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Lilly of the Valley

Posted by barbella z6a PA (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 7, 03 at 22:25

I just planted 100 Lilly of the Valley this week and being new to gardening I wonder if I planted them deep enough since some are wilting to the ground. It looks as if the stems are unable to support them. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

M


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Generally plant them at the same level as they were in, in the pots. Here near toronto, the first root chluster seems to be about 3 - 4 inches down. However, they are sturdy little buggers and will probably survive. The others will soon fill in any blank spots, trust me!


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

I just had to respond to this post since I just finished digging out around a million lily of the valley. They were
a virtual army marching across anything in their path (including paths) and some of my more precious little perennials.

So, my advice is: l. Keep them watered till established.

2. Only plant them where their inevitable spreading will be a disirable thing. Make sure that they can be contained. They WILL become a solid mat of
roots in time - very difficult to remove or change.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Hey Rhoda, want to send any of those l.o.v. my way?
Betsy


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

God, the fact that anyone want this horrid invasive little weed is beyond me!

Here (also in Toronto) I have been pulling at these little buggers for years trying to finally remove them from what was a 20 foot clump! I think I finally have succeeded.

However, irony of ironies is that I recently saw Convallaria majalis 'Striata' and want some for my garden!

I finally found a guy in Waterford, ontario growing it. Luckily he says it doesn't spread like the other stuff.

Ian


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

When I moved in, the previous owner had them planted on the entire N side of the house. They have now spread around to the front of the house behind the evergreens, actually jumped the sidewalk, and continued on the other side. Now I have them starting on the S side of my house. They're pretty when they bloom, but are noxious little weeds!


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

But..do they not smell like heaven? I'll tale them anywhere!


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Funny that so many of you consider this a weed. I planted about 30 LOV plants 30 years ago, and I believe that as of this year I may have 10 left. They do not really like woodland unless it is DAMP woodland. As most all my land is very steep, very well drained, heavy shade, And very dry, they hardly grow. I wish I could find anything that would grow well in these conditions. Currently the list is native heucheras, geramium maculatum, smilacina, and a jillion weeds. I have high hopes for epimediums but have only had them 2 years so jury is still out.

George


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

What is the best way to get rid of them? Previous owner installed them next to driveway. They are lifting the concrete. I cant even get a pickaxe into that flowerbed, the roots are like a solid mass of wood. Water running down the drive will not seep into that rock hard raised root mass and instead is channeled to my garage


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

a sodlifter (where applicable) is a useful device.Cut out rectangular strips and roll. Biomass wills sprout wherever you dump it. Good grief...


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

well...a sodlifter is more useful for Hydrophyllum and Podophyllum.Convallaria required a flat end spade,heavy workboots and a strong leg...didn't have permission to use dynamite ...sigh:-(


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

i keep hearing how lov is invasive but i have 1 that comes back every year but never multiplies
its under a tree in a raised (pretty dry) bed
is this why it doesnt multiply? i got it by mistake when a friend gave me a hosta ,it must have been in the soil with the hosta
any advice?


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

They like a moderately moist soil and may take a bit of time to get established. I had some dried-up pips that took 5 years to finally begin to multiply. I think planting them shallowly (~2" or so) helps to get them going better...


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

This is my first garden - what a lucky break with all the rain.
I'm very surprised at the negative remarks about LOV. A neighbor has a lovely old patch. The smell was so intoxicating that I planted several under a black oak tree hoping they would spread. Someone told me they would not grow well under the tree. Does anyone know?
They are next to a small round brick patio I built and I thought the sweet aroma would be lovely.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Surprising that you all find it needs so much moisture. I grew up in a house 3 blocks from Lake Michigan with only about 12 inches of top-soil before you hit sand and parents who were not terribly committed to gardening (i.e. watering was infrequent). They have Lily of the Valley EVERYWHERE. It even chokes out the mulberry volunteers and is encroaching on the daylilies. To add insult to injury it doesn't even flower that well. Only saving grace is that it pulls out of the sand with very little effort.
On another note, I cleaned out a huge bunch this spring and put it on a pile of weeds and brush. Over the summer it was covered with 4 feet the remains of many other thugs. Last week, the city came to pick up the pile, as they uncovered the remains, we discovered about a dozen new live LOV working their way to the top. I suppose now they are out there somewhere contaminating the community compost...


