Plant of the Week: Solomon’s Seal
My friend Jimmy Turner, formerly of the Dallas Arboretum and now at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia, had this as his own Plant of the Week on my radio program several years ago.
Honestly, I’d never grown Solomon’s seal (genus Polygonatum) before, but when Jimmy said we could grow it where we might otherwise grow hostas or ferns, I was all ears. I have nothing but shade in my gardens.
This is a perennial plant, and it really does grow well in moist, shady spots just as Jimmy advised. Give it the same bed preparation you’d do for those hostas and ferns. That means several inches of a variety of types of organic matter and 1 inch of expanded shale if you have a tight clay. Put it in a spot where it won’t be disturbed as you’re digging around planting and transplanting other perennials. It grows to be 15 to 18 inches tall and it spreads very slowly.
I haven’t been out looking for Solomon’s seal this year, but my first plants came from North Haven Gardens in Dallas. It sells quickly, however, so wherever you look for it, perhaps you ought to call ahead to see if they have it or can order it in. It’s not inexpensive, so you’re quite unlikely to find it in the big national box stores. If you simply can’t find it, Plant Delights, the incredible online nursery from the East Coast, offers several varieties.