The Q&A Archives: Forcing Lily-of-the-valley

Question: I am getting married August 25 and would like to have Lily-of-the-valley in my bouquet. How could I force them?

Answer: You can give it a try, but I suggest you have a back-up plan in case it doesn't work. Lily of the Valley is a spring bloomer, and I couldn't find a reference that said they could be forced at other times or that pips were available now (as opposed to fall). But here's how to do it: To force indoors, the pips need to be stored in the refrigerator for 8 weeks for a chilling period. Then plant in pots, just below the soil surface. They prefer rich organic soil, regular water and partial shade. Note that Lily of the Valley is poisonous, including the water the stems soak in. Don't cut the flowers, but gently pull them free from the plant. Good luck!

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