Step-by-Step Guide on Planting & Growing Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) is a unique and fascinating perennial plant that is native to North America. This plant, also known as Indian turnip or bog onion, is known for its distinctive spadix and spathe flower structure that resembles a preacher in a pulpit. If you are interested in adding a touch of intrigue to your garden, planting and growing Jack-in-the-Pulpit can be a rewarding experience.

Before you begin, it’s important to note that Jack-in-the-Pulpit is a woodland plant that thrives in shaded areas with rich, moist soil. The plant prefers cool, damp conditions and is typically found in wooded areas, along stream banks, and in wetlands. However, with proper care and attention, you can successfully cultivate Jack-in-the-Pulpit in your own garden.

When planting Jack-in-the-Pulpit, it’s essential to select a suitable location. Choose an area of your garden that receives dappled shade or morning sun and afternoon shade. Prepare the soil by adding organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure to improve drainage and fertility. Jack-in-the-Pulpit prefers soil that is slightly acidic, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5.

Note: If you have clay soil, you may need to amend it with sand and organic matter to improve drainage. Jack-in-the-Pulpit does not tolerate soggy or waterlogged soil.

Once you have prepared the soil, you can proceed with planting the Jack-in-the-Pulpit tubers. Dig a hole that is deep enough to accommodate the tuber, typically around 2 to 4 inches deep. Place the tuber in the hole with the pointed end facing up, and cover it with soil, ensuring that the tuber is completely covered. Water the newly planted tuber thoroughly to settle the soil and provide moisture.

Choosing the Right Location for Planting Jack-in-the-Pulpit

When planting Jack-in-the-Pulpit, it is crucial to choose the right location to ensure optimal growth and health of the plant. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the planting spot:


Jack-in-the-Pulpit prefers shady to partially shaded areas, such as under trees or along the north side of a building. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves and hinder the growth of the plant. Therefore, it is essential to find a location that offers a good amount of shade throughout the day.



This plant thrives in moist and well-draining soil. It is commonly found in wetlands and near streams or ponds. It is important to choose a location that provides consistent moisture, especially during the growing season. The soil should not be too dry or waterlogged, as both conditions can harm the plant.

Additionally, it is advisable to avoid areas with standing water or poor drainage, as this can lead to root rot and other moisture-related problems.


Jack-in-the-Pulpit prefers rich, humusy soil that is slightly acidic in nature. The soil should be loose and well-draining, as standing water can cause root rot. Before planting, it is recommended to amend the soil with compost or organic matter to improve its fertility and drainage.

Furthermore, it is important to note that this plant can tolerate different types of soil, including clay and loamy soils, as long as they are well-draining.


Jack-in-the-Pulpit is native to temperate regions and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. However, it requires a dormant period during the winter months. It is advisable to plant the bulbs in late fall or early winter, before the ground freezes. This will allow the plant to establish its roots and prepare for the upcoming growing season.

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It is important to protect the plants from extreme temperature fluctuations, especially during the winter and early spring, as this can damage the emerging shoots.

Factors to Consider Preferred Conditions
Light Shade to partial shade
Moisture Consistently moist, well-draining soil
Soil Rich, humusy, slightly acidic
Temperature Wide temperature range, with a dormant period in winter

Preparing the Soil for Planting Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Preparing the Soil for Planting Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Before planting Jack-in-the-Pulpit, it is important to prepare the soil to provide the optimal conditions for growth. Follow these steps to prepare the soil:

1. Choose the Right Location

1. Choose the Right Location

Find a suitable location in your garden that receives partial shade. Jack-in-the-Pulpit prefers a shady environment with moist soil.

2. Clear the Area

2. Clear the Area

Remove any weeds, rocks, or debris from the planting area. This will prevent competition for nutrients and provide a clean environment for the plant to grow.

3. Test the Soil

3. Test the Soil

It is recommended to test the soil pH before planting Jack-in-the-Pulpit. A pH level of 5.5 to 7.5 is ideal for these plants. If the pH is too high or too low, you can adjust it by adding lime or sulfur accordingly.

