How to Get Rid of “Lily of the Valley”


Your backyard may suddenly turn into a home of Lily of the Valley. The truth is that this weed produces beautiful tiny bell-shaped flowers. This happens mostly during May, and the flowers produce heady fragrance.

Lily of the Valley is scientifically referred to as convallaria majalis. While these weeds can look appealing, too much of them can be an issue in your yard.

The worst thing about them is they have tiny rhizomes that are enfolded with a complex root system. This means that even if you try to pull them from the ground, they will still keep spreading on the lawn. 

In this post, we will be discussing how to get rid of Lily of the Valley.

Here’s what you need to know.

Related Article: How to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie with Borax

Killing the Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley thrives in fertile and moist woodland soil. These weeds multiply very fast and can develop aggressively into large colonies. There are various ways of killing this invasive weed. Below are some methods.


The Sheet Mulching Method

You can eliminate the Lily of the valley by smothering the colony. The sheet mulching method would be useful in doing this. 

This is a natural and environmentally friendly method, and you can do it yourself. In this method, we are going to use cardboard boxes.

What do you need?

  • Mulch
  • Utility knife
  • Cardboard boxes


– Take cardboard boxes and make them flat

– Remove all the tape from them

– Take a double layer of cardboard boxes and spread them on the area with Lily of the valley weed.

– Overlap all cardboard seams by 6 inches so that Lily of the Valley stems won’t get a chance to grow through the seams of the cardboard.

– Take two layers of cardboard and use them to cover the soil. It should be at least 12 inches above the level of the Lily of the valley. This is helpful because it stops the weed from growing around the edges of the cardboard.

– Take a utility knife and cut gaps on your cardboard for desired plants to keep growing. 

– Put mulch around the desired plants. The mulch should be at least a 6-inch deep starting from the top of the cardboard. You are putting mulch so that the cardboard won’t be dislodged.

– For the next two years, try to watch any emerging Lily of the valley on that cardboard sheet mulch. Should you spot any of this weed, pull them out immediately. 

– This will help to stop photosynthesis from taking place on the plants. Lily of the Valley can easily sprout around the base of other plants at the edges of the sheet mulch.

– You will need large cardboard sheets if you need to mulch large areas. You can get cardboards at most appliances stores, furniture outlets, and bike shops.

– You want to avoid adding any source of nitrogen on the sheet mulch, as this will cause the cardboard to decompose very fast.

Using a Shovel

How to Get Rid of "Lily of the Valley"


Another simple way of getting rid of Lily of the Valley is by digging around it with a shovel.


– Dig around the shoots of this weed using your shovel to loosen the dirt surrounding it.

– Pull up the Lily of the Valley slowly using your hands, putting your focus on the underground stem and throw them away. You can wear gloves on your hands and search the soil to find if there are any rhizomes left and pull them out. 

Remember that this weed spreads using underground rhizomes, so this step is crucial.

– Use a Tiller to till the dirt anywhere you find the weed is 6 inches deep, then spray the entire area with a weed killer. As you spray, make sure that the soil gets wet.

– After three months, go back to that area to check if there are any remnants of the stem growing again and uproot them.

– Repeat the above steps in order to eliminate any Lily of the Valley found in your garden.

Using a Herbicide

How to Get Rid of "Lily of the Valley"


Herbicides should be the last option when other methods didn’t work.

What do you need?

  • Garden gloves
  • Spray mask
  • Glyphosate herbicide
  • Rake
  • Spade


– Always wear gloves before starting this process. This herbicide contains a toxic compound sand and it is poisonous.

– Aside from using a shovel, you can use any herbicide containing glysophate to kill the weed. 

– Apply it during the day when the temperatures are between 45-50 degrees.

– Follow the directions from the label to spray the weed.

– After two weeks, spray the herbicide again.

Herbicides that contain glyphosate interferes with the chemical reactions in roots within the weeds to thrive, and this causes them to die. Lily of the Valley is a tough plant, so you may need to apply a herbicide with glyphosate twice to kill it completely. 

Remember that glyphosate kills any plant. Be cautious in applying it so it does not reach other desirable plants that you still want to remain in your garden.

If you don’t like using harsh chemicals, then your only option is using a shovel. When you dig out the weed, ensure that you dig deep enough to get out all the roots. This will require a lot of effort on your part, but it is worth it. 

You might need to do the process three times to get rid of the roots completely. Otherwise, the rhizomes might sprout out again.

If you are dealing with a new garden, consider using the newspaper and compost to smother the weeds and grass. Covering the soil prevents weed seeds from germinating.

It would be best if you got rid of Lily of the Valley from your yard. Even though it produces beautiful flowers and has a great scent, it spreads so fast that it will overcrowd the rest of your lawn. 

So now you have a few ways to get rid of this weed. The easiest process is using herbicides. If you wish to avoid using chemicals, then your options are sheet mulching or digging up and removing the roots. 

Whatever method you choose you will find yourself with a lawn you will enjoy.


Rate this post

Leave a Comment