• Polemonium reptans

    Jacob's ladder

Polemonium reptans

Jacob's ladder Description:

Polemonium reptans, commonly known as Jacob's ladder, is a herbaceous perennial plant in the family Polemoniaceae. It is native to eastern North America and can be found in woodlands and along streams from Canada to the southeastern United States. The plant typically grows up to 1 to 2 feet tall and blooms in late spring with clusters of blue to lavender flowers. The leaves are compound and arranged in opposite pairs, with each leaflet resembling the rungs of a ladder, hence the common name "Jacob's ladder". Polemonium reptans prefers partial to full shade and moist, well-drained soil. It is an important plant for pollinators, providing nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies, and other insects. It is also used in shade gardens and wildflower gardens to add early-season color and texture.

Native Range:

Jacob's ladder is found throughout the Midwest and Eastern United States. In Minnesota, Jacob's ladder is isolated to the very Southeastern portions of the state.

Standard Plant Information:

Plant Height: 1' - 2' 

Bloom Time: May - July

Preferred Habitat: Does well in part shade to shade. Often found in moist, rich woods.


For most homeowners, the best option is to scatter seed on the ground by hand broadcasting at a minimum of 16-64 pls ounces per acre.  For even coverage, we recommend that you broadcast seed in perpendicular rows across the site to ensure even coverage.

You’ll want to broadcast any grass seed first, which will get raked into the soil lightly. Next, it is ideal to mulch the area lightly with either a clean (no seed) straw or preferably with our native Little Bluestem straw, sold at our retail garden centers. After a light mulching is complete, now it’s time to broadcast your native wildflower seeds, which should not be raked into the soil. A good rain or watering is sufficient to cover the seed.


Simply dig a hole in the soil slightly larger than the plant’s roots. Ensure that the soil line of the plant is maintained during the transfer (i.e. the plant should be at the same level with the ground as it was in the pot). Pack any loose dirt back around the plant and make sure you water it well the same day to ensure it has the best chance of survival.

maps used with permission from MN Wildflowers

Polemonium reptans Gallery

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