May flower : Lilly of the Valley

Today’s Home and Garden post is about May’s flower which is Lilly of the Valley. The flower, history, meaning and growing . I have a small patch along my drive way that I just love.

Lily of the valley blooms are bell-shaped and appear as a cluster on one side of a leafless stalk and last for about three weeks. The leaves are located at the base of the plant. The delicate white or soft pink flowers are very fragrant. 

 Botanical name: Convallaria majalis

• Family: Asparagus (Asparagaceae)

• Other names: Conval lily, Lady’s tears, May bells, Muguet, Our Lady’s tears, Mary’s tears.

Lily of the valley meaning

A symbol of purity, joy, love, sincerity, happiness and luck, lily of the valley has much significance beyond the United Kingdom. It’s actually the national flower of Finland, and in France, on 1st May for La Fête du Muguet, lily of the valleys are gifted to loved ones. This French custom dates back to the 16th century (inaugurated by Charles IX, King of France, in 1561) – symbolising luck and happiness.

Lily of the valley is mentioned 15 times in the Bible, most often in the Song of Solomon. With strong biblical connections, it’s said to have first bloomed where Eve’s tears fell as she left the Garden of Eden

Luke 12:27, which in the King James Version reads: Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

This fast-growing perennial provides excellent ground cover in gardens and quickly spreads to form a fragrant carpet of white or pink-nodding bell-shaped flowers in spring. Set against lush green leaves, lily of the valley also makes a wonderful cut flower for scented, springtime posies, and the plant traditionally features in spring wedding bouquets

Your Guide to Planning, Planting, and Growing Lily of the Valley


Plan for Success

Shade and Sun: Lily of the valley blooms best in partial shade. The plants will also grow in full shade, but may not produce as many flowers.

Zone: Lily of the valley is hardy in zones 3-9. Not sure about your hardiness zone? Check the USDA zone map here.

When to Plant: Plant bare root lily of the valley in early spring while the plants are still dormant. Potted plants may be planted at any time during the growing season.


Lily of the valley is a shade-loving groundcover with a dense root system. As the plants grow, the roots spread and will eventually crowd out weeds and most other nearby plants. Over time, just a few plants will become a lush carpet of green. From spring to fall, lily of the valley will keep landscaped areas looking neatly maintained with little or no attention.

Lily of the valley should not be planted in a perennial garden. Instead, treat it as a ground cover, giving it a place where it can roam. Suitable planting locations include shady or partly shady areas under trees or shrubs, steep banks and uneven terrain where it’s difficult to maneuver a lawn mower, and derelict areas where few other plants will grow.


How to Plant Lily of the Valley

1. Loosen the soil to a depth of 12”. To improve the soil, you can mix in compost and all-purpose granular fertilizer (follow package directions).

2. Dig a hole deep enough for the roots, and position the plant so the crown (where the roots meet the stem) is about an inch below the soil surface.

3. Cover the roots with soil and water well.


Tips for Growing Lily of the Valley

If the roots seem to be relatively dry at planting time, you can soak them in cool water for an hour before planting. As with all new plants, lily of the valley should be watered weekly for the first 4-6 weeks after planting.

Lily of the valley is an extremely tough plant and it will grow in almost any type of soil or climate. Though the roots love moisture, once the plants are established, they are quite drought tolerant.

In warmer zones, the foliage of lily of the valley usually stays green throughout the winter. Deer rarely bother the plants or the flowers.


How to Care for Lily of the Valley

Lily of the valley may be the easiest plant you’ll ever grow. It requires zero maintenance!

After the flowers finish blooming, they quickly fade away. No need to deadhead. The foliage stays green throughout the season, especially if the plants have access to plenty of moisture and are grown in part to full shade. 

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