Jacob’s Ladder Plant – Poisonous to Dogs, Grow, Care (Polemonium)

Jacob’s Ladder Plant is a very beautiful and attractive plant because of its vibrant lavender( light – dark purple) color. It is a perennial plant which means it has been growing for several years now.

They have radially symmetrical shape same as Cranesbill plant and it was perfect as an houseplant.

Its bright color to its popular bloom all are worth to watch. In this article I have cover every aspect of this colorful plant.

Here is the link to buy –  Jacob’s ladder plant


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This plant(Polemonium caeruleum) was first found in grasslands and rocky areas of various parts of Asia and Europe.

This plant belongs to the Polemoniaceae Family & its scientific or binomial name is Polemonium caeruleum.It grows about 19 to 24 inches tall (44-60 cm) and spreads 46-60 cm long.

According to documents from The Pennsylvania State University ,this plant has some good medicinal benefits used by the American Indian, they use its roots to make tea which is used as an astringent for problems like scrofula and snakebites.

This Plant root prescription is used to treat eczema and piles.

One variety which is very popular & native to North America is Polemonium reptans which is called by the name Spreading or Creeping Jacob’s Ladder , sometimes false Jacob’s ladder and bluebells.

These 2 species are called by same name might confuse people but don’t worry both are very similar and its growing and caring techniques are much common.

How to Grow Jacob’s Ladder Plant

To grow this plant you have to take care of many things including temperature, humidity, water, sunlight, fertilizer etc. To make sure your plant grow perfectly.

Here is the link to buy –  Jacob’s ladder plant

Here is the things to note on How to Grow Jacob’s Ladder Plant :


First of all, let me tell you that these plants do not like direct sunlight, for that you can either grow them in partial sunlight or grow on a filtered light shady place.

Most of the people who have big gardens grow these plants(Polemonium caeruleum) in just below a tree so that this plant get shade , and with these trees which have simple branches(not complex) that can pass some light to the bottom plant easily are the best .

By the way, you can grow it in your house corner too, where it gives only 2-3 hours of light, the rest of the time its full shade.

It has been seen that many plants do not like direct sunlight, the reason behind this is that by taking too much sunlight, their leaves start to get burns, and the water retained by them also gets dried out.

This causes them to be short of water as well and Jacob’s ladder plant is also one of them. They still need some light to make its food.


It can grow well in good draining soil and you have to take care of things like water should retain in soil meaning it should be moist but not flooded with water.

These plants love moist soil, Also they grow best with soil having pH 7 or 5-7 pH value. They can be Dried out easily so water is needed when it happens.


This plant(Polemonium caeruleum) can grow in various climate conditions and its hardiness zone is still unknown according to Plant for the future & Missouri Botanical Garden organization but its brother plant called by the name false Jacob’s ladder(polemonium reptans).

It has hardiness zone of 4 to 8 but many website claiming it can grow upto 12 zones.

Its care is different when it comes to various climates.

In the hardiness zone below 6 , you will see plants won’t keep up and die in winters because of the heavy cold , but don’t worry as spring season comes, the plant might revive using its self-seed and grow again as a new plant.

Hot temperatures are mostly disliked by these plants & it causes them to lose water and that makes them look droop(fade). In the 9 to 10 hardiness zone , Jacob’s ladder plant requires full shade , no direct sunlight.

Also in these zones you will be seeing less flowers as it doesn’t get much light & now you don’t have to water it as in full shade less watering is required.

Jacob's Ladder Plant


Water need extra care , these plant loves watering and being in moist soil most of the time but don’t overdo as it can lead to root starts to rot.

If you have better draining soil then that will do its job. Also the pot should have proper holes so that the water can leak out and no water logging occurs.

Rotting is common in these plants. I have seen many people giving water when the previous water is still not dried out , that is the mistake they do eventually see their plants dying because of over watering.

What your plant doesn’t like is people not being regular in case of watering. Sometimes they leave it drying or forget to sprinkle water.

Plants are waiting for you to give them water. After that they start making their food. If you forget this, they will get hungry for the day. It’s just like we humans are.

But how much it needs water depends on how often or how much it receives light, if it receives more light means you have to water it but if it has been in shade and there is not much light then it might not need watering.


As per humidity is concerned it can adjust to any level of humidity but what concern is that it may get some fungal or bacterial diseases when it is put in higher humidity climates.

