The magenta red blooms open spring to summer on red and green stems. In more mild climates they will even flower as early as winter. The flowers will last well in a vase.
Bergenia are top shady, evergreen ground covers that requires very little to no maintenance. It will even grow well in pots, not to mention embankments, dry or moist (but not soggy) shade gardens, even exposed areas with poor soils.
The large, glossy leaves are around 20cm long and turn bronze in winter as the weather cools.
Bergenia may have fallen out of fashion but we think they have been under utilised and are ready for a comeback, if only because they make a good foil for the fading foliage of spring bulbs. The thick, clumping foliage is a fantastic weed suppressant too.
The thick, leathery foliage is commonly known as Elephant Ears. They are also known as Pig Squeak as when you rub the leaves together they sound a little like a pig’s oink.
Plant Bergenia in any well drained soil in a full sun to part shade position. Mulch in autumn and that is about it! You can remove spent flowers and leaves to tidy in spring but they need nary more care than that.
The botanical name of Bergenia was given to honour German botanist and Doctor, Karl August von Bergen (1704-1759). Bergenia is endemic to the mountainous regions of Asia and Russia where it grows on rocky outcrops.
Bergenia are absolutely no effort in the garden and will bring you years of joy.
Winter to Spring
Cool to Mediterranean
Full Sun to Light Shade