Solomon’s seal plant – Polygonatum Odoratum [Po-lig-oh-NAY-tum, Oh-dor-AY-tum] is a perennial plant in the Asparagaceae family along with:
This flowering plant is native to Japan, Korea, Mongolia, China, Siberia, the Caucasus, and Europe.
The other species of this genus include Polygonatum Multiflorum and Polygonatum Verticillatum.
The Polygonatum Odoratum ‘Variegatum’ has charming dangling white flowers and seed pods, but this plant’s foliage and arching stems make it a favorite in woodland settings and shade gardens.
The Polygonatum Officinale (syn.) was named the Perennial Plant of the Year in 2013 by the Perennial Plant Association.
The common names of this plant include:
- Solomon’s Seal Plant
- Scented Solomon’s Seal
- Angular Solomon’s Seal
- Solomon’s Seal
- Aromatic Solomon’s Seal
- Angled Solomon’s Seal
Solomon’s Seal Plant Care
Size & Growth
The Angular Solomon’s Seal is a shade-loving plant growing 18” to 24” inches high on unbranched and arching stems.
It spreads slowly by rhizomes to create colonies in ideal growing conditions.
These plants are slow to grow in a landscape but are usually long-lived, and easier to maintain.
The alternate green leaves on the stems support the dangling flowers.
The stems make a beautiful addition in arrangements of cut flowers.
Flowering and Fragrance
This plant produces bell-shaped, creamy-white flowers in the late spring season, which dangle underneath the variegated leaves.
In early spring evenings, the flowers radiate a subtle perfume-like fragrance.
The smell of these fragrant flowers resembles the scent of hyacinths and lilies.
The bloom time is usually between April and May.
Light & Temperature
Solomon’s Seal is a woodland plant and prefers to grow in full shade.
This plant may tolerate the sun if it is growing in moist soil and cool climate.
It requires at least part shade to perform well.
However, once it establishes, it is a rather drought tolerant plant.
These plants are hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 3 through 8.
Watering and Feeding
The Variegated Solomon’s Seal loves growing in consistently moist soil.
It shouldn’t be overly wet as it might damage the plant.
Let the soil slightly dry before you water the plant thoroughly.
This plant is a light to moderate feeder.
Deliver the necessary nutrients with a controlled-release or water-soluble fertilizers.
If you are using water-soluble fertilizers, be sure to apply 75 to 100 ppm nitrogen content.
Soil & Transplanting
The P. Odoratum prefers a humusy, well-draining moist soil mixture.
Provide it with organically rich soil with pH levels between acidic to neutral.
Grooming and Maintenance
It is relatively easy to take care of this plant.
Make sure the soil is consistently moist, but avoid overwatering this plant.
When planting, be sure to leave sufficient space between the plants to give them room to grow properly.
This plant quickly multiplies in the garden by rhizomes.
Divide the plant when required and transplant them in shady areas if they start outgrowing the space.
There isn’t a need to deadhead this plant as the small flowers drop off the stem naturally.
The foliage stays beautiful throughout the year, which makes this plant maintenance-free.
Even the stems detach from rhizomes after the frost.
The foliage changes color during the fall season, turning into a breathtaking golden yellow color.
How To Propagate Solomon’s Seal Plant
The Polygonatum Variegatum will propagate using seeds.
However, after sowing the seeds, the plant will need special treatments like stratification.
Moreover, it has a somewhat sporadic germination rate.
The growth of the plant after the germination period is extremely slow.
Therefore, this plant is exclusively propagated using the division method.
Since the bare-root production is limited domestically, you will have to use imported materials to grow this plant.
Polygonatum Odoratum Plant Pest or Diseases
This plant doesn’t experience severe disease or pest issues.
There might be an occasional occurrence of slugs, sawflies, weevils, and snails feeding on the plant.
Be on a lookout for rust diseases, leaf spots, and Colletotrichum.
Regular scouting is enough to monitor the plant for any presence of diseases or pests.
Minor treatments will help in getting rid of these issues.
It is best to take immediate action before the problem spreads.
While this plant is not poisonous, almost all parts of this plant contain small quantities of convallamarin and saponin, which might cause discomfort to humans if ingested.
Solomon’s Seal Plant Uses
The graceful arching stems of the Polygonatum Variegatum create an architectural, exotic touch to woodland gardens, shady landscapes, and ground covers.
It looks excellent in border fronts and rock gardens along with other shade perennials, hostas, and ferns.
Polygonatum adds a graceful mix with fems and hostas.
The beautiful variegated foliage makes it an excellent addition in all types of flower arrangements, including cut flowers.
This plant has also been used as an herbal medicine for thousands of years.
It is mostly used in poultice form to enhance tissue repair and reduce excessive bruising.
Its root is believed to be a tonic, sedative, diuretic, and antiperiodic and is used to treat coronary heart disease, dry coughs, and dry throat.