenny I love. It also grows in the aquarium and in the pond and the fish don't eat it. But it is invasinve in the garden!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 10:59AM
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hi, all. new member, and a lurker 'til now.

i have LoV that was given me three years ago. it's in a mostly-shaded spot (northern exposure)...and just sitting there. nice, healthy-looking leaves--no spreading; no flowers; no nothing.

the gal who gave them to me said she'd had them in full sun. we're in idaho (zone 6 with FILTHY-hot summers). they're keeping company with a day lily (that is going to be moved); hardy ivy (in the corner & climbing the fence); some sedum (can't recall the variety); and a few spanish bluebells.

what think you? ought i pot them and see? move them laterally to a new bed i'm making (fewer rocks)? leave them alone?

thank you!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 7:36PM
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Help me, Please! I am waiting for the day that I plant LOV and get it to be out of control....mine all die or just don't spread...Geez! What am I doing wrong? I think I have a black thumb or something!!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 8:35PM
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ahughes798(z5 IL)

fyi...Roundup works nicely on LOTV.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 12:00AM
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I am always amazed by this computer!!! I needed to find out the best time to transplant lilies of the valley and when I put my request into Google.....this page popped up. Amazing.
Thank you all so much for your help. My son has a huge bed of these fabulous flowers and he wants to get rid of some of them. I agreed to take a bunch because I love them so much but didn't know when or how to plant them. I certainly do know now.....and again, THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!!!!
Happy Planting.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 9:28AM
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HELP!!!! I love LOVS and just bought 20 plants now I am told they multiply and I have very little shade. I really want them in my yard as I had them along with lilac bushes when I was a child and I would love to have them in my own back yard . Any suggestions on what to do ? I have severe arthritius and need something with not to much maintence. Thanks in advance, LadySue

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 6:23PM
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playsinthedirt20(z6 HudsonValley)


Welcome! Too bad to hear of your arthritis, as that must be frustrating when you yearn to garden.

I have so many LOV's growing in all areas of my yard - sun, dry shade, wet shade - they seem to settle in anywhere. (I'm in Z6, lower Hudson Valley)

They are fairly shallow-rooted, so if you can manage to prepare a bed with a decent amount of compost mixed in, you can push them gently into the ground, sprinkle some more soil/compost over them, then gently firm them in with your foot. Then water until established. Also, it helps if you an make sure that they are standing up straight. Sometimes, if they are planted at an angle, they tend to uproot themselves in a heavy rain. Good luck, and happy gardening!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 11:14PM
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my daughter wants lov for her wedding flower. i have established beds. how should i put some in containers and control the bloom time for next may 18th. any help would be great. thanks.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 9:44PM
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Hi everyone. I can't seem to find any lily of the valley to buy in a pot and put in the ground (I just dug a holly bush out of a small area -- it got too big for its britches -- and thought it would be a good place to put LOV). Do they only sell them at certain times of year? Or is there a place where you can send away for a couple of them?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 2:49PM
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highdesertrose(z3-4 OR)

Hi: My favorite plant book says to "Plant rootstocks (pips) in humus-enriched soil in shaded location. Plants respond to fertilizer by producing more and larger flowers; apply after tops die down. Divide into single crowns in early fall; division seldom needed and only after flowering deteriorates." I'm sure glad I haven't fertilized my sandy soil, or mine would be climbing up the side of my south and west facing garage. The only shade they get is in the morning.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 7:05PM
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i have a yard full of flowers i did not know i had and my frieand come over and said man thats a lot i have a yard full of lillys of the vally any pinters i wood be glad to hear i am not a flower grower first year dont know anything on flowers

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 11:10PM
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As LOV are my Birth flower and I have had them every year from someplace. Now that I have settled down I want them in my yard. My mother and grandmother always had then by the side of their house in Wisconsin. I now live in Colorado and I have a chance to get a bunch so when can I transplant them as he doesn't know either. Don't know what Zone I am in.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 6:53PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

You can find your zone by your zipcode. Just get one of those sites from Google.

Transplant virtually any time. Lily of the valley are really tough customers!


    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 7:13AM
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Have I delayed lily-of-the-valley planting too long?

Newby here. The silver maple in my front yard was planted much too close to my house in an area about 25' square. It's bounded on one side by my house and three sides by cement. The grass is fighting a losing battle against the tree, what with the roots heaving up the soil, so I thought lotv might make it a good companion (or adversary).

(The tree seems to have spared the house, which was built in 1957, its foundation still intact.)

I'm making a raised bed 7" high out of the 25' square and will fill it with þ HD âÂÂtopsoilâ (dirt) and ü HD humus/manure. It will drain.

The problem is that building the supports for the raised bed is taking 5x longer than I thought it would, and those pips have been sitting in the service sink in the basement for a week. I've kept them perfectly evenly moist in well punctured baggies �" never soggy or saturated.

The roots feel like they've been starched and smell like clean earth. No rot or mold at all. BUT...some of the tips (of the pips?) are kind of reddish brown, and some are green. I think they were paler when they arrived.

So what's with that color? Are the pips dying? Have they passed the point of no return? Should I forget about them and get fresh ones? Or are they okay? And what do you think of my soil formula?

I'm going to plant them tomorrow or the next day, at the latest.

Thanks very much for your thoughts.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 11:50PM
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