Some flowers are poisonous when ingested like the lily of the valley. Read on to know the ways to kill it and how to get rid of lily of the valley for good!
Lily of the valley is a woodland flowering plant with a sweet scent. Its flower is a bell-shaped one that blooms in spring.
While this plant may look like its harmless, it is actually fatal when ingested. Some also asked if it is dangerous even to touch. Luckily, you won’t die just by merely touching it, but it is not safe either as this increases the chance of exposure.
So, why is lily of the valley poisonous?
It is actually because of cardiac glycosides that is present in the plant. Literally all parts of the plant contain this poisonous compound. Cardiac glycosides can slow down heart beat and cause your heart to beat irregularly. As a result, those who accidentally consumed any part of lily of the valley will most likely die from severe cardiac arrhythmias or seizures.
How To Get Rid Of Lily Of The Valley Plant?
If you want to kill this plant for good, then you need to dig up its rhizomes from the soil. Any tiniest portion of a rhizome is enough for the plant to regenerate.
So, in today’s article, we will focus on some effective measures on how to kill the lily of the valley deep down to its rhizome.
The Natural Way To Kill Lily Of The Valley:
- Wear a pair of gardening gloves before you start the process. As mentioned, all parts of the plant are poisonous and you want to avoid its toxins to stick to your hand and accidentally consume it later on.
- Dig up the section where the lily of the valley grows using a spade. Make sure you get all the roots and avoid leaving even the slightest rhizomes in the soil. The roots of the lily of the valley usually spread horizontally, so expect to extend sideways when digging up.
- Get your rake and proceed to raking the area to spot loose or broken rhizomes if there are any.
- Cover the whole area with old newspaper and cardboards in about 3 to 5 layers and secure it with heavy items on top. This covering will prevent the loose rhizomes from regenerating by cutting its source of air, which cools the soil down. Inthe long run, the temperature underneath the layers will increase and eventually kill the roots of the plant.
Will boiling water kill lily of the valley? Yes, it can but only the roots on the upper surface. If you want to penetrate the deeper ground, you need to cover the soil for quite some time.
- Wait for approximately 6 months before you cultivate the area again and prepare it for the next plants you want to grow. The waiting period is crucial to ensure that all the rhizomes of the lily of the valley are killed and destroyed. It is also best to do it in the dry months when there is lesser chance of rain.
- The newspaper, cardboards, and mulch you use will also break down and serve as added nutrients to the soil.
Alright, that’s about how to kill lily of the valley without chemicals. It’s pretty simple, but the catch is you need to wait for about half a year to see the result.
How To Kill Lily Of The Valley With Chemicals
If you opt to speed up the process and can’t afford to wait for 6 months, then your best bet is to use some herbicide.
The best way to kill lily of the valley in a short period of time is by using a non-selected herbicide, specifically the Round Up herbicide. This kills more or less everything it comes in contact with, which includes all the rhizomes of the lily of the valley.
Follow steps 1 to 3 from the earlier method and spray the recommended amount of herbicide on the lily of the valley plants only. Wait for a few hours and re-apply again. After which, you need to wait for 3 weeks and rake the dead plants in the area.
Since you basically kill everything in the soil bed, it is necessary to re-condition the soil again before you proceed to plant new seedlings.
Right after clearing your garden from lily of the valley, it is not advisable to plant edible plants right after. You may, however, plant shrubs and trees.