Watters Tips: How to Grow Lily of the Valley

Watters Tips: How to Grow Lily of the Valley

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Ken Lin of Waters Garden Center in Prescott, Arizona participated in Plant of the Week last Friday. Here's your breakdown on how to grow lily of the valley!

Lily of the Valley (Waters Garden Center).

This gorgeous shrub loves to grow in the summer shade of pinyon pine. This evergreen plant delights in winter with dramatic, fiery growth in spring, producing clusters of fragrant flowers. Gorgeous wedding cake layers of white flowers swirl on graceful arching stems most of the winter and spring. The easy-care round shape stands out with glossy foliage throughout the winter, opening to white, bell-shaped flowers in the spring. This knee-high shrub is absolutely abhorrent to all deer and javelina.

  • You can live the life of the Zoya – Peris japonica
  • Common name – Lily of the Valley, Viterbush, Japanese Peris.
  • Size at maturity – Fast growing to 3 feet tall x wide
  • Bloom Time – spring
  • deciduous/evergreen – Evergreen
  • Flower trait – Showy flowers
  • flower color – Pink to pure white
  • Color of foliage – green
  • Garden patterns – Asian/Zen, Contemporary, Rustic, Forest
  • Growth habit – Built-in
  • USDA region – 5 to 7, USDA
  • Use of landscape – Borders, containers, fire/fire control, hedge, mass planting, specimen, forest garden
  • Light needs – Filtered sun, partial shade, partial sun
  • Distinctive feature – Dramatic foliage, year-round interest, compact form
  • Water needs – Moderate
  • Main Feature – An exciting flowering shrub

Planting lily of the valley

Lily of the valley grows vigorously in almost any shaded location. Gardeners plant it under trees where many other plants do not grow due to shade. It is a long-lived plant and does not have any serious problems with pests or diseases. It is useful to plant it in containers or a raised garden bed to avoid unwanted spread.

This plant needs little attention to thrive once established. Plan to water during dry periods. If the flowering time decreases on old plants, it benefits from digging them up in the winter and dividing the roots to revive their growth. Replant them where they have more space.

a light

Filtered sun, partial shade, partial sun


Lily of the valley prefers soil rich in organic matter with good drainage. But it can grow in a range of soil types, including clay soil. It likes a neutral soil pH but can tolerate slightly alkaline soil.


Water regularly – weekly, or more often at extreme temperatures or in containers. This plant prefers soil that is constantly moist but not wet. Water when the soil begins to dry out due to lack of rainfall and/or hot weather. Too dry soil will hinder plant growth and flowering.

Temperature and humidity

Lily of the valley prefers temperate conditions with moderate humidity. Temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees are ideal for cool mountain nights.


Keep these evergreen perennials happy by feeding them 3 times a year with a 7-4-4 all-purpose food (March, July and October).


Wild animals avoid lily of the valley. The plant, including its orange-red fruits, is often tempting to children and pets, and is toxic. The toxins are more concentrated in the roots and are not transmitted by touching the skin.

Fortunately, let's say you need to work with lily of the valley in your garden. In this case, you do not have to worry about symptoms arising through skin contact while handling the plant.

This article was written by Ken Lin. He can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contact him through his website at WattersGardenCenter.com or Top10Plants.com.

Get more gardening tips from Watters Garden Center in the Mountain Gardener column on Signals A Z.com.

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