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Forcing Lily of the Valley

Add some fragrance to your indoor decor with a pot of lily-of-the-valley

You may have grown this plant in the garden, but it can also be forced into bloom and enjoyed indoors.

Start your plants from pips purchased from your local florist, garden center or online catalogue.  Pips are the shoots that arise from the fleshy underground stem known as rhizomes. Purchase “prepared” or “precooled” pips if possible to eliminate the needed chilling period. Otherwise, you’ll need to store them in a 45 degree location for at least 8 weeks.

Plant the pips in a moist well-drained potting mix with the tips just visible above the soil.  Place the container in a bright location, watering often enough to keep the soil moist, but not wet.  Continue to water and wait for the flowers to appear in 3 to 4 weeks.  Remove flower stems as the flowers fade.

A bit more information: Once the plant is done blooming move it to a sunny window, continue watering and fertilizer with a dilute solution of flowering houseplant fertilizer. You can move the plants outdoors when the danger of frost has passed.  Beware, as these are vigorous plants that can take over the garden.

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