Second only to rhododendrons, Solomon’s Seal is a favorite of Mark’s. I’m not sure where he first learned about them, but suddenly he *had* to find some for the shade garden at our prior house.
Rabbit Trail: After we’d gardened for a few years at that fixer-upper, our property tax assessment increased dramatically. I appealed it with the City, because most of the real improvements were done away from the prying eyes of the assessor. When they returned the final determination, she said the increase was due to the “park-like setting” of our side yard. All that expense and back-breaking labor, just so we could pay higher taxes!
Oh, well. We enjoyed the park.
When we moved to Arthurized Home, we brought about 8 divisions with us. Those transplants have multiplied to become hundreds, and we’ve divided them into several beds throughout our property. Division is best done in spring or fall, leaving several rhizomes on each piece. If you want value for money, these are a sure thing.
There are several different varieties of this native plant. Ours is variegated fragrant Solomon’s Seal and grows to about two feet tall. I love the painterly brush strokes on the leaf tips!
Solomon’s Seal is a relative of lily-of-the-valley; and in the spring, has similar white bell-shaped blooms along the stem. There is no need to deadhead the blooms. They dry and fall off the plant on their own.
Once established, this woodland plant is practically maintenance free. Solomon’s Seal likes rich soil in moist shade, but will tolerate a little sun in cooler climes. Planted in full sun, they will burn, like hosta. You can amend poor soil with compost, and use mulch or leaf litter to insulate the plants while they take root. These plants are drought tolerant once established, and as an added bonus, deer resistant. *insert Madea shouting Hallelujer!*
They’re very hardy and don’t seem to be susceptible to pests or fungal disease. We’ve heard that slug like ’em, but haven’t seen any evidence of that in our garden. Solomon’s Seal will even grow at the base of our oak tree where little else will.
See the brown leaves below?
Those mean that summer is winding down and cooler temps are on the way. Sad, I know.
Over the winter, Solomon’s Seal dies back all the way to the ground. But don’t you worry your pretty little head about that. He’ll be back in the spring, poking his pointy noggin out of the ground before you know it!
Solomon’s Seal make attractive container plants on shady porches and patios.
For more reading on Solomon’s Seal:
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