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Fascinatingly beautiful Jack-in-the-pulpit naturalizes in small clusters as an accent plant in shade and woodland gardens. Place Jack-in-the-pulpits sparingly in a large growth of groundcover for a magical display. During midsummer dormancy, fill in with impatiens or other shade-tolerant annuals.
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Part Sun, Shade
From 6 inches to 3 feet
6 to 12 inches
Jack-in-the-pulpit blooms in spring. Its intricate cuplike blossoms have a hooded top in earthy colors like green, cream, burgundy, and brown. The center of the flower wows with a spike resembling a man standing in a pulpit. As the flowers fade, the plant produces a cluster of red berries mid- to late-summer. These berries become more visible as the spathe withers and shrinks, adding a late pop of color to the shade garden.
Jack-in-the-Pulpit Care Must-Knows
This native Midwestern plant thrives in damp, acidic, and rich humus forest floors in eastern North America. To create this habitat for Jack-in-the-pulpit in your garden, amend the soil in an area of full or partial shade with compost or an acidic fertilizer. It doesn't need a well-drained location as many other plants do, making it a wonderful option for wet, boggy areas of your garden. Jack-in-the-pulpits are poisonous, especially the corms, so exercise caution when planting these.
To plant, dig a 6-inch-deep hole and place the corm as you would a crocus or other small bulbs—root side down. These are ephemeral plants: Once they have bloomed and stored enough energy for next year, the foliage dies back. Plan to fill bare spots with annuals.
To prevent slugs from damaging Jack-in-the-pulpit, place a small bowl or container filled with a few inches of beer near the plants. The slugs can't resist the smell, crawl into the container, and drown. Another way to deter slugs is to keep landscape tidy: Slugs like to spend their days under things, where it's nice and moist. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth, eggshells, grit, sand, gravel, and pine needles creates barriers slugs don't want to crawl over to reach your Jack-in-the-pulpit plants.