Today we will talk about the Jacob’s Ladder plant. We will discuss how to grow a Charity plant or a Jacob’s Ladder plant? Charity plant is a small 2 feet high flowering plant with soft stems. It is can also sprawl its branches up to 2 feet. The bell-shaped flowers attract bees and butterflies and hang loosely in a cluster of 5 to 8 per head.
Jacob’s Ladder or Charity plant works well with both indoor and outdoor gardens. It requires less rooting space. So you can easily grow these beautiful plants in Containers. They are ideal perennials for USDA zone 3 to 9. Although you can grow them anywhere throughout the country with proper care. Jacob’s ladder plants grow from seeds as well as division plants.
If you like a medium-sized perennial flower plant then a Charity Plant can be a good addition to your garden landscape. Want to grow these beautiful plants, then stay tuned-Keep reading.
Check out my previous post: Easy Ways to Support Vegetable Plants
Charity Plant Basic Info
- Common Name: Jacob’s Ladder, Charity Plant
- Botanical Name: Polemonium caeruleum ( A Jacob’s Ladder plant variety specially developed for flower Gardening)
- Plant Type: Perennial Herbaceous Plant
- Plant height: 1 to 3 feet or 30 to 90 cm high.
- Flowers: White, Blue, or Purple flowers with mild Fragrances that attract bees and butterflies. Each bell-shaped flower is 1 to 2 cm in diameter and 2.5 cm long.
- Growing Location: Charity Plant grows well in USDA Agricultural Zone 3 to 9.
- Sunlight: This plant requires a part to full shade especially during hot summer days. Just 4 to 5 hours of morning sunlight is sufficient for the plant.
- Soil Requirement: Jacob’s Ladder plant requires light, Well-rained slightly moist soil to grow. The soil should have a Ph level between 6.0 to 7.0ph.
- Watering: Regular watering is essential for Charity Plant. The soil must remain moist but not soggy. Prefer deep watering for better health of Jacob’s Ladder or Charity plant.
- Fertilization: Charity Plant can grow well without much fertilizer. Still, it is better to feed the plant properly with balance NPK liquid fertilizer twice every month. This will keep the plant green and full of bloom throughout the season.
Charity Plant propagation Method
Do you know how to Propagate a Charity Plant? A Charity Plant or the Jacob’s Ladder Plant can Propagate through two distinct methods. The first one is with their seed and the second is with the plant division method.
The Plant starts blooming in late spring and continues till summer ends. The flowers mature and die leaving a small seed pod at its base. These seedpods contain tiny seeds that can grow into new Charity plants. Unfortunately, not all flower bears viable seeds, and not every seed germinates successfully. The germination rate of Charity plant seed is low to moderate depending on the climatic and soil conditions. Buy Jacob’s leader Plant Seeds on Amazon.
On the other hand, the Plant division method is more prominent to obtain healthy mature plants. Instead of germinating the seeds and caring for the seedling to get the plant, we can directly separate the baby plant from the base of the mature Charity plant.
Charity plants also grow underground suckers that can develop into a new plants. You can separate those small plants and grow them individually in separate containers. This can also help the parent plant to grow bigger and stronger instead of feeding the suckers.
Plants obtained from the division method can grow and bloom faster than seedlings. Division plants are identical to their parent. You can easily predict their growth and bloom quality which is not possible with the seedlings. Therefore, most gardeners prefer Charity plant division over seedlings.
Is it easy to grow a Charity Plant from its seeds?
It really depends on the quality of the seed and the soil condition. It is not that easy to grow a Charity plant from its seed.
First of all, you will require some mature, viable, healthy seeds. Next, prepare soil according to its germination cycle. Maintain low-temperature humid conditions to start seed germination. Finally, wait for the seed to germinate and the seedling to become ready for transplant.
All of these will require somewhat 2 to 3 months or probably 10 to 12 weeks to complete. Then you can get the plant out to any desired spot.
If you have patience and you are keen on garden activities then it’s quite easy. But if you are a hobby gardener then you should better prefer a live plant than a seedling to grow Jacob’s plant.
Overall, It is easy to grow a Charity Plant for its seeds especially if you have some prior gardening experience.
Can you Grow Charity Plant from Cuttings?
Yes, You can grow a Charity Plant for its Cutting. But it is not the ideal way to do this. Making a growable cutting is very difficult with Jacob’s plant. Another problem is the low viability of stem root formation.
A Charity Plant cutting requires intense care and a controlled environment to develop roots. It will take a lot of time, effort, and dedication to achieve this. And for sure it is not possible with most home gardeners.
There is one more problem that you will face with this approach. Charity plants usually don’t have any true stem mature that are always available for cutting. They do have some pseudostems that are actually flower spikes. You can’t grow a plant out with those stems.
It is quite difficult to obtain a sufficient number of mature stems to cope with the trial and errors of Rooting.
Can You Grow Charity Plant in Containers?
Yes, you can Grow Charity Plant in a Container. This small plant is ideal for container gardening. You can grow a Charity plant easily in a 6 to 8-inch pot or container.
Choose a deep ( at least 6 inches) Container with a proper drainage hole at the bottom. A clay pot is best for flowering plants though you can use any type of container available to you.
