Monday, September 6, 2010


JACOB'S LADDER, or Greek Valerian, or polemonium, is a great perennial!  It's a good plant if you're looking for a low-maintenance perennial, it's pest and disease resistant, and it has lovely fern-like foliage through the season, even when it's not in bloom with it's delicate blue or white flowers.  It likes humus-rich dry soil with light shade, and they are very hardy.  I have a blue flowering one with variegated leaves that is very nice, along with regular green fern-like foliage ones that flower white or blue.  I like to use them in arrangements; they are long-lasting, and a nice filler.  They are easy to divide, and it's best to do that in fall or early spring.  I've done it in both, and they both bloomed in the late spring to early summer after doing so. I keep mine divided every 3 years or so; they tend to get woody in the center if left too long without dividing, plus I also have space limits.  After they bloom, if you cut them down to the foliage, you can get another bloom in the season.  The only thing that I can say I don't like about Jacob's Ladder is its root system--it's heavily webbed and compact and close to the soil's surface--it's hard to explain--but I just don't like it very much.  But, I just make sure I plant things around it that that kind of root system won't be a problem.  I have Jacob's ladder among hosta, lilies, peonies, and bulbs like daffodils and tulips.   This time of year they usually begin a new foliage cycle, like columbine and poppies.   Just pull out the yellowing stems and you'll see new little ones starting to grow.  I really enjoy my Jacob's ladder, and if you are looking for a great, trouble-free hardy perennial, this one would work for you.  
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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