How to grow indoor lilies-of-the-valley
Touching and elegant, with a maddeningly unique fragrance, lilies-of-the-valley are the perfect option for those looking for plants that grow literally on their own.
In indoor settings, only one species of lily-of-the-valley is grown: Convallaria majalis. Forest plants aren’t suitable for a potted existence. Instead, you can buy lily-of-the-valley, which is already accustomed to growing in a limited volume of soil. Selecting strong and quality specimens will ensure a lovely presence in your garden.
Although the convallaria majalis is limited in its color options, the luminous white of the hanging bell-shaped flowers calls to mind a string of lovely peals.
Conditions for growing indoor lilies-of-the-valley
For lily-of-the-valley, it is difficult to single out a classical, strict gardening regime. Lilies-of-the-valley as indoor plants are grown only during one season. After they bloom, they can be transferred to the soil of the garden and given two to three years for restoration, or simply discarded and replaced each season with new plants.
Lilies-of-the-valley, when buds are quickening and flowering begins, love the coolness. They are amenable to normal room temperatures, but the lower the temperature, the longer the flowering will last. The optimum temperature range is between 16 to 21 degrees.
Indoor lilies-of-the-valley like fresh air, but they must be carefully guarded against drafts in ventilated rooms.
Planting in a pot
Purchasing potted lilies-of-the-valley is often considered the easiest option. But growing them yourself can also be fun and rewarding. Simply purchase garden plants, along with planting materials, or dig them yourself. In either case, the selection of lily-of-the-valley planting material should be carried out in the autumn, or in the garden, after the first primroses.
Should you opt for garden plants transferred to pots, carefully dig the plants out, divided and sorted, then separate the floral central buds from the vegetative lateral ones. For distillation in atypical situations, use only strong, large buds which are well developed, thick, and directed upwards. Small or unexpressed flower buds should be cultivated only in open soil.
For lilies-of-the-valley, it is important to orient the plants vertically. The plants should be moistened periodically before planting, so as not to dry out the roots.
The best time to plant lilies-of-the-valley in pots depends on when you want them to achieve their flowering. To ensure blossoming lilies-of-the-valley for the Christmas holidays, they should be planted from November or December. To obtain flowering lilies-of-the-valley at the optimal time, it is worth considering that on average the process of forcing takes from 25 to 40 days.
Lilies-of-the-valley are never grown individually. Plants are placed in containers in dense groups or bundles. For this, it is best to collect between 5 and 35 plants in one group, depending on the size different indoor pot.
Planting lilies-of-the-valley is not difficult. At the bottom of the tanks there must be some kind of drainage, and the plants themselves should be installed on the pillow of the soil. Lilies-of-the-valley should be placed tightly together, but not in contact with one another. An interval of 1-3 cm between plants is recommended. After planting, abundant watering should be carried out with warm water.
Before planting, the roots of the lily-of-the-valley should be shortened by a third or 2-5 cm, leaving strong, short roots of about 10-12 cm length.
For indoor lilies-of-the-valley, containers of any size will work, as long as they aren’t too deep. A container with a diameter of 10 cm can accommodate up to six lilies-of-the-valley, while bowls or boxes can accommodate several dozen plants. Indoor lilies-of-the-valley can be grown only in nutritious, friable, high-quality and moisture-absorbing soil. For these plants, a special primer for bulbous plants is considered ideal.
Lighting and placement
In the growing of lilies-of-the-valley, there are two distinct lighting conditions: normal illumination and dark.
The storage of planting material, freezing before planting, and the application of heat to stimulate growth should all take place in the shade. Lilies-of-the-valley can be fitted with special caps covering them from the light, they can be protected with shading screens, or they can simply be placed in a dark room or in a secluded spot in a normal room with suitable conditions.
Upon the appearance of buds (flower arrows), lilies-of-the-valley should be moved to a diffuse, soft but bright light. If the plants are being grown for the winter holidays, it is better to use additional light (up to 6 hours a day in the morning and in the evening), which brings the total exposure to twelve hours. Lilies-of-the-valley do not require strong lighting.
Lilies-of-the-valley only require irrigation during forcing and flowering. Once the plants have been placed in the appropriate soil, infrequent but neat irrigation should be carried out, supporting the lightest moisture of the substrate. After the plant’s temperature achieves ordinary room conditions, the plants should be watered such that only the top layer of the substrate dries out. The lily-of-the-valley cannot tolerate a complete drying up of the soil at the stage of active vegetation. During the freezing before planting, irrigation is completely excluded from the nursing program.
Spraying for lilies-of-the-valley is very important at the storage stage before planting and during the most forcing. If you dug up the rhizomes yourself or purchased them for distillation, then during the entire storage phase in cool conditions, the lilies should be periodically sprayed, with the exception of adrenaline. After planting, the plants should be sprayed several times a day, maintaining high humidity while being kept in the heat.