Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Creeping Jacob's Ladder, Greek Valerian
Polemonium reptans

Family: Polemoniaceae (po-le-moh-nee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Polemonium (po-le-MOH-nee-um) (Info)
Species: reptans (REP-tanz) (Info)

Synonym:Polemonium reptans var. reptans

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

11 members have or want this plant for trade.


Unknown - Tell us

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By poppysue
Thumbnail #1 of Polemonium reptans by poppysue

By poppysue
Thumbnail #2 of Polemonium reptans by poppysue

By Malus2006
Thumbnail #3 of Polemonium reptans by Malus2006

By Malus2006
Thumbnail #4 of Polemonium reptans by Malus2006

By Malus2006
Thumbnail #5 of Polemonium reptans by Malus2006

By greenthumb99
Thumbnail #6 of Polemonium reptans by greenthumb99

By ms_greenjeans
Thumbnail #7 of Polemonium reptans by ms_greenjeans


4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive ms_greenjeans On May 22, 2014, ms_greenjeans from Hopkins, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I planted two of these last year. They survived a brutal, and I do mean brutal, Minnesota winter. They are a lovely mounded shape and are absolutely covered with beautiful light blue flowers. I find the foliage of polemoniums very pleasing, and it always looks clean and nice even when the plant is not blooming. This is definitely a keeper.

Positive plant_it On Jun 17, 2013, plant_it from Valparaiso, IN wrote:

The preference is light shade or partial sun, mesic conditions, and a rich soil with lots of organic matter. It is not aggressive.

The common name of Polemonium reptans refers to the pairs of opposite leaflets on the compound leaves, which supposedly resemble a series of steps on a ladder in a dream by the biblical Jacob.

Don't confuse this plant with the other species that resembles it, Polemonium vanbruntiae (Greek Valerian), which is native to some of the Eastern States. This latter species is more erect in habit, and has slightly larger flowers with exerted stamens. These flowers are usually a darker shade of blue than those of Jacob's Ladder, and their anthers are often yellow, rather than white.

Neutral outdoorlover On Apr 22, 2008, outdoorlover from Enid, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is having a difficult time growing in our yard. We have heavy clay, which stays pretty dry and hard. Also, I have it planted in shade with no direct sun after the trees leaf out. I planted it in spring of 2005 and it barely comes up each spring and then dies back during the summer. Never any flowers.

Positive Malus2006 On Mar 13, 2006, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

This plant make a nice company for woodland phlox, and one year they bloomed together! This species may be more long lived compare to other polemonium speces like P. caerul... It grows in sandy soil in any degree of shade at my home.

Positive Tiarella On Mar 18, 2004, Tiarella from Tunnel Hill, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a nice plant for the shade garden. It seeds about nicely but not aggressively, and seedlings are easy to dig and transplant.

It makes a nice dainty cutflower with pink columbine and other delicate spring flowers.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cullman, Alabama
Juneau, Alaska
Merced, California
Chicago, Illinois
Newburgh, Indiana
Valparaiso, Indiana
Louisville, Kentucky
Calais, Maine
Lisbon, Maine
Amherst, Massachusetts
Hopkins, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Lincoln, Nebraska
Munsonville, New Hampshire
Frenchtown, New Jersey
Verona, New Jersey
Brooklyn, New York
Homer, New York
Glouster, Ohio
Enid, Oklahoma
Port Matilda, Pennsylvania
Burns, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
South Hero, Vermont
Leesburg, Virginia
Cathcart, Washington

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America