Erakina

Jacob’s ladder(An Attractive Plant) – Erakina

Published Date : April 19, 2022

Introduction to jacob’s ladder

A Jacob’s ladder is a beautiful plant because of its captivating light-dark purple color. The flowers produced by this plant are a gift of nature. 

   Polemonium Caeruleum jacob's ladder

Jacob’s Ladder plant.     

Kingdom:         Plantae

Clade:               Tracheophytes

Clade:               Angiosperms

Clade:                Eudicots

Clade:                Asterids

Order:               Ericales

Family:              Polemoniaceae

Genus:               Polemonium

Species:             P. caeruleum

Jacob’s Ladder

  • Polemonium caeruleum is also commonly known as Greek Valerian, Jacob’s Ladder(due to the unique, ladder like arrangements of its leaves), Charity, American great valerian, Ladder to heaven and make-bate, and is a hardy Perennial flowering plant.

growing-spring-blooming-jacobs-ladder

                                                                                          growing-spring-blooming-jacobs-ladder

  • Perennial signify, this plant has been in existence for a long period of time. They are commonly found in Europe and are produced for their bright-green foliage(green leaves) and its flowers that blossom in the period from April to May.
  • Deep or partial shade is favorable for their growth and are self seed plants. 

Characteristics

jacob's ladder 

  • Jacob’s Ladder is an upright(pointing upwards), clump forming(small group of them growing together) and hardy plant( they can survive cold weather).

jacob's ladder

  • It commonly grows up to 18-24 inches and occasionally up to 35 inches. They mostly prefer moist woods and shady places to grow in but can also tolerate and grow in dry and sunny conditions. 
  • They generally produce the flowers with the color of purple, lavender, blue, mixed and white with yellow colored stamens. The initial bloom time naturally lasts for only two to four weeks.

uses of jacob ladder

  • In early summer or late spring, the slender stalks of the plant are seen rising up from the green foliage with clusters of bell-shaped blue flowers at the top. 
  • Jacob’s Ladder prefers partial shade and can be sunburned and scorched if too much exposed to full sun.

growing-spring-blooming-jacobs-ladder

  • Although different cultivars have different tolerance capacity towards sunlight, varieties of this plant with dark green leaves do generally possess more sunlight tolerance capacity than those with variegated leaves.
  • The perennial plant dies every year in autumn, but since it is hardy, it start growing again in spring, as the weather starts to get warm. 
  • It does not prefer to grow in extreme watery soil, moist soil is required. The soil should be moist and not wet, so too much water should not be provided.

jacob's ladder

  • A longer blooming period can be achieved through the right amount of watering.
  • In early spring when the new growth starts to appear, feed the plant with balanced fertilizer, and then again after deadheading(removing the dead flower heads from your plants).
  • Do not forget to cover with the layer of compost around the plant a few times in a year.
  • Moist, loose and well draining soil is favorable for the well growth of Jacob’s Ladder plant. It prefers moist soil but not wet or waterlogged soil, and this thing has to be remembered while cultivating it.
  • Neutral PH(6.2 to 7.0) is prefered by the plant to grow. 
  • It is not a highly maintenance plant but a proper and little care is all it takes. To encourage the plant to rebloom, all you need to do is deadhead the plant and remove the flower stalks back to the base of the plant. 

Propagation of Jacob’s Ladder plant

They are generated through plant divisions or grown from seeds. The fully grown Greek Valerian needs to be divided every two to four years otherwise they start to die from the centers. 

Steps to propagate through plant division

  1. Separate the basal rosettes from a fully grown plant and plant them to other locations.
  2. Early spring is considered as the best time to generate polemonium through plant division.
  3. Water well to keep the soil moist and preferable.

Steps to grow from seeds

  1. Water the soil to make it moist and favorable, and simply sow the seeds in that soil, in spring or fall. 
  2. Carefully cover the seeds loosely with soil and water. 
  3. Keep the soil moist and leave it undisturbed. 
  4. The seeds generally take up around a month to sprout. 

Uses

  • Its most common use is to obtain those beautiful flowers, this is the reason it is a highly popular garden plant. They are widely grown plants because the captivating vibrat flower color it possesses is the center of attraction.

uses of jacob ladder

  • The plant was also used in ancient Greece as a medicinal herb. The roots of the plants were used to treat dysentery, toothaches, and wounds caused by animal bites. 
  • During the nineteenth century, it was found in few European pharmacies and was used as an antisyphilitic agent(effective against syphilis)  and to treat rabies.
  • The roots can be used as infusion with water or as herbal tincture for cold, coughs, bronchitis, tuberculosis, feverish and inflammatory diseases.  

 Family of Polemonium Caeruleum

  • Jacob’s Ladder belongs to the polemoniaceae family. This is a family of flowering plants, It comprises around 25 genera with 270-400 species.
  • Members of the family are generally found in North America and also in western South America and Eurasia. They include scarlet gilia, various phlox species and jacob’s ladder which are most popular garden ornamentals.
  • Most members of this family are annuals or perennials and some are woody.

internal links:

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By Vaidehee Bhawsar

Date: 29/12/2021

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