Jacobs Ladder

isabella__MA(z5_MA)July 7, 2004

I planted jacobs ladder last fall, and it grew well until early summer. I didn't water it, and now in mid-July the plant has vanished... a few twigs. Other info; in nearly full shade under maples.

Now my question: Is jacobs ladder an ephemeral that will come back later in the fall or next spring?

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Mine are always visible but they do not bloom each year..they bloom every other........MN Zn3/4 Don't know if it will come back. Mine wouldn't I don't think.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2004 at 8:21AM
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leslies(z7 No VA)

Maybe it got eaten. It's not an ephemeral plant - mine are still up and going to seed.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2004 at 2:34PM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

Mine blooms every year for about 2 weeks in the spring. I moved it 4 yrs ago from my old house where it had been growing for about 10 yrs. There, it rarely reseeded but in my woodland garden, in the new house, it reseeds nicely. The foliage is nice even when the plant isn't in bloom.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2004 at 10:55PM
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rose_is_a_rose(z4 SW Ont)

I have had two Jacob's Ladder (the tage says; Polemonium Reptans, Blue Pearl) plants in my garden (in shade) for about 8 years. They bloom in early spring with dainty blue flowers then have nice foliage for the rest of the summer unless we have had very hot and sunny weather then I have had them die back. But they always shine the next year. This year they are holding out with all the dull days and rain.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2004 at 10:12AM
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i have one which i believe is native to illinois. you say yu jyst planted it last year. it is possible that, since it is still growing a good root system, it died back until cooler,moist weather. mine is actually not looking too good right now. my older one bloom,ed for the first time this spring, but not the other. if it is twigs, watch for something eating it. supposedly, columbines are not ephemeral, but they die back and return when the hot weather cools.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2004 at 7:05PM
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Thanks for the advice!

I will keep the area under watch next spring. Just before making the post I had ordered from Green MT Transplants 20 blue flowering Jacobs ladder, and I was regreting that now. If they come back in the spring or late fall that would be great, as they have a lovely blue flower.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2004 at 6:11AM
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Greenmanplants(UDSA Zone 8)

Polemolium reptans will suffer if it becomes parched, it needs a bit of moisture throughout the season. Why not raise your own plants from seed. They're very easy with a chance of getting some white ones as well as some variation in the blue. Simply sow them in a tray and keep them a little moist, you should have seedlings in the spring some of which may flower in their first year, grow them on for a year and then plant them out where you want them. 100 plants for the price of 1! If they're happy they'll do this for themselves, just give them a helping hand to get going.

Cheers Greenmanplants

    Bookmark   July 13, 2004 at 7:49AM
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Mine have been blooming since may...but they do not self seed. I moved them from a different citey five years ago..well I had one and ahve divided it a few times. I got it from a neighbor who's plants were spreading all over. Funny how sandy soil seems to encourage seeds better then good rich soil does.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2004 at 8:12AM
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poppi(z5 ohio)

Mine bloom all summer and it still has blooms in Nov! It has seeded and I just let it go. I know it doesn't like wet soil and where it is, it's ignored. It's a mystery to me.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2004 at 3:13PM
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paul299(z4 Minnesota)

Sounds like to much shade and/or too dry.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2004 at 6:22AM
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Have 3 new Jacobs and they are thriving
( Snow and Sapphires)Strange thing is that they are pretty much in full sun and reblooming now. Should I relocate them in fall to a shady area? Any ideas as to why they are doing so well in full sun ? Love the look of them in my mixed garden.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 11:46PM
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Gina,as the sayings go if it is not broke don't fix it!!!Or Leave sleeping dogs lay!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 2:59PM
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rubybaby43(z4 MN/n. metro)

Mine seeds itself everywhere! I had a volunteer pop up in my heavily shaded backyard. It's been there every year since....in full bloom. The one in the backyard is under oaks. I don't know if maples are tough on all perennials but I know they are tough on hostas. Maybe this is an issue with the JL!? Just a thought.

Good luck!
Kristy :)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 11:13PM
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dbs_illinois_4(z4b Illinois)

Probably some of the differences in experience with "Jacob's Ladder" is that they are different plants! The most commonly sold ones, including the white-edged ones like 'Snow & Sapphires' are Polemonium caeruleum which is a European plant. Polemonium reptans, the one rose_is_rose has, is the native one. It needs less moisture than the other. Also does not have the long flower stalks so it never "looks weedy." In fact, the cute little yellowish seed-heads make it just as attractive after flowering as it does in bloom.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 8:06AM
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To follow up on this posting, unfortunately the JL that I posted about never did thrive in that location. The Maple and shade combination did them in.

That area was replanted with Mt. Laurel (Kalmia Olympic fire), which is tolerant of the shady environment and competition.

The area they were planted is on the edge of an existing native conservation woodland. The native woodlands soil wasd not removed or amended and maple roots were everywhere in the leaf mold. I gave up on trying to plant anything non-native in this environment, as by trial and error it appears that only plants adapted to this type of environment will thrive there.

Put in some Rhodie Maximums and they have thrived. Slow to grow, due to deer 'pruning', but their performance has been impressive.

Unless mother nature is totally grubbed and graded away, then finding the right plant to fit into the environment is the key, as dbs-illinois, above, has suggested.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 6:03AM
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