How Invasive Is Lily Of the Valley?

Is lily of the valley invasive? The lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) is a perennial that grows from underground stem-shaped rhizomes that spread horizontally, often with incredible speed.

It also reproduces from seeds. Exactly how invasive is the lily of the valley anyway? Should I plant them in my garden?

The plant has escaped cultivation and has been listed as invasive plants in some states, primarily due to its tendency to form large colonies that threaten native plants.

It is especially happy in shady and wooded areas and does not always do well in poor, dry soils or bright sunlight.

In less suitable areas, it may not be invasive in the strictest sense of the word, but the lily of the valley certainly has aggressive tendencies that may make you think twice about planting this adorable little innocent-looking plant.


    Let's consider the pros and cons:

    If you have a clean and well-organized garden, you can pass the lily of the valley and choose a more educated plant.

    If, on the other hand, you have enough room for the plant to spread out, you may be fine. After all, the plant offers a beautiful spring color, along with a powerful fragrance that you can either love or hate.

    The flowers are short-lived, but the sword-shaped leaf clusters make an attractive ground cover. Just don't expect the clumps to stay within the confines of a flowerbed or border.

    Once established, the lily of the valley is an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.

    Even if you plant a lily of the valley in a restricted area, the rhizomes will likely tunnel below the surface and stop to break free.

    Controlling Lily of the Valley

    While there are no guarantees to control this plant, the following tips can help you reign supreme in the wild lily of the valley growth.

    Dig up the rhizomes with a shovel or shovel. Sift the soil carefully with your hands, as even a small piece of rhizome will generate a new plant and eventually a new colony.

    If possible, cover the area with cardboard to block the growth of new rhizomes. Leave the lid in place for at least six months.

    Cover the area with mulch if you want to camouflage the cardboard. Cut plants frequently to avoid seed development.

    This is a good way to deal with lilies of the valley on your lawn. As a last resort, spray the plants with a product that contains glyphosate.

    Remember that the chemical will kill any plants it touches. Also, you may consider growing the plant in containers.

    Note: All parts of the lily of the valley are toxic and can irritate the skin. Always wear gloves when handling rhizomes or any part of the plant.

    We hope you enjoy watching this video about Lily's of the Valley Plant Profile:

    Source: Washington Gardener Magazine

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