Convallaria japonica is a plant that prefers fresh and moist soils. To get the heads of luxuriant leaves in full health it is therefore important to water regularly, from March to September, avoiding to leave the soil completely dry for a long time. During the cold months these plants do not need any type of watering, because the climate is favorable to them: the rains supply all the water they need. The plains of Convallaria japonica, despite their delicate appearance, can easily withstand any cultivation condition; therefore even if not watered for long periods of time, or if grown in dry areas, they tend to develop anyway without major problems. The difference between a Convallaria plant watered properly and one that grows content with rainfall is essentially only the annual vegetative development, which in the second case is much smaller.
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Pe plants of Convallaria japonica are perennials with tuberous roots, very resistant and pleasant, used above all as ground cover. They are planted in a well-drained soil, as they fear water stagnation, which can cause them to die quickly. The foliage is linear, similar to dark green blades of grass; the Convallaria plants form large clumps, less than 20-25 cm high, compact and lush. In late spring or early summer between the leaves stand thin stems that carry small pink flowers, very reminiscent of lilies of the valley, plants with which these are closely related. The cultivation of the Convallaria is very simple, since the climate of central northern Italy is very similar to that of the places of origin; they are therefore plants that must be placed in the garden, at the foot of tall trees or evergreen shrubs. On the market there are varieties of Convallaria from the dwarf development, or even with particularly dark, very decorative foliage.
Convallaria japonica plants are not particularly demanding in terms of fertilizer. They are generally fertilized like we do for the turf: a couple of times a year we distribute a handful of slow-release granular fertilizer between the plants. Over the months, the irrigations will dissolve the fertilizer, so as to allow it to release all the mineral salts necessary for the life of the plants into the soil. For the Convallaria it is good to choose a fertilizer for green plants, particularly rich in nitrogen, to be supplied at the end of winter. In autumn it is advisable to use a slow balanced release fertilizer. When buying a fertilizer it is always important to check that, in addition to the classic macroelements (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), it also contains good doses of microelements, such as iron, boron, magnesium and calcium. This allows to obtain better developed plants and to keep away some diseases caused by the lack of minerals in the soil.
Convallaria japonica: Pests and diseases
Convallaria japonica plants placed in shady or semi-shady areas of the garden tend to develop without problems, without manifesting any kind of disease. The presence of a high amount of direct sunlight can cause sunburn to the leaves, especially during the summer months. Moreover, in these conditions, the plants need very frequent watering, which can lead them to suffer from drought. If planted in very heavy, compact and poorly draining soils, Convallaria japonica plants can be affected by root or collar rot, which can lead to rapid death. In these cases it is advisable to eradicate the suffering plants quickly, to prevent the disease from spreading to nearby specimens. Insects hardly hit the Convallaria, but it can catch the aphids nesting on the floral buds; in these cases it is advisable to apply a special insecticide.