4. Add Organic Matter

Enrich the soil with organic matter such as compost, well-rotted manure, or peat moss. This will improve the soil’s texture and drainage while providing essential nutrients for the plant’s growth.

5. Amend the Soil

5. Amend the Soil

If the soil is heavy or clayey, you can amend it by adding sand or perlite to improve drainage. Mix the amendments thoroughly with the existing soil to ensure an even distribution.

6. Dig the Planting Hole

6. Dig the Planting Hole

Dig a hole that is deep enough to accommodate the plant’s tuber and twice as wide. Make sure the hole is large enough to allow the roots to spread out.

Note: Jack-in-the-Pulpit plants are deep-rooted, so it is essential to provide enough space for the roots to establish.

7. Place the Plant

Gently place the Jack-in-the-Pulpit plant into the hole, making sure the tuber is positioned correctly. The tuber should be buried about 2 inches below the soil surface.

8. Backfill the Hole

Carefully backfill the hole with the amended soil mixture, tamping it down gently to remove any air pockets. Avoid compacting the soil too much, as it may hinder root growth.

9. Water the Plant

9. Water the Plant

After planting, thoroughly water the Jack-in-the-Pulpit to settle the soil and provide moisture to the roots. Maintain consistent moisture throughout the growing season, as these plants prefer moist conditions.

Follow these steps to ensure proper soil preparation for planting Jack-in-the-Pulpit. By providing the right environment, you can encourage healthy growth and vibrant blooms.

How to Plant Jack-in-the-Pulpit Bulbs

Planting jack-in-the-pulpit bulbs is a simple and rewarding process. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can ensure the successful growth and beautiful blooms of this unique plant.

Step 1: Choose the Right Location

Jack-in-the-pulpit bulbs prefer shaded areas with moist, rich soil. Select a spot in your garden that meets these requirements, avoiding areas with direct sunlight or dry soil.

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Step 2: Prepare the Soil

Step 2: Prepare the Soil

Before planting, prepare the soil by removing any weeds or grass from the area. Loosen the soil to a depth of 6-8 inches, incorporating organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility and drainage.

Step 3: Plant the Bulbs

Step 3: Plant the Bulbs

Plant the jack-in-the-pulpit bulbs in the prepared soil. Place them about 4-6 inches deep with the pointed side facing upwards. Space the bulbs at least 8-10 inches apart to allow for their spreading growth.

Step 4: Water and Mulch

Step 4: Water and Mulch

After planting, water the bulbs thoroughly to settle the soil and provide moisture. Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips or leaf litter, around the plants to help retain soil moisture and suppress weed growth.

Step 5: Maintain Proper Care

Throughout the growing season, ensure that the soil remains evenly moist, but not waterlogged. Water the plants regularly, especially during dry periods. Avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture can cause the bulbs to rot.

Additionally, apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every 4-6 weeks to provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. Remove any weeds or competing plants that may hinder the development of the jack-in-the-pulpit bulbs.

With these simple steps, you can successfully plant jack-in-the-pulpit bulbs in your garden and enjoy their beautiful blooms for years to come.

Caring for Jack-in-the-Pulpit Plants

Once you have successfully planted your Jack-in-the-Pulpit plants, it is important to provide them with the proper care in order for them to thrive. Here are some essential care tips for these unique plants:



Jack-in-the-Pulpit plants prefer moist, well-draining soil. It is important to keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Water deeply once a week, especially during dry periods. However, be careful not to overwater, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot.



While Jack-in-the-Pulpit plants don’t require frequent fertilization, a yearly application of a balanced organic fertilizer in the spring can help promote healthy growth. Avoid using high-nitrogen fertilizers, as they can cause the plants to produce more leaves than flowers.

Light Requirements

Light Requirements

These plants thrive in shady or partially shaded areas, making them perfect for woodland gardens. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves. If you are growing Jack-in-the-Pulpit plants indoors, place them in a location with bright, indirect light.



Applying a layer of organic mulch, such as shredded bark or compost, around the base of the plants can help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and improve soil quality. Make sure to leave a small gap around the stem to prevent rot.

