Jack in the Pulpit Plant

All about Jack in The Pulpit Plant

The Jack in the Pulpit is a plant that originates in shady woodlands. To grow these plants successfully you will have to replicate the conditions of it's growth and natural environment, at least partially.

As the sunlight rarely reaches the ground in any strength in a forest, this plant has a low tolerance for strong sunlight.

It also requires a soil rich in organic content, preferably sourced from leaf compost.

They also require the soil to be moist, as the soil of the forest floor rarely dries completely.

Remember though that this plant will not tolerate marshy conditions and that you should not water it too much.

Jack in the Pulpit family

This family include plants that show themselves very early in spring – as a matter of fact it will be one of the first plants to rise in your garden, and will bring a touch of spring to your garden far sooner than waiting for many of your other plants.

The plant is a perennial and will grow about three feet high, blooming in April and May. Its flowers are an exquisite shade of green, marked with darker designs.

The Jack in the Pulpit plant consists of just three leaves or so, each with a long stalk, while the flower and its protective sheath grow on another stalk.

This flashy stalk is called a spadix and can bear many tiny flowers. The name of this plant comes from the fact that the leafy sheath not only forms a tube around the flowers, but also a hood over them, just like a pulpit. This plant belongs by classification in the Arums, the same family, for example, as Sweet Flag. You will find the flowers appearing with the leaves on the trees, which is just about right as it brings your garden to life. There are three main varieties of this plant, but technically they are all the same species.

On of the most attractive elements about this flower is its rare and distinctive shape, which, though well known, is still extremely original.

How to Grow Jack in the Pulpit

A Jack in the Pulpit plant should generally be bought in spring or summer and in containers that measure around a gallon or so in volume.

Be very careful when you select the plants you buy, selecting only those which already show a tendency to new growth such as buds or new leaves.

Now choose the spot where you want the plant – remember when you do this that it is a shade plant which absolutely will not tolerate direct sunlight, and also that the soil must remain moist and well drained all the year round.

Remember to place the plants around three fourths of a foot apart. Dig a hole wide and deep enough to accommodate the roots comfortably.

Put some organic fertilizer around this hole and put the plants in. Then top up the hole with soil and use a little mulch around the plant, but avoiding mulching right up to its stem. Now water the soil until it is moist.

Caring for Jack in the Pulpit Plant

They are very easy to take care of, only needing a little fertilizer, usually leaf compost, gently applied to the top soil at the very beginning of spring.

You must also remember to remove dead leaves in spring, and any old stems.

Jack in The Pulpit Vases

The shape of these flowers has inspired many creations of vases, some of which can be seen below.

My apologies, this section is in the process of an update.


Jack-in-The-Pulpit is a woodland plant, an early riser in early Spring.

They rise up from a corm or from self-sowed seed.

This is a very delightful shade flower that grows to 24 inches tall and blooms in April and May, sometimes as late as June.

Being a woodland plant they do best in a rich, humus soil kept moist. Lots of leaf mold and some peat moss and you'll have the ideal planting mix for this shade flower.

Propagating these plants can be done by offsets or by seed.

In the Fall beautiful shiny bright red non-edible fruit will appear.

The outer part of this fruit is a protective covering that needs to be removed from the seed.

Warning: Wear disposable gloves as some people will experience a burning sensation when in contact with the fruit.

Plant the seeds about a half inch into the compost rich soil you created. It will germinate next Spring.

This is truly an exciting plant to add to your shade garden.