How to Grow Smilacina Plants

Guide to Growing False Solomon's Seal and Solomon's Plume

Members of the Smilacina genus are hardy perennials. Plants range from 30 to 90 cm (12 to 36 inches) in height.

They bloom at the start of summer.

They have a light green foliage and carry fir tree shaped clusters of tiny feathery pink or white flowers.

Some common names for Smilacina plants include False Spikenard and False Solomon's seal.

Smilacina racemosa
Smilacina racemosa by born1945.

Smilacina Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: False Solomon's Seal, Solomon's Plume, False spikenard, Treacleberry.
  • Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
  • Height: 12 to 36 inches (30—90 cm).
  • Native: North America.
  • Growing Region: Zones 3 to 9.

  • Flowers: Early summer.
  • Flower Details: White, pink. Tiny, six tepals. Clustered/plumes on a panicle.
  • Fruit: Small yellow –green berries that turn to red when mature.
  • Foliage: Herbaceous. Green. Veined. Alternate, Lanceolate to oblong.

  • Sow Outside: Cover seed. Autumn, using fresh seed. Germination time: one to six months. Seeds should first be sown into flats. 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 and to check if seedlings have emerged. Allow seedlings to grow for one full year before transplanting to their final location in the spring or autumn. Space at 18 to 24 inches (45—60 cm).
  • Sow Inside: No.

  • Requirements and care: Partial to full shade (native to woodlands). Moist, rich, acidic soil pH 5 to 6. Spring feed with a complete fertilizer. Cut back to the ground towards the end of autumn. Consider bringing indoor in colder areas, store in a cool dark place. Propagate: by dividing in the spring or autumn.

  • Family: Asparagaceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Blue-eyed grass.
  • Miscellaneous: Reclassified into the Maianthemum genus (the mayflowers). Roots of Smilacina racemosa (Maianthemum racemosum) have been traditionally used by Native Americans to treat sunburn, depression, and to reduce hyperactivity in children.

How to grow Smilacina Species such as False Spikenard

When growing from seed, it is best to sow Smilacina plants such as False Spikenard and False Solomon's seal in flats, using fresh seed in the autumn.

The seeds should be lightly covererd, and flats sunk into a shady part of the garden and covered with glass. The seeds can take anything from one to six months to germinate, and should be left in situ for about a year once growing.

The Smilacina plants can then be transplanted to their final location in either spring or autumn.

They should be spaced from 45 to 60 cm (18 to 24 inches) apart in a fully or partially shaded part of the garden. Ideally the soil that Smilacina species grow in will be rich and acidic (pH 5 to 6) and moist.

Caring for Smilacina

It is fairly easy to look after Smilacina plants. At the start of spring they should be mulched with leaf mold and given a fertilizer.

During the growing season, they should be watered to keep the ground moist. Towards the end of autumn cut the plants back to the ground.

If you require more plants, then they can be popagated by division in either spring or autumn.

Common Questions

How many members does the Smilacina genus have?

The Smilacina genus includes about 15 species, known for their delicate, star-shaped flowers.

Do members of Smilacina make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Smilacina plants can make beautiful additions to woodland or shade gardens, with their lovely flowers and attractive foliage.

Which Smilacina species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Smilacina racemosa (False Solomon's Seal) is a common choice, appreciated for its arching stems and white flower clusters.

Are members of the Smilacina plant genus fragrant?

Smilacina flowers are not typically known for their fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Smilacina?

Smilacina species prefer shady to partially shady locations with well-drained soil rich in organic matter.

Is Smilacina invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Smilacina species are not considered invasive in the USA. Always consult local regulations for the most current information.

How do I remove Smilacina plants from my garden?

To remove Smilacina, carefully dig out the plant, making sure to remove all roots to prevent regrowth.


The Smilacina plant genus includes perennial plants native to woodlands of North America and Eurasia. They are valued for their arching stems with clusters of small, fragrant flowers, followed by attractive berries in autumn.

To grow Smilacina, plant rhizomes in autumn or spring. They prefer partially shaded to shaded locations and well-drained, humus-rich soil. Regular watering is necessary, particularly during dry periods, but overwatering should be avoided to prevent root rot.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Smilacina plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Yucca and Chionodoxa plants.