Protection from Frost

Jack-in-the-Pulpit plants are hardy and can tolerate frost. However, to protect them during extremely cold winters, you can cover the plants with a layer of mulch or a frost blanket. This will help insulate the plants and prevent freezing.

Dividing and Propagating

After several years, Jack-in-the-Pulpit plants may become crowded and benefit from division. This can be done in the fall when the plants are dormant. Carefully dig up the plant, separate the tubers, and replant them in well-prepared soil.

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By following these care tips, you can ensure that your Jack-in-the-Pulpit plants remain healthy and vibrant, providing a unique and intriguing addition to your garden.

Watering Fertilizing Light Requirements Mulching Protection from Frost Dividing and Propagating
Consistently moist, well-draining soil Yearly application of balanced organic fertilizer Shady or partially shaded areas Apply organic mulch around the base of the plants Cover with mulch or frost blanket during extreme cold Divide in the fall when the plants are dormant


What are the ideal conditions for planting Jack-in-the-Pulpit?

Jack-in-the-Pulpit prefers to grow in a moist, shady woodland environment. It thrives in well-drained, rich soil that is high in organic matter.

When is the best time to plant Jack-in-the-Pulpit?

It is best to plant Jack-in-the-Pulpit in the early spring or late fall. This allows the plant to establish its root system before the heat of summer or the cold winter weather.


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Ethan Smith

Thanks for providing this step-by-step guide on planting and growing Jack-in-the-Pulpit! As an avid gardener, I’m always looking for unique and interesting plants to add to my collection, and this one definitely caught my attention. I appreciate the detailed instructions on preparing the soil for planting. It’s always important to create the right environment for a plant to thrive, and your tips on adding organic matter and maintaining a slightly acidic pH level are very helpful. I’ll definitely keep that in mind when I’m setting up the bed for my new Jack-in-the-Pulpit. The information on planting the corms at the right depth is crucial. Sometimes, it’s easy to make the mistake of planting too shallow or too deep, and that can have a negative impact on the growth of the plant. Your guide takes away the guesswork and provides clear instructions on the ideal planting depth. I also appreciate the advice on watering and mulching. It’s always a challenge to strike the right balance between keeping the soil moist and avoiding overwatering, so your tips on watering when the soil feels dry but not waterlogged are very helpful. Mulching is something that I often overlook, but your reminder on using organic materials to help retain moisture and suppress weed growth is a great reminder. The section on caring for Jack-in-the-Pulpit during the growing season is very informative. I like how you emphasized the importance of providing shade, as these plants thrive in woodland environments. I’ll definitely take that into consideration when choosing the right spot in my garden for my Jack-in-the-Pulpit. Overall, this step-by-step guide has been incredibly helpful in understanding how to plant and grow Jack-in-the-Pulpit. I’m excited to give it a try and see these unique plants thrive in my own garden. Thank you for providing such detailed and easy-to-follow instructions!


I found this step-by-step guide on planting and growing Jack-in-the-Pulpit to be incredibly informative and helpful. As a nature enthusiast, I have been looking for ways to enhance my garden, and this article has provided me with exactly what I needed. The article begins by explaining the characteristics and unique features of the Jack-in-the-Pulpit plant, and I was immediately captivated by its intriguing appearance. The detailed instructions on the ideal growing conditions, including the shady and moist environment, have given me confidence in successfully cultivating this beautiful plant in my own garden. Furthermore, the guide provides clear guidelines on the planting process, from choosing the right location to preparing the soil and planting the tubers. I appreciate the emphasis on the importance of patience, as it takes several years for the plant to flower and mature fully. This information has managed my expectations and reminded me of the rewarding nature of gardening. I also found the tips on caring for the plant extremely useful. The advice on watering, fertilizing, and providing proper support to prevent flopping has equipped me with the knowledge to ensure the longevity of the plant’s life. Additionally, the article goes beyond just the planting and growing process and discusses the beautiful symbolism associated with the Jack-in-the-Pulpit plant in Native American culture. This added depth and cultural significance made me appreciate the plant even more. Overall, this step-by-step guide has greatly increased my understanding and interest in planting and growing Jack-in-the-Pulpit. I am excited to implement these instructions in my own garden and witness the beauty of this unique plant. Thank you for sharing this valuable information!

