Thursday, August 4
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 in such a way that a vague resemblance to the rungs of a ladder is obtained. The plant is heavenly in appearance, however 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. This makes it ideal for those who want their landscaped areas to have a natural, less structured appearance, or for those who strictly only plant native flowers and shrubs. Jacob’s ladder does especially 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, but the grower should beware, for a few varieties can spread very 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 a cool, shade-loving variety of plant is needed to provide a ground cover. The Jacob’s ladder grows anywhere but does the best in zones 3-4.