Growing Guide
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Lily of the Valley

Spring-Flowering Bulb

Convallaria majalis
Liliaceae Family

Lily-of-the-Valley bears dainty white flowers with a strong, sweet perfume in spring. It can be an aggressive groundcover given the right conditions of part shade and rich, moist soil, but it may struggle in warmer conditions of Zones 6 and 7. Deer resistant.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
  • part shade
  • full shade
Prefers part shade.

Soil conditions:

  • requires well-drained soil
  • tolerates damp soil
Prefers rich, moist but well-drained soil.

Hardiness zones:

  • 2 to 7

Special locations:

  • outdoor containers
  • indoors as a houseplant - If desired, dig some plants in fall, pot and enjoy their perfume when they flower overwinter.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 0.25 to 0.75 feet

'Fortin's Giant' may grow 1 foot or more.

Spread: 0.25 to 0.5 feet

Can continue spreading indefinitely.

Bloom time: late spring

Flower color: white

Foliage color: medium green

Foliage texture: medium


  • cushion, mound or clump
  • spreading mass

Shape in flower: flower stalks with flowers hanging downward

Bell-like blooms hang from semi-pendulous stems.

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • aggressive - Spreads by rhizomes.
  • non-invasive
  • native to North America - Native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
  • fragrant - Blooms are strong but sweetly fragrant.
Special uses:
  • naturalistic garden
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by division or separation - Divide plants right after flowering or in the fall.

Maintenance and care:
Keep soil moist but not soggy. With rich soil, moist conditions and part shade, plants may spread aggressively and need to be contained or dug out to prevent them from taking over-running less aggressive plants.

More growing information: How to Grow Bulbs

'Albostriata' has white-striped leaves.

'Flore Pleno' has double flowers.

'Fortin Giant' ('Fortin's Variety') grows 12 to 15 inches tall.

'Rosea' has pink flowers.