Bergenia is also known as heart-leaf bergenia or pigsqueak, thanks to the high-pitched sound that results when two heart-shaped leaves are rubbed together. No matter what you call it, bergenia is an attractive, low-growing perennial with showy clusters of pink or brilliant flowers that bloom in spring. Growing new bergenia from a mature plant isn’t difficult, or you can choose to attempt bergenia propagation by planting seeds. Read on to learn more about methods of bergenia reproduction.
How to Propagate Bergenia
Bergenia propagation can be achieved through division of mature plants or by planting seeds.
Division of Bergenia
Divide bergenia after flowering in spring. Separate a long rhizome from the plant with a sharp knife, being sure each division has a rosette, several healthy roots, and a rhizome measuring at least 6 inches (15 cm.) in length.
Remove large leaves to reduce water loss, then plant the division with the rhizome just under the soil.
Propagating Bergenias by Seed
Plant bergenia seeds indoors, in trays filled with seed starting mix, three to six weeks before the last average frost date in your area. Press the seeds into the soil, but don’t cover them; bergenia seeds require light to germinate.
Keep the trays in bright light. Unless you can provide plenty of sunlight, you’ll probably need fluorescent bulbs or grow lights.
You may need to use heat mats, as bergenia germinates best when temperatures are between 70 and 75 degrees F. (21-24 C.).
Water as needed to keep the potting soil moist, but never soggy. Watch for the seeds to germinate in three to six weeks.
Plant the bergenia seedlings outdoors when you’re sure all danger of frost has passed. Bergenia thrives in full sun, however, afternoon shade is best in hot climates. Allow 15 to 18 inches (38-46 cm.) between each plant.
Note: You can also harvest seeds from bergenia plants in fall. Store them in a dry, cool location for planting in spring.