Growing Lily-of-the-Valley for Forcing

The Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis) we offer for forcing are dormant plants with "pips" that have already been specially prepared to bloom indoors. Remove and discard the packing material before potting.

To pot the pips, first moisten the potting mix we supply. Place it in a plastic tub and slowly add warm water, stirring with your hand until the mix is moist but not soggy. Put a layer of moistened potting mix in a terra cotta pot (supplied with some kits). Then set the pips on top of the mix, spacing them evenly in the container. (If the roots are longer than the container is deep, lay them horizontally or trim them slightly—making them no shorter than 4 inches.) Cover the roots with additional mix until just the tips of the pips show. Firm the potting mix gently and water thoroughly.

After potting, place the container in a bright location at room temperature. Keep the potting mix evenly moist but not soaking wet. If you use a container without a drainage hole, water sparingly, as you can easily overwater. Flowers will open in 3–4 weeks depending on the temperature in your house. After bloom, remove the flower stems and continue watering the plants as before. When the danger of frost has passed in spring, set them in the garden in a shaded or partially shaded location where the soil is rich and moist. Your plants will settle in readily but will take a year or two to bloom again. We do not recommend forcing the pips for a second year.