Jacob's Ladder Plant Care and propagation

Jacob’s Ladder plant care and propagation that will help you grow a healthy and beautiful plant. The plant is scientifically known as Polemonium caeruleum. Jacob’s Ladder is a perennial that produces beautiful flowers during spring. The blooms are produced in clusters and form at the ends of long stems.

Jacob’s Ladder Plant Care

Different varieties produce different flower colors. The common ones are lavender and purple; however, you can also find some in yellow, white, and pink. The plant also produces pretty pinnate light green leaves.

Varieties of Jacob’s Ladder.

There are many varieties and types of Jacob’s Ladder. One popular variety of Jacob’s Ladder is Bambino Blue. The variety has beautiful very pronounced light blue flowers and they are gorgeous. Other varieties include Album that produces white flowers, Stairway to Heaven which produces blue flowers and Snow Sapphires which produces blue flowers.

Common NameJacob’s Ladder
Scientific NamePolemonium caeruleum
Plant TypePerennial
LightPartial shade
Hardiness ZoneUSDA 3-8
Flower ColorsPurple, blue, white

Lighting for Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder plants are quite adaptable to different lighting conditions. The best is partial shade where the plant gets a lot of artificial light during the day.

The plants can also grow in direct sunlight. However, the variegated varieties don’t do as well as the dark green varieties in direct sunlight.

Jacob’s Ladder Soil

Jacob’s Ladder Plant care also includes providing the plant with the appropriate soil. The Jacob’s Ladder plant thrives in well-drained soil.

However, the soil should be loose and rich. The soil should allow for air movement. If it’s too compacted plant’s roots don’t do well, they will struggle to find oxygen. In some cases, the plant can get root rot when the soil is too compact.

The best pH is between 6.2 and 7.0. However, the plant can tolerate slight deviations in pH.  

Watering Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder plants are fussy when it comes to watering. This is one of the plants that even experienced plant owners might struggle with finding the optimal watering balance and routine.

The most important part of Jacob’s Ladder plant care is keeping them moist but not wet. This a tricky balance because the watering frequency will depend on external conditions. During dry months, increase the watering frequency and lower the frequency during wet months.

At all times maintain the medium moisture levels without making the soil soggy. Well-watered Jacob’s Ladder plants bloom for longer and also remain lush and green for longer.

In the natural environment, the plant grows in wetlands and bogs. This explains why the plant loves to remain moist all the time.

Fertilizing Jacob’s Ladder

When properly fertilized, Jacob’s Ladder perennial plants can live for extended periods. Give the plants a little bit of complete liquid fertilizer that’s very diluted. During the growing season, you can add the fertilizer during early spring. However, during the offseason do not fertilize at all.

If you don’t use liquid fertilizers, you can top-dress it with worm castings once or twice in Spring. Avoid over-fertilizing your plants.

In general, most people tend to overfertilize their plants. So, if ever you are in doubt, its better to avoid feeding the plants.

Best Temperature For Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder plants can live in a wide range of temperatures but they like cool climates even during summer. When grown in hot climates such as warm southern gardens, they can be negatively affected by the heat.

Ideal Humidity For Jacob’s Ladder

The plant does well in medium humidity levels. However, it doesn’t like too much humidity and if it’s exposed to high levels of humidity it can become susceptible to fungal diseases. Maintaining moderate humidity levels is also an important part of Jacob’s Ladder plant care.

Jacob’s Ladder Plant Propagation

Propagating Jacob’s Ladder is easy. The first method is by dividing mature plants. The plants can reach maturity in about two to four years.

The best time to divide the old plants is in early spring which will give them ample time to get established during the growing season. If you don’t split up the mature plants when they reach this stage, they will start dying from the center.

Dividing the plants is easy. Just separate the basal rosettes into different plants, replant them and water them immediately.

Growing Jacob’s Ladder from Seeds

The second method of getting new Jacob’s Ladder plants is from seeds. If you have a mature Jacob’s Ladder plant, it will produce seeds that will drop and self-seed from the flower heads. The seeds don’t disperse far from the mother plant.

You can also collect the seeds from mature plants (either your own or someone else’s) and establish them in a location of choice. The seeds should be established during spring or fall.

To ensure the seeds germinate and grow properly, direct seed them and cover them loosely with soil. Water them immediately. The soil should be kept moist throughout. It is also advisable to mark the area where the seeds have been planted to avoid disturbing them.

Jacob’s Ladder seeds can also be established indoor. The idea behind establishing them indoor is to have plants ready for transplanting in spring or fall. If you want to transplant in spring, sow the seeds two months before the last frost date. If you want to transplant in fall, sow the seeds in mid-summer.

Pruning and Deadheading Jacob’s Ladder

Although Jacob’s Ladder plant care is minimal, they still require minimal maintenance in the form of pruning and deadheading. Deadheading is required after the flowers are done blooming. Simply cut back all the flower stalks at the plant’s base. Timely deadheading will encourage the plant to produce new blooms.

Pruning is also necessary especially when the plant’s foliage starts to look unsightly. Prune using clean tools and cut back the foliage. The pruning process helps give the plant a clean look. You shouldn’t be concerned with cutting back foliage because new growth will replace any that is removed.

Jacob’s Ladder Pests and Disease

There are no plants that are resistant to all pests and diseases and Jacob’s Ladder plants are not either. The plants can be affected by powdery mildew. The plants become more susceptible when grown in high humidity or the leaves are kept wet during watering.

Leaf spots can also occur. They can be controlled through pruning and avoiding keeping the leaves wet.

The plants can also be affected by leaf miners and slugs. The pests can be treated by removing the affected leaves. The pests can also be controlled using natural methods such as applying neem oil.

However, if the pests are many and it’s a full-blown infestation, you should consider using a pesticide.  

Frequently check the overall general health of your Jacob’s Ladder plant. Check the roots and see if your plant has been sitting in water for too long. Frequent checkups will help you identify any problems when they can still be corrected.

Jacob’s Ladder Plant Poisonous

No, Jacob’s Ladder is not toxic or poisonous to all types of pets and humans. If you own a dog or cat this is one of the plants that doesn’t pose a threat to your pets.  

Jacob’s Ladder Plant Meaning

The symbolism and associated with Jacob’s ladder are coming down. The plant produces leaves that resemble a ladder-like arrangement hence the name. The ladder symbolizes the bridge between heaven and earth where angels ascend and descend. Check this post on 70 Flowers with different meanings.  


Jacob’s Ladder is one of the gorgeous perennial plants that you should try. It produces beautiful leaves and flowers. If you like perennials, check this post on how to grow clematis flowers or this post on 40 perennials flowers and plants.

I hope you found this post on Jacob’s Ladder Plant care and propagation helpful. If so, please share the post and help someone else.

Jacob's Ladder Plant Care and propagation



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One Comment

  1. What excellent shades of purple! We don’t have flowers like that here, but we do have the hibiscus. Thanks for sharing.

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