Planting Lily of the Valley: Pots or Beds

Lily of the Valley (convallaria) plants can be planted in pots or in beds, with positive and negative effects associated with each.  Here are some steps and hints to improve the health of your Lily of the Valley.


If left out of the ground for more than 10 days, the bulbous roots can dry up. Soaking your bulbous roots in lukewarm water right before you begin planting will allow them to absorb the water and grow faster. After soaking the root, cut the last inch off the roots to trigger growth. For the soil, you should begin with a well drained, good quality nutrient rich brand for your pots. There should be sufficient drainage holes in the pot so it doesn't get waterlogged. When planting the root, the tops should barely push above the surface and should be about 1.5 inches apart. Water liberally after planting and remember once the leaves start to form not to cut the leaves unless they begin to yellow late in the season.

Outdoor Beds

You will want to make sure the location you choose for your outdoor bed is a well drained area. The planting process does not differ between a pot and an outdoor bed. Cut the root and soak it in warm water to stimulate the growth cycle. Make sure that you have prepared your outdoor bed with plenty of nutrients and make sure it is cultivated deep enough to allow proper root growth. 6 to 8 inches of loose soil will be sufficient but 12 inches is ideal. Plant them in a containable area unless you want them to spread. The roots have been known to propagate on their own.


When it comes down to comparing pots to beds, a lot of people prefer pots as it is easier to control the number of bulbs that way.  Your garden can easily be overtaken if not watched properly.  Lily of the valley flowers also grow better in smaller, confined spaces. Some gardeners prefer an outdoor space as the climate is easier to obtain. Lilies of the Valley need to go through a dormant period to stratify and stratification can only occur when the seeds moisturized more than 25%. Regardless of the area in which you plan to plant your flowers, they will flourish when they receive light to modest shade.

Lily of the valley flowers are an easy plant to grow in either a pot or a flower bed, Advantages of a pot might be that you can place them wherever you want such as at entryways and walkways without having a flower bed. An advantage of pot planting is also control, lily of the valley tend to spread rapidly when not in a controlled area by self propagating. Planting in a bed is a great way to fill space with a beautiful flower. You can use it as a border or as a backdrop for more flowers. Just make sure to tend to them carefully to prevent them from spreading to unwanted areas.