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This step-by-step guide on planting and growing Jack-in-the-Pulpit is incredibly helpful for anyone looking to add this unique plant to their garden. The author does a great job of breaking down the process into easy-to-follow steps, making it accessible even for beginners like me. I appreciated the detailed instructions on selecting the right location for the plant. The author emphasizes the importance of choosing a shady spot with moist soil, which is crucial for the plant’s growth and development. As a beginner gardener, I am always looking for expert advice on plant care, and this article provides just that. The guide also covers the planting process, from preparing the soil to planting the rhizomes. I found the tips on planting depth and spacing particularly helpful, as they ensure that the plants have enough room to grow and thrive. The step-by-step instructions, accompanied by clear and informative visuals, made it easy for me to follow along. One aspect I found particularly interesting about the article was the information on the plant’s lifecycle and the unique appearance of its flowers. Learning about the hooded spathe and spadix gave me a better understanding of the plant’s biology and added to my appreciation for its beauty. Overall, this step-by-step guide is a valuable resource for anyone interested in planting and growing Jack-in-the-Pulpit. The author’s expertise and clear explanations make it accessible to gardeners of all skill levels. I will definitely be referring back to this guide as I embark on my own gardening journey.


As a female reader, I found this step-by-step guide on planting and growing Jack-in-the-Pulpit incredibly informative and helpful. The article provided clear instructions, making it easy to follow along and begin my own gardening journey with this unique plant. I appreciate how the article started with an introduction, describing the plant’s characteristics and its interesting name, which immediately grabbed my attention. The detailed step-by-step instructions on planting the Jack-in-the-Pulpit bulbs were especially useful for someone like me, who is just starting out and may not be familiar with the process. The tips on choosing the right area and soil conditions for planting were really helpful. I now feel confident in selecting the perfect spot in my garden where the Jack-in-the-Pulpit will thrive. The guide also provided information on watering, fertilizing, and mulching, which will undoubtedly contribute to the success of my gardening endeavor. I particularly appreciated the section on caring for the plant as it matures. The advice on monitoring pests, diseases, and potential issues was valuable and will help me ensure that my Jack-in-the-Pulpit remains healthy and vibrant. The inclusion of beautiful images throughout the article was a nice touch, as it allowed me to envision how my own garden could look once the plant bloomed. Seeing the vibrant colors and unique structure of the Jack-in-the-Pulpit further motivated me to give it a try. Overall, I found this step-by-step guide on planting and growing Jack-in-the-Pulpit to be an excellent resource. The information provided was comprehensive and easy to understand, making it accessible to readers of all gardening skill levels. I’m excited to implement the tips and techniques mentioned in the article and can’t wait to see my own Jack-in-the-Pulpit flourish in my garden.

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Thank you for this informative step-by-step guide on planting and growing Jack-in-the-Pulpit. As an avid gardener, I have always been fascinated by unique and unusual plants, and this one seems particularly interesting. The detailed instructions provided have made it clear and easy to follow. I appreciate the tip about selecting a shaded area with well-draining soil, as I have a few spots in my garden that fit this description perfectly. Additionally, knowing that this plant prefers cool temperatures and high humidity will help me ensure optimal growing conditions. I am also grateful for the advice on starting the seeds indoors. This will allow me to give the young plants a head start and increase their chances of success. Transplanting them into the garden once they have grown a bit will surely be an exciting moment. The section on caring for the Jack-in-the-Pulpit as it matures is equally valuable. I appreciate the reminder to provide regular moisture and a layer of mulch to keep the soil moist and cool. I will definitely keep an eye out for signs of pests or diseases, as prevention is much easier than treatment. Finally, I want to express my gratitude for the warning about the toxicity of this plant. As a responsible gardener, it is crucial to be aware of any potential risks, especially if there are children or pets around. I will make sure to handle the Jack-in-the-Pulpit with gloves and educate myself further on its harmful effects. Overall, this guide has instilled confidence in me to give Jack-in-the-Pulpit a try in my garden. The thorough explanations and helpful tips make it seem like a manageable and rewarding plant to grow. Thank you for providing such valuable information!

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