lily of the valley



eed to get rid of this! dig it up as much as possible. then newspapers and on top, soil… i guess the newspapers biodegrade and next year i can plant right on top of the soil?


Hello!  I only wish it were so easy!  Lilly of the Valley Convallaria majalis is one of the most difficult of the garden invaders to eradicate.  I cringe every time I see it for sale at the garden center.  My neighbour once tried to get rid of it by paving a patch over with asphalt.  Failed!  The following spring, the darn spikes of new growth broke through 2 inches of pitch.  I have been successful by using the following method.  First, if there are any plants in the area you wish to save, dig them out and completely clean the rots of all soil.  I do this by gently pressure washing with the hose, making sure the only thing left are the bare roots of the plant.  Once you have temporarily planted your plants in containers you can start on your bed.  You must dig out soil completely, and using a sieve, remove every last piece of the root rhizomes.  Any pieces of rhizome that is left will sprout out and develop into plants.  Do not put the discarded rhizomes into your compost.  I was able to purchase a garden sieve online. To be completely successful you must make sure this plant is not lurking around in another area close to where you wish to start your new bed for it will quickly migrate to all that delicious new soil.  If that is impossible, try making a barrier around your newly planted bed making sure barrier is deep enough to repel invading rhizomes.  You will have to keep watch and quickly eliminate any that find their way in.  Good luck!  It is a mighty task, but once done you will be so grateful to be rid of it!