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Lovely Lilies of the Valley

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Easily grown, Lily of the Valley plants will take a couple of years to establish and may not flower the first year. But their creeping rhizomes will soon spread rapidly, making a lovely ground cover even under large trees. These hardy perennials thrive in zones 3 through 7.

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Lily of the valley prefers well-drained but moist soil and does best in partial shade. It will grow in sun if soil moisture is consistent, but the foliage may not look its best.

Often used in nosegays, Lily of the Valley can be utilized in fragrant spring wedding bouquets.

Lily of the Valley is easily divided when dormant in spring or fall. Simply dig up the small rhizomes (called pips), gently separate, and replant 4 inches apart; plants will fill in quickly. Water well after transplanting. Sometimes you can find another gardener who is willing to share clumps of their established Lily of the Valley. Watch on Craigslist and Freecycle or ask family and friends if they have any they would like to share.

Lily of the Valley can also be grown from seed. After blooming in early spring, red berries form. The seeds are inside the berries. Seed germination requires almost one year, so growing them from rhizomes is faster and easier.

Be aware that Lily of the Valley is poisonous so take care when growing this plant near curious children.

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