Lily of the valley heralds the highlight of the gardening season with their white flowers. What hardly anyone knows: You can drive the perennials in the pot and let them bloom on the windowsill in winter.
The hardy lilies of the valley (Convallaria majalis) are among the popular spring bloomers and show in a partially shaded location with good soil – as the name suggests – grapes with pearl-like white bell flowers in May.
Planting place and propagation
The small perennials from the asparagus family (Asparagaceae) grow mainly on the forest floor and are often used in the garden for underplanting perennials and trees. Lilies of the valley reproduce through rhizomes and in a good location they spread practically without limit. In the garden bed, you should therefore consider a rhizome barrier before planting.
Lily of the valley for the apartment
Unfortunately, lilies of the valley only last a few days in the vase
Especially because of their lush, floral scent, lilies of the valley are wonderfully suitable as pot and decorative plants. While the small perennial rests in the garden over the winter months, you can easily bring it to bloom in winter by driving it in the apartment. Lilies of the valley grow relatively quickly and then fill the warm living room with their wonderful scent of flowers. Lilies of the valley are rarely found in the flower trade, as they are not suitable for mass culture. Attention: Although the lily of the valley reproduces easily, it is under nature protection in Germany. Excavation in the field is therefore prohibited!
Drive lilies of the valley
Poke out the lily of the valley rhizomes with a hand shovel and shake off the soil
Between November and early December, use a small hand shovel to dig out some older pieces from the lily of the valley carpet in the garden. It is better to choose the time later than earlier because the flower sprouts need a cold stimulus to develop flowers later. It is, therefore, best to choose a place that has already flowered, because the lack of cold stimulus means that the annual lily of the valley rhizomes initially only form leaves, but no flowers.
Dressing lilies of the valley: this is how it works
When inserting, make sure that the tip of the bud protrudes from the earth
Shake off the clinging soil and plant the root network in a flower pot about twelve centimeters wide. Make sure that the horizontal roots are also planted horizontally again. You should use a mixture of one-third of humus-rich garden soil, sand, and potting soil as the substrate. The reddish winter buds mustn’t be covered with soil when planting. The tips of the buds should be level with the top layer of soil.
First warm, then cool
Place the freshly planted lily of the valley pots at around 20 degrees Celsius on a light window sill or in the greenhouse and keep them evenly moist.
In semi-shady clearings in the forest, lilies of the valley grow like large carpets. If the location is too shady, the perennials will not develop flowers
After the leaves have sprouted, the lilies of the valley are allowed into the living room, where they bloom after another two to three weeks. The flowers last longer in cool rooms. If they have faded, you can simply plant the lilies of the valley again in the garden bed.
If you want to continue cultivating the lilies of the valley in the pot, you should divide and repot them regularly, otherwise, the rapidly growing roots will quickly take up the entire pot and the plant will die. Hobby gardeners who do not have their own lilies of the valley in the garden can buy cold-treated flowering germs (buds with roots) in specialist shops.
Caution: When dressing lilies of the valley in your home, remember that all parts of the lily of the valley – especially flowers and berries – are highly toxic to children and pets. Serious symptoms of poisoning do not occur until after copious consumption of parts of the plant, but a protected location under observation is still recommended.