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

I am looking for a source for around 200-300 Convallaria pips, and am having trouble finding one. Anybody know a mail order source?


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

I don't know what I can actually list here, so if
you email me via "my page" I can give you some info.
I have no idea if it is reasonably priced or not.

Garden_Rookie


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RE: Lilly of the Valley OOPS mean't for Michael W

Sorry!

That was in response to:
"I am looking for a source for around 200-300
Convallaria pips, and am having trouble finding one.
Anybody know a mail order source?"

Garden_Rookie


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Are the LOV's poisonous to dogs or any other animals?
I was considering planting som LOV this year. After reading this I find that I may want to plant them in a place other than my garder ;o) Just kidding!! I have a spot picked for them but also own two dogs. Want to make sure they are safe to them before planting them.

Thanks
Nanc


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Oh, how I miss the sweet smell of LOV! I lived most of my life in Michigan, but now live in NC. In Michigan, I had LOV planted under the Lilac bush. The conditions were similar to those described by justlearningtoplant:

" have 1 that comes back every year but never multiplies
its under a tree in a raised (pretty dry) bed
is this why it doesnt multiply?"

Mine were pretty well contained (in sandy loam)but easy to dig out if they crept out of their space. It seems likely, the more water they receive the more they spread.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

I to am a really big fan of them. I honestly don't think that you can have enough. I am getting ready to put fifty of them in. I cant wait untill they bloom out. For I will truly plant myself in the middle of them, drink the morning cofee, and start every morning that way while in bloom. I do understand how some people would consider them a weed. There are some plants I find horrible but others like them. Oh well what can you do. Except plant more and more and more.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Please!!! see the Lily of the Valley Eradication thread--
you DON't KNOW what you are getting into!


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

There is a similar thread on the Northwest Gardening Forum about bluebells. Some love them, some don't. I think a lot of it has to do with where you plant them, how much room you have and what you are trying to do. I love both plants by the way.

I have been planting both of them in my orchard, where they only have weeds and grass to crowd out, and can spread to their content. Never plant either anywhere you don't want HUNDREDS of them. I got most of my LOV from someone who keeps trying to dig theirs out of their yard. I've been getting a steady supply for about 3 years now! Muscari can be kind of similar also, mine are mostly in pots at the moment. They spread like crazy too. Actually, most bulbs that "naturalize" will spread and can be hard to get rid of. Not such a big deal on acreage, but can be a problem on small city lots. Although, one of my favorite old houses in my local town has half a yard full of bluebells, and it sure is wonderful looking. Other half of the yard is roses and peonies!

I wouldn't plant (now that I know better) most of these bulbs on a small lot inless you have really fluffy soil that it is easy to remove things from.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Lily of The Valley = English Ivy = water hyacinth = Dame's Rocket and... the list goes on but fortunately isn't endless.
For some reason, my post is not contained to the frame. I previewed it and do not understand why.
Sorry if you have to move bars to read sentences.

This is a woodland forum; why not consider planting something native and if one is insistent upon planting
an exotic why not consider at least planting one that isn't so potentially invasive.

First of all, let's call this plant by its proper name which is Convallaria majalis in the event anyone has an
interest in doing any searches on the invasive properties of this plant. Here's a web site provided by
the USDA. It shows the states where this European plant is now naturalized thanks to its extremely
aggressive tendencies. Naturalized means it has established itself and displaced native plants.
This means hundreds and hundreds of volunteers across the country work feverishly eradicating this plant
from forest preserves and other protected areas.
http://plants.usda.gov/cgi_bin/plant_profile.cgi?symbol=COMA7

Some of the major reasons why this plant has been so successful in out competing native flora are listed below-
Requirements:
Soil Type - Sandy loam to clay soils
Soil ph - neutral to slightly acidic
Water - moist to dry
Light - Full Shade to full sun

As you can see, it is quite adaptive. If people love the way this European Lily of The Valley smells, why not
purchase perfume, scented soaps, sachets, bath oils, or pot pourie?

