When gardeners talk about Solomon’ seal they may be referring to a number of plants, commonly Polygonatum odoratum or Polygonatum x hybridum.
Wonderful shade loving plants, easy care and readily available for sale online.
Polygonatum odoratum is the fragrant Solomon’s Seal and P x hybridum is a hybrid between P. mulitiflorum and P. odoratum. Both are widely grown, however not the only varieties.
With striking tall flowers is a frost hardy perennial, widely grown in woodland and cottage gardens. A great plant for any shady position, tall stems with ovoid to elliptical foliage are an attractive addition, however it is the hanging white flowers that are the main attraction from spring to early summer.
In cultivation these are an easy plant to grow given the right conditions.
- Part Shade
- Humus Rich Soil
Useful in any damp position in shade, although we do find it tolerant of reasonably dry conditions for short periods as long as it protected from the heat of the afternoon sun.
They will spread by underground rhizomes, however we do not see them as invasive in any way as they are slow to spread and easily removed.
Propagation is easy by division, simply mark a good sized clump and dig while dormant. The clump can be gently shaken clean and divided, taking care not to damage the new growing tips or shoots which will be easy to see.
Replant and water in with a liquid seaweed fertiliser.
Growing Polygonatum in Containers
You can easily grow Solomon’s Seal in containers, simply use a good quality potting mix, locate the container in at least afternoon shade and keep moist. You will need to fertilize more frequently in containers however if you have a small courtyard, containers will work well.
Although the old fashioned Solomon’s Seal with its graceful arching habit is by far the most widely grown, other varieties are worth exploring
- Polygonatum curvistylum is a species from China, a more upright growth habit with pinto mauve bells hanging beneath the foliage from the leaf axils
- Polygonatum humile is a dwarf species from Japan, broad foliage held close to the stem and pure white flowers
- Polygonatum flacatum variegatum is from Korea, China and Japan, good variegated foliage and again white flowers.
- Polygonatum cirrhifolium is a rare orange to red flowering form, very narrow foliage. It likes to ‘climb’ through other plants and can reach over 6ft.
- Polygonatum kingianum is a very desirable form, orange/red flowers and another, ‘climbing’ species. It does need a position where it can climb into the sun.
Slugs and snails can be an issue with new shoots, however we have not found this to be much of an issue. The plants send up shoots quickly and mostly they are strong.
In very deep shade flowering can be weak, so make sure you get some light filtering through.
Extended dry periods in spring can cause problems, supplementary watering may be required.
Polygonatum or Solomon’s Seal are available for sale from the following nurseries
PO Box 2556 city: Blairsville GA 30514
Evergreen flowering ground covers, grasses, vines, ivy, … Free Shipping of over 150 varieties of quality groundcovers.