The Q&A Archives: Lilly of the Valley in So Cal?

Question: How can I grow Lily of the Valley in Southern California? I heard of Forcing or faking winter. What's that about?

Answer: What you've heard is true; these plants need to rest during the winter months in a cold place. Lily of the Valley (Convalaria majalis) grows from a pip. The plants like partial shade and regular watering. Plant clumps or single pips in soil amended with lots of organic matter (to help retain moisture). Plant pips 4-5 inches apart, and 1 1/2 inches deep. If you're planting clumps, space them 1-2 feet apart. When the foliage dies down at the end of the season, you'll need to dig the pips, wash the soil from them and allow them to air dry for a few hours, then enclose them in plastic bags and store them in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator until January. Then take them out and replant them in your garden. They will begin to grow in the spring and produce lovely flowers. Hope this clarifies things for you!

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