Meet your Chicagoland Stormwater Storage Requirements with a rain garden!

Rain Garden Plant Profiles: Jacob’s Ladder


Polemonium reptans (Jacob’s Ladder)

Sun Requirements: Shade to Full Sun
Soil Moisture: Medium Dry to Medium Wet
Average Height: 12″
Bloom Time: April-June
Bloom Color: Blue
Rain Garden Uses:Top of Berm
My Notes:

      Prefers Partial Shade with Medium Moisture.

      Keep mulch away from the base of the plant with the exception of loose leaf compost.

      Short habit makes it great for up on the top of the berm as it won’t flop out onto the        surrounding lawn/landscape.

      Beautiful delicate blue flowers in Spring give way to a dense clump of fern-like foliage.

Native Range:

Kartesz, J.T., The Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2013. Taxonomic Data Center. (http://www.bonap.net/tdc). Chapel Hill, N.C. [maps generated from Kartesz, J.T. 2013. Floristic Synthesis of North America, Version 1.0. Biota of North America Program (BONAP). (in press)]

Good Usage

Jacob’s Ladder in bloom framing the gravel overflow in a Partial Shade location with Medium soil moisture and little to no mulch around the base of the plants.

These plugs planted just a year ago are already starting to fill out across the berm.


Even though the Jacob’s Ladder is up on the berm, the soil moisture is medium because the water retained by the rain garden saturates the berm.


Ok Usage
Three year old Jacob’s Ladder doing decent in the wood chip mulched Partial Shade and Dry conditions at my house.

They are surviving, but not thriving.

Poor Usage
I planted these guys in this bioswale two years ago. They are suffering in the heavily wood chipped Full Sun and Dry conditions.


They struggle through the wood chips every Spring, and then are scorched to near extinction during the summer.

If you have used Jacob’s Ladder in your garden let me know how it went for you below!

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