How to Kill Lily of the Valley

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How to Kill Lily of the Valley
. (sssss1gmel/iStock/Getty Images)

Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) can be a beautiful ground cover around trees and in gardens, but it can be very invasive and spread quickly through your garden and lawn. Lily of the valley spreads underground with its extensive underground stem system called rhizomes. The stems then shoot up out of the ground and grow leaves and white flowers in the spring. Using topical weed killer does not kill the underground stems, which means lily of the valley will reappear and continue spreading throughout your garden and lawn. Getting rid of lily of the valley takes time but it can be done.

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Things you need

  • Weed killer
  • Small gardening shovel
  • Tiller
  • In-ground plastic gardening border
  • Utility knife

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    Getting Rid of Lily of the Valley

  1. 1

    Use a shovel to dig around the lily of the valley shoots (the part of the plant above ground) and loosen the dirt around all of the lily of the valley.

  2. 2

    Using your hands, carefully start pulling up the lily of the valley, making sure you pull up as much of the underground stem system as you can.

  3. 3

    Throw away the lily of the valley you pulled up.

  4. 4

    Using the tiller, till the dirt 6 inches deep where the lily of the valley was.

  5. 5

    Spray the weed killer over the entire tilled area, making sure you get the soil completely wet with weed killer.

  6. 6

    Check the area once a week for 3 months for any remaining stems growing up through the soil, and pull them immediately.

  1. 1

    Follow the steps above to remove any lily of the valley that you don't want and keep the area of lily of the valley you want to keep intact.

  2. 2

    Using your gardening shovel, dig a trench 6 inches deep by 2 inches wide around the lily of the valley that you want to keep.

  3. 3

    Using a utility knife, cut a long-enough section of plastic border to place completely around the lily of the valley that you are keeping.

  4. 4

    Insert the plastic border in the trench around the lily of the valley.

  5. 5

    Take the soil you dug up for the trench and pack it in against the plastic border, covering it up until just the top protrudes from the ground.

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