The lily of the valley was popular in some countries, since before the Middle Ages.
What are the main characteristics of this typical plant of the month of May?
- It is a perennial herbaceous plant whose stems are 15 to 30 centimetres high, and which grows in the form of colonies.
- The flowers are flared and their petals, which can be white or pink, give off a sweet perfume.
- Lily of the valley is very common in central Europe, but it is not so common in Mediterranean countries.
- It was used in the First World War to treat those affected by mustard gas.
- It can be toxic and cause vomiting and diarrhoea (that is, it is not for eating!)
- It is also known as muguet or with the poetic name of Solomon’s tears.
- The lily of the valley is a symbol of happiness and luck for centuries. Specifically, in the sixteenth century, King Charles IX established the tradition of giving this flower to the ladies of the court. Since then it became the May Day flower and it is traditional to offer it as a gift to family and friends that day. The streets are invaded by stops that sell lilies of the valley, filling them with color and perfume.
- It is also the national flower of Finland.
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How To Care For The lily of The Valley
Flowerpot or Garden
The lilies of the valley can be planted in pots or pots, but since they expand rapidly, they must be of sufficient size for this to occur. In any case, they tend to grow much better in a garden, since they are plants that need to be aerated. Therefore, in the case of pots, they must be outside, and the best time to plant them in autumn. In case of having a garden, they should be planted with a separation between them of at least 15 centimetres. As for the type of soil, it should be easy to drain.
Light and Temperature
The lilies of the valley need the open air, and especially in winter, they benefit from the frosts (in some areas where they are not produced it will be more difficult to grow this plant).
The main care of this plant is to keep the soil moist permanently. Of course, an excess of irrigation can be fatal for the lily of the valley, as it can cause the appearance of fungi. It is also important to tear off leaves that are already completely withered.
The lilies of the valley can be fertilized in the spring, but it is advisable to use a very small amount of fertilizer, otherwise, they could be weakened by excess nitrogen.
The lily of the valley can be toxic, not only for pets but also for humans. Therefore, if you have small children at home, you must keep them completely away from the plant, and the same is true for your dogs or cats.
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