Ladell was basically a self taught artist who became recognised for his faithful depictions of the arranged fruit and objects in his still-life paintings. Ladell's paintings are always easily recognisable as he used to use the same articles over and over again - a wine glass, fruit, flowers, and sometimes a bird's nest, a casket, or carved mug and other objects, on a marble ledge draped with an oriental rug. His work was much sought after and they often ensured flattering notices from the leading representative journals.
His wife, Ellen Ladell, also painted in a style almost identical to her husband's. She usually signed with her full name, whereas Edward used the EL monogram back-to-back.
Ladell was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy between 1856-8 as well as the British Institute and Suffolk Street. Works are held by Reading Art Gallery and Sheffield Art Gallery.