Growing Jacob’s plant in a container has a special advantage for the gardener. You can easily shift the plant in or out depending on your local climatic condition. Sometimes, you can regulate the temperature to force the plant to bloom prematurely in early spring. This way you can get the blooms early in the season. If you are a florist or a plant seller then this can help you in earning some extra bucks.
How to Prepare Soil for Charity Plant?
- Add 1 part garden soil, 1 part compost, 1 part sand, and 1 part cocopeat. Simply mix one pot full of each material for making soil mix for 4 containers. This mix is sufficient for the general growth of the charity plant.
- If you want better bloom in your plants then amend the soil mix with 10gm Urea, 5 gram Potash, 10gm Phosphate Composite, 50 gm Bone meal, and 5-gram contact fungicide in each container. You can use NPK 18:18:18 with sulfur as an alternative. Add only 2 teaspoons full of NPK to the soil.
- If you don’t have that much time to prepare your soil mix then check some of my favorite flower soil mix on Amazon.
How to Grow a Charity Plant?
Grow Charity Plants from Seeds:
- Collect your Charity Plant seed from a mature plant or buy it from a reputed garden store. You also buy Jacob’s Ladder seeds for Amazon.
- Prepare a Seedling tray and fill it with soil mix.
- Moisten the soil mix before sowing the seeds
- Sprinkle the seeds evenly n the top of the soil mix.
- Cover the seeds with a fine layer of the same soil mix.
- Keep the seedling tray at dark storage with temperatures ranging from 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The seeds will sprout within 3 to 4 weeks. Shift the seedling tray in the well-lit indoor spot once you find seeds are germinating.
- Wait for the plant to grow and meanwhile keep the soil moist to avoid dehydrating the baby seedlings.
- These seedlings will be ready to transplant within 2 months or 10 weeks.
- Wait for the final frost to end at the end of spring and then move the Charity plant out in the garden.
Grow Charity, Jacob’s Plants from divisions:
- Dig out baby sucker plant growing at the base of mature charity plant. Usually, you will see a couple of plants growing along with the main Jacob’s ladder plant.
- Gently use a sharp knife, trowel, or just your finger to detach the plant from a mother plant.
- Refill the empty spot with compost and cover it with mulch.
- Shift the new division plant to a small 4 or 6-inch container.
- Keep the plant in full shade for at least 15 days. Meanwhile water the plant to keep it hydrated.
- After 15 to 25 days shift the plant to a bigger container and again let it acclimatize for another 20 days.
- Finally, Shift the new Charity Plant to the desired grade spot or a bigger container in the spring season after the risk of frost is over.
- Bigger division plants can bloom in the same year of plantation. This makes it the fastest propagation method to grow Charity Plant.
Common Pest problem With Charity Plant
A Charity plant is usually not affected by any serious pest. Though, You can occasionally find some aphids and powdery mildew. It happens mostly after heavy rainfall or excessive watering in humid conditions.
Treating these pests is quite easy during the initial stages of infestation. Either keep the plant dry and avoid splashing water on the foliage or spray the plant with neem oil twice every week. It should be sufficient to control mild pest attacks in charity plants.
Above all, Regular checking is the best option for pest control. Try to keep the plant and its surroundings clean and free from debris.
Maintain a proper schedule for watering and fertilizing the soil. Finally, avoid water treatment after sunset. It is one of the reasons that attract pests toward your plants.
Generally, there is no need to use any harmful chemical pesticide to treat pests on charity plants. A little care, proper cleanliness, and regular plant checkup should be enough for a charity plant.
How to Care for a Charity Plant?
Jacob’s Ladder or Charity plant requires minimal maintenance. It’s a beautiful small plant, very easy to grow and care for. Simply keep it clean and pruned and it will keep blooming throughout the summer season.
- Maintain at least 2 to 3 feet distance between each plant for proper aeration. Each Charity Plant can spread up to 2 and a half feet wide. So Proper spacing will help you with plant care.
- Apply thin mulch at the plant base once in 3 months or whenever it feels empty. Mulching will prevent weed growth and reduce excessive evaporation during summer days.
- Remove weeds and grass near the plant base. Weeding is an important plant care task that can keep the plant well-nourished and healthy.
- Water the Charity plant only when the soil starts to dry. It should stay moist throughout the plant’s life, but not soggy. Look out for drainage problems and sort them out. Water should not stay around the root ball for more than 45 sec after pouring.
- Remove dead and spent flowers to encourage fresh blooms. If you let the flower die off then the plant will form seeds and stop new growth. Only leave a few of those flowers at the end of the flowering season to develop seeds. Collect those seeds and grow new charity plants.
- Prune the plant back during fall to prepare it for the upcoming winter. Reduce watering and let the plant acclimatize with the gradually decreasing temperature.
- Fertilize the plant abundantly after pruning and cover the base with fresh mulch. Don’t forget to water the plants to dissolve the fertilizer in the soil.
- Make a habit of through plant checkups at least once a week. Also, spray your charity plants with neem oil and soap spray once or twice per week to keep them clean and free from common pests.