Here are some links to woodland plants that are equally as graceful and are all white flowering just like the Lily
of The Valley-

Smooth Solomon's Seal would be the top contender-
http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/polygonatumbifl.html
Followed by:

False Solomon's Seal-
http://www.lima.ohio-state.edu/wildflowers/falsesol.html
Squirrel corn-
http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/dicentracana.html

Dutchman's Breeches-
http://ci.coe.uni.edu/facstaff/kuse/dutchman.htm
Great White trillium-
http://www.habitas.org.uk/gardenflora/trillium.htm

Bloodroot-
http://botit.botany.wisc.edu:16080/images/401/Magnoliophyta/Magnoliopsida/Magnoliidae/Papaveraceae/Sanguinaria_canadensis/S_canadensis_DW.html

Bleeding Heart-
http://ridgwaydb.mobot.org/kemperweb/plantfinder/Plant.asp?code=Y860

I am sure there are many more beautiful alternatives to Lily of The Valley that could be suggested by
other GW members.

Sorry if I sound so testy but I just finished volunteering to remove some LOV and it was hard work and I am in a
foul mood and I would have much preferred spending my time in other ways. The man hours spent eradicating
this stuff is absolutely incredible when it escapes and escape it has and will continue to do. Plants do not respect
man's boundaries. Lily Of The Valley is a poorly behaved plant.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

If you live in the northwest, one of my favorite native groundcovers is called false lily of the valley. It has sort of ginger like foliage and tiny sprays of fluffy flowers. It doesn't really look like lily of the valley, and it doesn't smell at all, but it is very pretty.

I still have a nice patch of lily of the valley also.... and I will still love it. It isn't on our state noxious weed list....as so many other plants on my property are... I'm getting rid of japanese knotweed, tansy, thistles... and I don't think I could ever get rid of the geraniums or the ox eye daisies even if I tried. They are totally mixed in my meadow, especially the geraniums. It is a lot of work to clean up a property.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Wow, you guys have scared me to pulling my just planted LOV! I've been trying to eradicate trumpit vine for 2 years now and all I need is another invasive monster.

Linda


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woodland vs native

Plants that are invasive in one area are not always invasive in another. Check your local noxious weeds lists and perhaps ask around in the forums divided by region. Many people don't have any problems with Lily of the Valley.

Lily of the valley IS a woodland plant, it is just not a native woodland plant. Not always the same thing.

I havn't planted Lily of the valley in my woodland areas, because I have wanted to encourage native plants. I put it in my orchard, which was originally just grass and weeds. No problem if it decides to go crazy. It would have to take over at least 5-6 acres before it could be a problem! I put my bluebells and daffodils there also.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

I planted four very wilted old starts last year under my willow tree in Alaska. This year we have 20 plants. I was concidering moving them. After reading this they are going into the compost pile.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Be glad to take any extras anyone has off their hands. Happy to pay postage or trade what I can. I love 'em!


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Thank you LauraZone5: I'm planning on putting in a woodland path this fall and hadn't thought of adding Bloodroot or Dutchman's Breeches. We are in MD but enjoyed these wild beauties in NY. Glad you mentioned them.

I, too, dug/pulled up many, many LOV in an old garden area in order to put in hostas & liriope. I moved a few to the edge of our property where they can have their way if they choose to survive.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

I planted 4 LOV on the south side of my garage earlier this spring. I planted them because I remember my Grandmother had some in a shady bed at her house. However, mine haven't grown a bit since I planted them in April. I can't believe they're going to become "invasive." I guess we'll just have to wait & see next Spring.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Have had a patch of them under an apple tree for 20 years. When they show signs of wanting to spread into other areas, I just pull them up. Not a big deal - the patch remains about the same size with not much effort and assorts well with astilbe, Labrador violets and epimediums. It is quite a dry area which may be why they are easy to keep in their place.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Can the Lilly of the Valley (Convallaria Majalis) grow in hydroponics. I am curious as I could find no reference on Internet re this.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

I absolutely love the smell of LOV, and sorry, the lotions and soaps, etc. aren't even close to being the same as the flowers.

