Polemonium, Variegated Jacob's Ladder, Creeping Jacob's Ladder, Greek Valerian 'Stairway to Heaven'

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)
Cultivar: Stairway to Heaven
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Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


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:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Littleton, Colorado

Canton, Connecticut

Hamden, Connecticut

Greenville, Indiana

Pacific Junction, Iowa

Marlborough, Massachusetts

Howell, Michigan

Hopkins, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Maplewood, New Jersey

Charlotte, North Carolina

Chesterland, Ohio

Haviland, Ohio

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Knoxville, Tennessee

Grand Prairie, Texas

Chesterfield, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Shelton, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 28, 2010, ms_greenjeans from Hopkins, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

So far I love this plant. I created a rock garden on a hillside last fall and planted two Jacob's Ladder 'Stairway to Heaven' plants. They greeted this spring with abundant growth and bloomed profusely. As a matter of fact, they have been blooming for a month solid and don't seem to be slowing down. The light blue flowers are fragrant. The foliage is green and ivory variegated with a tinge of pink - very pretty. I am planting more Jacob's Ladders of different varieties this year and hope they will do as well as these.


On May 2, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

When it comes up, the new foliage is strongly mixed of hot pinks and white with a bit of green which then changes to green with white edges as the season goes on. Seem to retain its white better in part shade.


On Sep 7, 2007, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I don't have a good history with Polemoniums, but this one has done well for me for several years now. Surprisingly since it is one with variegated foliage, which is typically more finicky. It is a gorgeous plant with blooms in May in my garden. PP #15187