Can you cut lily of the valley?

Lily of the Valley, known by its scientific name Convallaria majalis, is a delicate and fragrant flower that has captivated the senses of perfume enthusiasts for centuries. Its sweet, intoxicating scent makes it a popular choice for creating perfumes and fragrances. However, when it comes to harvesting these beautiful flowers, many people wonder if it is possible to cut Lily of the Valley without damaging the plant or affecting its fragrance. In this article, we will explore the art of cutting Lily of the Valley and provide useful tips for preserving its fragrance and beauty.

1. When to Cut Lily of the Valley

Timing is everything when it comes to cutting Lily of the Valley. The best time to harvest these delicate flowers is early in the morning when their fragrance is at its peak. This is when the flower’s natural oils are concentrated and the fragrance is at its strongest. It is advisable to choose a cool, dry morning to ensure that the flowers are at their best.
It is important to note that Lily of the Valley blooms in the spring, typically between April and May, depending on the region. You should wait until the flowers are fully open before cutting them. Look for flowers with fresh, undamaged petals and a strong fragrance. Avoid harvesting flowers that are wilted, discolored or damaged as they may not retain their fragrance as well.

2. Cutting Techniques

When cutting Lily of the Valley, it is important to use the proper tools and techniques to ensure the longevity and fragrance of the flowers. Here are two suggested cutting techniques:

Snipping method: Use clean, sharp pruning shears or scissors to cut the Lily of the Valley stems. Snip the stems at an angle, about an inch from the base of the plant. This technique will help maximize water absorption and prolong the life of the flowers.

Twisting method: Alternatively, you can gently twist the Lily of the Valley stems to separate them from the plant. This method is especially useful if you want to create shorter stems or if you prefer a more natural, hand-picked look.

3. Preserving the fragrance

To preserve the fragrance of Lily of the Valley, it is important to handle the flowers with care and follow proper post-harvest procedures. Here are two effective ways to preserve the fragrance:

Water immersion: Immediately after cutting Lily of the Valley, place the stems in a container of cool water. This will help hydrate the flowers and keep them fresh. For added fragrance, you can add a few drops of Lily of the Valley essential oil to the water.

Refrigerate: If you do not plan to use Lily of the Valley immediately, you can store it in the refrigerator to prolong its life and preserve its fragrance. Wrap the stems loosely in a damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag. Keep the bag in the refrigerator, away from fruits and vegetables that release ethylene gas, which can accelerate flower aging.

4. Creating Fragrances with Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley’s enchanting fragrance has made it a popular ingredient in perfumes and fragrances. Its distinctive scent blends well with a variety of other floral notes to create elegant and timeless compositions. Here are two examples of fragrances that feature Lily of the Valley:
Classic Lily of the Valley: This fragrance highlights the pure and delicate scent of Lily of the Valley. It combines the sweet and green notes of the flower with subtle hints of jasmine and rose to create a timeless and feminine scent.

Modern Lily of the Valley: For a modern twist, Lily of the Valley can be paired with fresh and zesty citrus notes or enhanced with woody and musky undertones. This creates a more contemporary fragrance that retains the charm of Lily of the Valley while adding a unique and vibrant character.

5. Conclusion

Lily of the Valley is a captivating flower that holds a special place in the world of perfume and fragrance. Cutting Lily of the Valley can be done with care and attention to preserve its fragrance and beauty. Remember to cut the flowers at the right time, use proper cutting techniques, and take steps to maintain their freshness. Whether you enjoy the flowers in a vase or use them to create your own fragrances, Lily of the Valley will continue to enchant you with its sweet and intoxicating scent.
Disclaimer: When harvesting Lily of the Valley, it is important to respect local laws and regulations regarding the collection of plants and to ensure that you have permission to harvest from designated areas.


Can you cut lily of the valley?

Yes, you can cut lily of the valley.

When is the best time to cut lily of the valley?

The best time to cut lily of the valley is in the spring or early summer when the plant is in bloom.

How should lily of the valley be cut?

When cutting lily of the valley, use sharp, clean gardening shears or scissors. Cut the stems at an angle just above the ground level.

Can cut lily of the valley be used in flower arrangements?

Yes, cut lily of the valley can be used in flower arrangements. Its delicate and fragrant white flowers make it a popular choice for bouquets and floral displays.

Do cut lily of the valley have a fragrance?

Yes, cut lily of the valley has a strong and sweet fragrance. It is often used in perfumes and scented products.