For that you have to take care of this plant, In Cold weather you can use a frost blanket and what it does is it will protect your Jacob’s ladder plant(Polemonium caeruleum) from freezing.

It is made up of wool which is wrapped over the plant so it doesn’t feel cold.


It is long existing flowering plant with bright purple color, but to see this bright growth of its flower you need to feed this plant fertilizer which will give essential macro nutrients to its further growth.

You need to feed your plants balanced fertilizer which comes in liquid & power form and can be fed in early spring till fall.

Here are 2 most famous balanced fertilizer :

Southern Ag All Purpose – here is the link to buy.

J R Peters All Purpose – here is the link to buy.

Potting Repotting

For its repotting you need to dig the soil carefully and don’t hurt the roots of Jacob’s ladder plant. Separate the old soil carefully.

Use a new pot with drained soil and put this plant carefully in that. that’s it this is how you can report your ladder plant.

Jacob’s Ladder Plant Care

To care for this plant(Polemonium caeruleum) a good location where it gets partial light and not direct sunlight.

To tell you some tips on how to care Jacob’s ladder plant :

It can grow in sunlight.

but it gets burn spots when heat is too much, you can put them in 1-2 hour sunlight but not more than that.

Soil is also a big factor.

that should be taken care of as better drainage soil needs so it doesn’t get soggy.

Drainage can be enhanced.

by mixing it with pumice and peat. It also needs proper space as it spreads about 24 inches long, so make sure you note that.

They love moist soil.

so don’t make them wait too long for water.

Care also includes its pruning.

which can improve its growth and you will then see its bloom again.

Jacob’s Ladder Plant Propagation

To Propagate this plant you have 2 options either use seeds or take cutting from old plant.

Let me clear one thing that many people who have tried taking cutting are unsuccessful in growing this plant as it is not easy to take its cutting and then grow it.

When it comes to grow this plant from seed then its is the easy method

here is on how propagate Jacob’s ladder plant.

By Seeds

Seeds of this plant(Polemonium caeruleum) are available in market and online stores.

Once you get the seed , prepare a pot with well drained soil it includes peat , sand and pumice in quantity where 60% should be sand. After that sow the seed into the soil and water it and keep it moist.

Cover it with some polythene bags(put 2-3 holes in it) so it can get perfect moisture , in some days you will see seedlings appear. In the 1st year you will be seeing lots of flower blooms , after that it may take time to appear again.

Also do you know this plant automatically drops its seeds when it dies, then a new plant will appear , i mean a lot of seedlings appear from the soil, Lucky you.

This is the best part of this plant to revive itself from seeds.

By Division

For propagation using cutting, Well for this to work you need to separate out the basal rosettes from your 3-4 year old plant, make sure not to damage its root any further, then sow the cutting in new potting soil and water it fully.

It can develop its root again and start growing.

Jacob’s Ladder Plant Pruning

When it comes to pruning of this plant , firstly it doesn’t require it but if you want to see them bloom again early then do prune it by removing all the dead flowers and leaves you see.

On How to Prune Jacob’s Ladder Plant is remove those which are affected by pests and diseases. Deadheading in Jacob’s ladder plant is necessary when the flower finally blooms and starts to fade , it refreshes its growth and encourages the plant to bloom again early and fast. you can cut the dead stems which are not going to give more flowers.

Remember to always sterilize the cutting tool so your plant(Polemonium caeruleum) doesn’t get any bacteria or other disease & don’t worry about cutting flower foliage as it will grow again.

Variety of Jacob’s Ladder Plant

There are over 20-40 more varieties of this plant , I have chosen the common ones so you don’t have to get confused.

All these types are very much similar to one another even some have common names which might get people confused. 

Here are Variety of Jacob’s Ladder Plant :

Polemonium Chartaceum (Mason Jacob’s Ladder)

It is also known by the name Mason’s Sky pilot plant , it is a dwarf species of jacob’s ladder plant. They grow in rocky mountains and this variety is mostly found in California, USA.

Polemonium californicum (Moving Polemonium)

It is Known by the name Showy, Low or California Jacob’s ladder plant. This variety comes from North western parts of the United States.

They are also found in High Mountains and woodlands areas. Mostly grows in shade and low-medium Humidity areas.

Polemonium Boreale (Northern Jacob’s Ladder)

It is known by the name Boreal or Heavenly Habit Jacob’s ladder plant.

These varieties are native to Greenland.They are discovered in the coastal area of the East, and these look stunning in every garden area. 