I grew it in Anchorage and it was one of the few plants in that inhospitable climate that showed signs of invasiveness. It just loved the wet, cool soil there. My DH controlled it in the lawn with the lawn mower pretty effectively, but it was speading throughout the beds. Purple Martin, you were probably wise to pull it out.

Now I garden in the Seattle area and I planted it within plastic barrier cirles about 2' diameter and about 18" deep (plastic pots with the bottoms cut off). It's been five years and it hasn't shown any sign of escape. I think maybe it is not as vigorous here because of the extremely dry summers. I haven't watered it much, either.

It does need fertilizer to flower well.

I certainly wouldn't plant it anywhere it is listed as a noxious weed.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Love the smell of LOV...hate how it spreads. The people who lived here before me had a huge patch of it, and it was growing exponentially every year.

Last spring, I mixed round up with a little dish soap and fertiliser and sprayed it. It worked. No more LOV. BUT...they left behind these huge root masses......April


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

I live in Central Mass area and just bought some LOV at the local Lowe's. Now I am terrified to plant it in my garden based on what I have been reading. Should I plant it in my forest area instead of around the house or should I just get rid of the LOV's.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

I wouldnt' put them in the compost pile. You will get them coming up where ever you put the compost!!
Here in MN under by oaks,mine are spreading but far from a dense mat that cannot be dug through. 7 years ago I planted them in a sunny area. When I realized my error I dug them up and moved them. 7 years later I still find one to two come up every year. Every year I dig them out. I have many patches. I should start now removing them. When I am too old to garden they will take over. But I too love the smell!!


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Looking at the pattern of these comments, it appears that it depends a lot on which zone you're in. The people complaining about invasiveness seem to in the colder regions. But it sure doesn't act invasive for me.

About 20 years ago a patch of LOV was supposed to be put in as part of a new landscape plan. It took about 10 years before we realized they'd actually put them in (the company that did the planting didn't always follow the landscape architect's design). We finally have a small patch, but it still hasn't even filled in the shady area it was supposed to, even though we keep it weeded to prevent competition. I hoping it will fill in enough to control weeds by the time we're too old to weed it.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Anybody trying to get rid of their LOV send it to me. I love the flower, and the scent is heavenly. I'm trying to get some established under my peach tree. Far from being invasive, I'm trying to get it to grow. Back in Illinois we had some behind the garage and under the lilacs. In the ten years I lived there it spread, but very slowly, and was NEVER invasive.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Gosh, tell me how to grow these "noxious weeds"! I grew up with these in Minnesota and they were my favorite flower when I was a little girl. I have tried growing them all my life to no avail. I am now in Reno, NV. Zone 7. I built a lovely moist shade garden on the side of my house and planted the pips in a lovely moist dappled shady area. Bumpkus! What else do I have to do to have everybody else's problem!?!


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RE: Lily of the Valley

I received just the cut flowers from a neighbor who has LOV. If I put the ends in rooting powder, will the cut flowers propagate? Or should I ask her for some plants?


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

It's amazing to see how one woman's weed is another woman's favorite plant! I love LOV's. I've never planted them - only transplated clumps around the yard. They were here before I was, before my parents were, and were probably here when this housing development was an apple orchard.
Someone called them noxious weeds, someone else advocated eradicting them, others can't get enough. My feeling is to let Nature take her course. With a gentle nudge from me once in a while. If these things are growing here as natives (which they are) I'm not about to rip them out in favor of a water guzzling grass lawn. They make a great ground cover and the scent is impossible to duplicate in the lab. Besides, what are we supposed to do - put out soap and perfume and just hope it will waft on the breeze in the evening? Without attracting varmints? (lol)


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

I get much more 'wafted on the breeze' scent from Phlox divaricata than LOV. I pulled it out & replanted it in pots because I wanted to grow more plants with a longer season of interest in the same area.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Hi, I live in FL in zone 9. I love LOV and miss it so much from when I grew up in Ct . my question is Can I grow it in a big planter? My back yard is made up of roots from a very large tree that has rendered the yard undiggable. I have alot of shade, but there is a spot in my yard that receives partial sun. I ended up doing this with my glads and they have grown and bloomed already. I was very happy with this arrangement in my front yard. thanks for any answers that I will receive.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

I am also new to gardening. Is there anyway to grow LOV in Alabama. I am sure it is silly to want to, but I want to grow things that my neighbors don't have. Everyone has roses, azaleas, and crepe myrtles. Can LOV take on horrors like Chinese privett and English ivy?


