If you’ve got a shady spot you want to brighten in your garden but you’re tired and bored with hostas, then Bergenia might be just the plant you’re looking for. Bergenia, also known as pigsqueak for the sound it makes when two leaves are rubbed together, fills that shady or dappled spot in your garden where so many flowers shy away. Bergenia plant care takes very little time, as these are low-maintenance plants. Learn how to care for a bergenia plant and brighten up your shady landscape corners.
How to Care for a Bergenia Plant
Growing Bergenia loves shade and dappled sunlight, so choose a darker corner of the yard or a bed up against the house that rarely gets full sunlight.
Plant them 12 to 18 inches (30-46 cm.) apart early in the spring to fill the area without crowding them out. Choose a spot with well-drained, moist soil, and add compost to the bed as needed.
Watch for flowers in the early spring. Bergenia will grow a spike from 12 to 16 inches (30-41 cm.) tall, and the tiny, bell-shaped blooms will cover the spikes in pink, white or purple flowers. These flowers remain for a number of weeks, then begin to die off. Deadhead the spent blooms by snipping off the spikes once the flowers brown and begin to fall off.
Remove any dead, brown leaves you find through the summer as part of your Bergenia plant care, but don’t chop off the plant in the fall. Bergenia needs these leaves as food to survive through the winter, and many of them are evergreen. In the spring, search for dead leaves and remove them at that time.
Bergenia is a slow grower, and only needs dividing once every three to five years. Once the center of the clump dies off and is empty, divide the plant into four pieces and plant each one separately. Water the new plants thoroughly when you set them out, and only when the weather is particularly dry after that.