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How To Get Rid Of Lily Of The Valley: A 2 Method Guide

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Convallaria majalis, sometimes known as Lily of the valley, is a perennial ground cover that originated in Europe. While many people enjoy planting it because of its lovely, fragrant blossoms, others find it invasive, especially when left alone.

The rhizomes of this ground cover spread swiftly. As a result, it’s usually a good idea to learn how to get rid of it if the case calls for it.

It spreads via the underground rhizomes and is invasive in flower beds and shady gardens. The plant will regenerate even if only a small part of a rhizome is missed and left in the soil.

If you wish to remove them to make way for other plants, ensure all rhizomes are dead or gone. In this article, we will discuss how to get rid of Lily of the valley.

How To Get Rid Of Lily Of The Valley
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Lily of the valley is a fragrant woodland flowering plant. It has a bell-shaped flower that blooms in the spring. Although this plant appears harmless, it is deadly if consumed in reality.

Some even wondered if touching it was unsafe. Fortunately, you won’t die simply by touching it, but it’s still not safe, as it raises the risk of exposure.

The cardiac glycosides found in the plant are the reason for this. This deadly chemical is found in every part of the plant.

Cardiac glycosides can make your heartbeat unusually erratic, and eventually, it slows down. Consequently, anyone who ingests any portion of this plant will almost certainly die from seizures or acute cardiac arrhythmias.

Things You Will Need

  • Spade
  • Rake
  • Garden gloves
  • Spray mask
  • Glyphosate
  • Cardboard or newspaper

How To Get Rid Of Lily Of The Valley?

1. Organic Methods to Get Rid of The Lily of the Valley

There are two methods for killing this plant organically. The first is to dig up the plant and its rhizomes and dispose of them in a landfill. The second is to use a glyphosate herbicide.

Digging Up and Getting Rid of the Roots

You can always dig up if this plant is still invasive in your garden. In fact, uprooting entire plant clumps and disposing of them somewhere when the soil is damp is one of the most effective strategies to keep it under control, but repeated uprooting may be required.

  • Dig up the plants and as many roots as you can with a spade or a flat-bladed shovel.
  • After that, scrape the area to get rid of any roots that have become lodged in the dirt.
  • Wearing gloves and sifting through the soil with your hands to remove any smaller parts of the roots left behind.
  • Finally, bag the plant that has been removed and dispose of them as yard debris.
  • When the soil is damp, this strategy works well. It’s efficient and environmentally beneficial, but it takes time and work.


Another natural technique to get rid of them is to smother them. Work with the natural way of things. This can be done when the plant sprouts in the early spring.

  • To begin, trim any mature plants down to the ground as close as feasible. Then, cover the entire area where it grows with a piece of landscape fabric, a tarp, cardboard, an old carpet, or many layers of damp newspaper.
  • To prevent their stems from sprouting through the seams, overlap all seams between pieces of cardboard by at least 6 inches.
  • Cover the soil with two layers of cardboard that extend beyond the plant area by at least 12 inches.
  • This keeps these plants from growing around the edges of the cardboard.
  • Using a utility knife, cut openings in the cardboard for plants that you want to keep on the site. Mulch the plants you want to keep in their current location.
  • The second step is to weigh down the used material with anything that will hold it in places, such as mulch, soil, gravel, or cinder blocks.
  • On top of the cardboard, spread a 6-inch-deep layer of mulch. The cardboard is hidden by the mulch, which prevents it from being removed.
  • Allow the cover to remain in place for the full growing season.
  • The seedlings and rhizomes should be dead by the season’s end.
  • After that, you can clean the area and replant it. Instead of tossing away cardboard or newspaper that has been covered with mulch, you might utilize it to create a ready-made planting bed.
  • If you have a vast area of lilies, we recommend this strategy. It will take a long time and a lot of effort to unearth them.
  • After excavating and removing the plants, smothering might be employed as a second phase. This prevents any living rhizomes from maturing into adult plants.

2. Chemical Method to Get Rid of The Lily of the Valley

Another strategy is to use a glyphosate-based herbicide. Before applying it, put on a spray mask and garden gloves. These plants absorb glyphosate quickly, so there is no need for soil contact or pre-soaking with this chemical.

  • You can spray the herbicide on the plants as many times as necessary.
  • Spray the plants early in the spring for the best results when flowering.
  • Spraying them and then reapplying in two weeks is recommended since it is a tough plant that may require two applications to kill it completely.
  • Read the label before using the herbicide and follow the instructions on the package.
  • Additionally, you should wear gloves and a mask for safety reasons while working.
  • You should be aware that any perennials or grass growing in the same bed as lilies of the valley will be killed by the herbicide.
  • This procedure is typically used to follow the organic method to ensure no further growth.

Overall, the organic technique is more effective, safer, and environmentally beneficial than conventional. We only propose applying a herbicide in this situation if the organic method has failed.

Final Remarks

When choosing how to get rid of Lily of the valley, the organic method is the best. It ensures that no negative environmental effects are caused by using any chemicals or other contaminants on your property.

The conventional method might be used in rare circumstances when you can’t acquire organic materials nor hire someone to destroy them for you. If you use the conventional method, be sure to read and follow all instructions on the herbicide label for safety reasons.

In any case, you should keep in mind that the Lily of the valley is a tough plant that may require more than one application of an herbicide to kill it completely. So if you’re using the conventional method, you might have to reapply the chemicals for best results.

Using any chemicals on your property should be done with care. If you are looking for other options on how to get rid of Lily of the valley, call up a local landscaper or gardening service, and they’ll help you out.