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

I mentioned to the local florist that I had been digging LOV out of my garden, and she asked me to let it grow & she wants to buy the flowers! People want it for their weddings and it only blooms for a while.

It grows in hard packed clay on the bank next to our driveway -- slowly & no invasion of other places yet, and it holds the bank against erosion. I cut the flowers before they go to seed so I'm not worried about birds spreading it.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Oh, man. I swear I don't know what is wrong with my thumb!! Sometimes it is nice and green. other times, it must be dormant or something. I am the only person I know who cannot get invasives to stick! Come to think of it, I had a backyard full of bittersweet. We removed a bunch of it, and it is mostly gone! Go figure!(haven't had the same luck with poison ivy, but the population IS dwindling...) Anyway, I have planted about 15 pips in the past few years and only ONE has come up in spring! Now, I'm still hopeful for this year's crop(which I just planted last year), but so far, nothing. I also cannot get MINT to grow, which I'm sure will amuse some people to no end!

As for the LOV, well, after reading one post in particular, maybe I'll be lucky if it doesn't take where I last planted it because it's right next to a concrete walk. If it starts lifting THAT, my husband will stuff every delicate blossom right up my nose (the better to enjoy the lovely fragrance..). So I'll find a place in the woods...so that the bunny and deer can enjoy them, and plant some new pips there...ho-hum...


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

I planted just one lily of the valley (root/bulb) in a pot to be transplanted outside a little later this month - i've been keeping the pot in my front foyer with afternoon sun and plenty of water - it's been about a month now and believe or not, somehow in my efforts to baby/establish it, I am managing to kill my "hardy" perenial - HELP - what am i doing wrong - what should I do to help it survive?? The one flower died and the leaves are turning brown... am i overwatering? should i move it to a dark spot in the basement?? Please Help! :-)


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

I think a lot of us remember the sweet fragrance of l.o.v. from our grandmother's gardens. I know I do. I have some from my great-great-grandmother's garden and it's travelled clear across the country with each generation. I plant some in each shady garden I have. I'm planting a memory and each time I see/smell it, it reminds me of our tough pioneer ancestors that overcame many obstacles to flourish. That said, I contain my l.o.v. by sub-surface barrier because like those "tough pioneer ancestors" this plant is a survivor and will do its best to spread far and wide.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

After reading this thread, I'm planning on planting my newly purchased pips inside a deep plastic container buried in the ground (and with the bottom removed). I want to try growing them for the fragrance but don't want them spreading everywhere so don't want to take a chance. I live in North Little Rock AR so am curious to see if they will do well here. I have a shaded artificial waterfall and will attempt to grown them next to it, along with Autumn Ferns. I will report back on my progress as we all benefit from each other's experiences.

My Thanks to everyone who shared their experiences here.

Mary


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Anyone digging this up: Please let me know if you will send me some, I will gladly pay the postage on it. I want to put it in a container in the shade garden.

Thank You


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

I will take some also if anyone in SE PA needs to get rid of it.

I have acidic soil in my yard. Down the hill from our house, we have wet shady woods with a stream that does not have much ground cover. Some moss, a few ferns, and some large tree roots. That's about it. I'm looking for any fast growing/fast spreading plant that will help lock the soil in place down the side of the hill to help with our erosion problem.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Please, please don't plant LOV in the woods, where it will crowd out and kill native plants. If you have to have it, put a little of it in a sunken pot. Find other (preferably native) groundcovers for your orchards, etc. This is an extremely agressive plant, at least in my zone. If you ever want to grow anything ELSE, pass on the LOV.


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RE: Lilly of the Valley

Hi My Lilly of the valley is turning yellow and red. it happened last year so this year I sprayed them with Wilson's Flo Guard. Still the same result . Is there a cure or must I dig them all out. Thanks.


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