Polemonium Jacops Ladder
Often bearing variegated leaves Polemonium has a lot to offer for shade or foliage gardens.
Plant Highlight: Polemonium (Jacob's Ladder) Botanical and Common Name: Polemonium is also known as Jacob's Ladder. Hardiness Zones: Polemonium is hardy zones 3-9 depending on the cultivar. Plant Category: Jacob's Ladder is a hardy perennial. Bloom Time and Color: Delicate looking blue flower clusters appear in early summer and bloom time can be extended by deadheading. Foliage: The foliage is one of the most attractive features of many Jacob's Ladder plants and the evenly arranged leaves gave the plant its common name. Often bearing variegated leaves Polemonium has a lot to offer for shade or foliage gardens. Growth Habit: Polemonium is a clump-forming, upright plant. Dimensions: Jacob's Ladders grow 15-30" tall and wide. Preferred Conditions: Polemonium prefers part to full shade and evenly moist soil as too much heat can cause the foliage to fade or scorch. Darker foliage varieties can tolerate more sun without leaf burn but generally the lighter-leaved variegated cultivars prefer at least afternoon shade. Maintenance: A few self-sown seedlings may appear in the spring and can be weeded or transplanted with ease and division may be needed occasionally. Pests or Diseases: No serious pests or diseases. Propagation Methods: Polemonium can be propagated through seeds or divisions. Named cultivars often won't come true from seed but the results can be interesting. Companion Plants: The intricate foliage of Jacob's Ladder makes it an excellent companion plant for almost any other plant. Consider adding Polemonium to a shade garden with Astilbe, Aquilegia, Dicentra or Corydalis. Or make Jacob's Ladder part of a foliage garden by pairing it with Hosta, Brunnera and Ferns. Another option is to grow one of the shorter cultivars as an under planting to a larger shrub such as Azalea, Hydrangea or Crape Myrtle,. Seasons of Interest: In warmer climates Polemonium is evergreen providing interest year-round. In cooler climates the foliage remains highly attractive spring through fall and the loose summer flower clusters are a subtle blue. Uses in the Garden: Polemonium can be used as part of a shade garden, blue themed garden, Memorial garden, attractive foliage gardens, near water or under leggy shrubs. Varieties and Cultivars: Polemonium caeruleum 'Stairway to Heaven' Zones 4-9. A tri-colored Jacob's Ladder, 'Stairway to Heaven' has green leaves with cream edges that turn blush pink in cool weather. More tolerant of heat and cold extremes than other Jacob's Ladder it also makes a good under planting for black walnut trees where other plants may not grow. 1-2' tall x 12-15" wide. For more info on purchasing this item click here. Polemonium caeruleum 'Snow and Sapphires' Zones 5-9. Crisp white edging that is very showy. 'Snow and Sapphires' is more tolerant of full sun conditions. Summer flower stalks can be to 30" tall and bear fragrant, sapphire-blue flowers. For more info on purchasing this item click here. Polemonium caeruleum 'Brise d'Anjou' Zones 2-7. Variegated Jacob's Ladder has creamy colored leaf edges that will scorch in full sun. Elegant violet-blue flowers, this Polemonium grows to about 18-24" tall and 10-12" wide.For more info on purchasing this item click here. This 'Plant Highlight' was written exclusively for Sooner Plant Farm by Angela England .To read more from this talented writer about other highlighted plants and interesting gardening stories click here. All copyrights reserved by Sooner Plant Farm. No reproduction of this article in whole or in part is allowed without the permission of Sooner Plant Farm.