Bergenia (Bergenia Cordifolia)

Bergenia (Bergenia Cordifolia) - Garden Basics - Flower - Perennial

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Plant Information Type: perennial
Propagation: division
Light: full sun to light shade
Flower Color: pink
Height: 12 inches
Width: 12 inches
Soil Requirements: almost any soil
Zones: 4-10
Uses: beds, front of border, groundcover in light shade

Bergenia has large handsome leaves and their 3- to 6- inch clusters of delicate flowers, which appear in spring. Flower colors range from deep purplish pink to pale pink and occasionally white. Leaves are 8 to 10 inches across with sawtoothed edges, and are attractive even after the flowers fade. They remain green throughout the year in southern regions and turn a handsome bronze in the fall in cold areas-the plants are often used near the front of a border or along a path. The huge oblate leaves of bergenia provide a strong contrast for most any other plant, especially Ferns and dicentra. The plant is useful as a groundcover but spreads slowly.

Bergenias can be grown in Zones 4-10 except in Florida and along the Gulf Coast. They thrive in almost any soil in full sun or light shade, although they prefer light shade in hot areas. They tolerate a wide range of moisture conditions, growing slowly in dry areas and rapidly in constantly wet spots, such as beside a brook or pool. Set plants 12 to 15 inches apart. In Zones 4-6 cover the plants with a mulch of salt hay or straw to shade the leaves from winter sun. New plants can be started by dividing and resetting clumps when they become overcrowded, usually after three or four years of flowering. The best time to divide or set out new plants is early- to mid-autumn.

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