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About Jacob’s Ladder

In the famous Bible story, the patriarch Jacob receives a vision in which he sees the heavens open and angels ascending and descending via a ladder.

The Jacob's ladder plant gets its name from the fact that the leaves are arranged opposite each other so that a vague resemblance to the rungs of a ladder is obtained.

However, the plant is heavenly in appearance in that the foliage is a bright, vibrant, olive green and, in season, is topped by delicate light blue or purple flowers.

The Jacob's ladder can have an almost fern-like appearance except for the flowers and is one of the rare varieties of ornamental plants that will grow very well in the shady areas of your garden.

The Jacob's ladder is native to the northern hemisphere and was originally a plant common to wooded areas. That makes it ideal for those who want their landscaped areas to have a natural, less structured appearance or for those who only plant native flowers and shrubs. Jacob's ladder does exceptionally well when planted around the margins of a garden pond or similar area and thrives in moderately fertile soil, as long as the soil is well-drained.

Jacob's ladder can be had in several varieties and flower colors. Still, the grower should beware, for a few varieties can spread rapidly when presented with ideal growing conditions and must be carefully controlled. Though this can become a problem, it is also an asset in those instances when an excellent, shade-loving variety of plants is needed to provide a ground cover. The plant grows best in zones 3-4, and, like anytime a plant is considered, the grower should check their zone to ensure that the plant is compatible with the area where it will be grown.

Source of Information on Jacob's Ladder Plants


Jacobs Ladder - TN Nursery

Jacobs Ladder

Jacob's Ladder is a perennial wildflower with pinnate leaves and delicate, bell-shaped, blue to purple flowers arranged along its arching stems, adding grace to shady garden settings. It is a charming and distinctive perennial plant that offers many benefits when incorporated into landscaping designs. With its delicate clusters of bell-shaped flowers and elegant fern-like foliage, it brings a touch of enchantment and versatility to outdoor spaces. Jacobs Ladder is officially known as Polemonium reptans or simply Polemonium. It's part of the Polemoniaceae or Phlox family and is sometimes referred to as the American Greek valerian, stairway to heaven, sweet root, and abscess root. Many of its names are a reference to the arrangement of the flowers, which can look like stairs or a ladder. The name is also a reference to a biblical story in the book of Genesis where one of the characters, Jacob, has a dream about a stairway to heaven. The Polemonium is a herbaceous perennial that is native to North America. Features of Jacobs Ladder It is known for its bell-shaped blue or purple-colored flowers. The flowers usually grow to a height of about three-fourths of an inch and have five stamens. The plant tends to grow low to the ground, only reaching heights and widths of about one to two feet. This wildflower is known for its compounding leaves, which means that many leaves grow from one stem. Landscaping with Jacobs Ladder It makes a great accompaniment for trees and shrubs and can brighten up woodland and shade gardens, especially in the spring when its flowers bloom. They also perform well in perennial borders where many of the other plants are taller than the stairway to heaven. Companion Plants for Jacobs Ladder It can be planted next to different trees, shrubs, and flowers. Some beneficial companion plants include hostas, lady ferns, lungwort, foam flowers, and coral bells. It also thrives next to spring beauties, Virginia water leaves, and oriental poppies. Jacobs Ladder for Pollinator Gardens It makes a great addition to flower and pollinator gardens. The bell-shaped flowers typically attract a wide variety of bees, butterflies, and birds, especially hummingbirds. These wildflowers can be used to add color to many different types of outdoor gardens. Apartment and condo gardeners can enjoy planting it in pots or containers for balcony gardening or as an indoor plant to add color and life to their inside spaces.

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