One of the best features of the Jacob’s ladder plant is its foliage. The plant forms a clump of densely packed leaf stems each bearing tiny leaflets, almost fern-like in appearance, that rise along the stem like the ladder of the Biblical dream of Jacob. This ladder formation is known as pinnate. Each plant grows from 1 to 3 feet (30 to- 91 cm.) high with a spread of 1 1/2 to 2 feet (46 to 61 cm.) wide. Loose clusters of flowers hang like bells from the long stems and come in white, pink, blue or yellow depending on the cultivar.
Once established, growing Jacob’s ladder requires very little except for occasional trimming. Jacob’s ladder plants are, therefore, an excellent addition to the low maintenance garden.The Jacob’s ladder plant is a woodland perennial that prefers a shady to semi-shady spot for growing. Jacob’s ladder leaves tend to scorch with too much heat or sun. It grows best in soils that are rich in organic materials and likes a moist, but not soggy environment. That being said, one of the pleasures of this garden addition is that it tolerates drought once its root system is firmly entrenched. It is also deer resistant and isn’t prone to disease or insect infestation.