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How to Grow Polygonatum Plants

Guide to Growing Solomon's Seal / King Solomon's-seal

Members of the Polygonatum are hardy perennials that vary widely in height; with some members reaching 1.2 m in height.

They bloom in the first months of summer and carry clusters of small hanging white tubular flowers.

Polygonatum are ideal plants to grow in mass.

A common name for Polygonatum is Solomon's Seal.

Scientific names include: Polygonatum multiflorum, P. variegatum, P. biflorum, P. verticillatum, P. odoratum variegatum, P. hybridum, and P. commutatum.

As Polygonatum is a Asparagaceae, it is closely related to Yucca plants, Brimeura Plants, Chionodoxa plants, Ornithogalum nutans, and Blue Bells.

Photographs of Polygonatum multiflorum and odoratum

Polygonatum odoratum
Polygonatum odoratum by Roberto Verzo.

Polygonatum multiflorum
Polygonatum multiflorum by Sonja Pauen.



Quick Polygonatum Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: Solomon's seal, King Solomon's-seal.
  • Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
  • Height: 12 to 48 inches (30—120 cm).
  • Native: Northern Hemisphere.
  • Growing Region: Zones 4 to 9.
  • Flowers: Early summer.
  • Flower Details: White, with green-tops. Tubular. Hanging from the underside of the stem. Clustered. Scented.
  • Foliage: Alternate. Simple. Green. Arching stems.
  • Sowing: Cover seed. Germination time: one to eighteen months. Spacing 18 inches (45 cm).
    Method 1: Seeds should first be sown into flats in the autumn. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist. Bring the flats indoor at the beginning of spring and keep at 50°F (10°C). Transplant seedlings in the spring or autumn.
    Method 2: In the spring, mix seeds in a moist growing medium, then put in flats, wrap in a large plastic bag, then stratify by refrigeration for three weeks. Next bury the flat as described above. Once seedlings emerge transplant them to their final location.
  • Requirements and care: Full or partial shade. Soil pH 6—7. Light, moist soil. In the spring supply a top dressing of manure. Occasional feed. Cut back to the ground in autumn. Propagate: by dividing in the spring in cooler areas or the autumn in warmer areas.
  • Miscellaneous: The name for this genus derives from the Greek word for many-knees due to the knee-like nature of the roots. The common name Solomon’s seal also derives from the root structure.

How to Grow Solomon's Seal and other Polygonatum

Solomon's seal can either be grown from roots (bury 5 cm deep) or seeds. If growing from seed sow in flats in the spring; the flats should be wrapped in a plastic bag and kept in the fridge for three weeks or so. Upon removing from the (fridge and plastic bag) the flat should be sank into a shady part of the garden that and covered with glass.

It can take anything from one month to one and a half years for Polygonatum to germinate. Once the seedlings emerge transplant them into a shady or partially shaded part of the garden at about 50 cm apart. Ideally the soil should be moist , light and slightly acidic (pH 6 to 7).

Caring for Polygonatum

It is easy to care for Polygonatum related members; they like moist soil so keep well watered; apply a top dressing of manure at the start of spring; and give them an occasional feed. If you require more plants then Polygonatum can be propagated by division in the spring.


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