Polemonium Pectinatum (Washington Jacob’s Ladder)

With its name it is clear where its comes from, yes it is Washington.

They can grow about 30-35 inch tall and have many stems near each other. Its white and lavender color flowers make any garden look gorgeous.

Polemonium Occidentale (Western Polemonium)

It is known by the name western or western polemonium Jacob’s ladder plant.

It was discovered in a high altitude area and they come from North America itself.

Its Bright purple Flowers Looks Fabulous and Colorful.It is very similar to its family plant.  

Jacob’s Ladder Plant Benefits

I have explained some of the benefits of this plant(Polemonium caeruleum) in the Background section. You can check it, Its roots do have medicinal benefits and they can resolve some issues of skin and some related to headaches.

According to Botanical , false Jacob’s ladder plant benefits is to take care of issues like coughs , bronchial, lung and cold.

Most Search Questions

Variegated Jacob’s ladder plant

Its scientific name is Polemonium caeruleum ‘Brise d’Anjou’ and they have dark green color leaves with cream color edges.

Variegated Jacob’s ladder plant is evenly look quite beautiful and the lavender flower bloom in spring can double its beauty.

It can grow about 1 to 2 feet in height & you need to care for this plant which is very simple.

They need moist soil which has good drainage and they can be grown in a full shade area.

Jacob’s ladder plants for sale

As you know it comes in offline stores but most of the time it was not even available in offline store or near by.

You can only grow this plant using its seeds and that way is also easy.

If you want to buy this plant – Here is the link to buy Jacob’s Ladder plant seeds.

Jacob’s ladder plant uses

Jacob’s ladder plant uses is in medical and can solve issues regarding face problems and some small issue like cold and cough.

Its root are very much effective in this human diseases , this plant has herbal solution and no chemical and also this one is non toxic so it doesn’t harm anyone but make sure advice to an expert or a doctor first before you try anything using its root.

Jacob’s ladder plant native

Jacob’s ladder plant native to Europe and Some Asian countries, for Polemonium reptans which is native to eastern north america and this is different variety which is very similar to Polemonium caeruleum.

Both have same names but one is called by the name false Jacob’s ladder plant.


Is Jacob’s Ladder invasive? It is not edible for human and animal consumption and No its not invasive to humans. This Jacob’s ladder plant grows itself when it dies and drops seeds on the soil surface which automatically starts to grow seedlings and a new plant.

Does Jacobs Ladder spread? Yes, it spreads about 16-24 inches, and same as its height. This plant can grow and starts showing blooms in early or mid spring season and till the fall , then you have to wait for the blooms. They are self seed plants so it can drop seeds when the flower matures and dies before that you have to remove its dead flower so that you can see its bloom again. They are easy to grow plants so no worries.

What does a Jacob’s ladder plant look like? Jacob’s Ladder plant has a lavender color flower that looks like a radially symmetrical shape & its dense compact stem with lots of leaflets make it look like a frond or fern of a palm. Its Flower clusters look quite beautiful and these are in different colors. According to its variety it may be yellow, blue, white or  pink color flower.

Do I deadhead Jacob’s Ladder? Deadheading is important in Jacob’s ladder plant ,so that we can remove the dead flowers and leaves if we don’t remove them they may look ugly and it might see the new blooms next year. Also pruning can rejuvenate the plant growth.
Is Jacob’s Ladder poisonous? According to  American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals , Jacob’s Ladder is not toxic to dogs, horses and cats. Gardenersworld also says that Polemonium ‘White Pearl’ is not reported to be toxic. So the simple answer is No it’s not poisonous.
Is polemonium poisonous? According to Gardenersworld It says that the variety of polemonium ‘white peral’ is non toxic and it has no reports of being poisonous or toxic.


In My opinion this plant is self seed one , so it can take rebirth and grow again, secondly its damn beautiful so take  good care and even you can gift them to someone or grow them in your garden both ways its good. Its non toxic and easy to grow what else you need. its perfect for your garden or even indoor.

Also SEE:

Japanese blood grassHow to Grow & Care (Imperata cylindrica) – Guide

Wichita Blue JuniperCare Guide, Propagation, Benefits

Gold Mop CypressHow to Propagate, Pruning, Care [Step By Step]

Orange Star Plant Flower, Care, Propagation, Pruning[Detailed Guide]

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Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark , a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences. Check our Social media Profiles: Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram Tumblr

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