The bergenia is a flowering and evergreen plant that serves as a bee pasture, covers the ground, the leaves of which are often used as greenery for bouquets and has a decorative effect as a potted plant. It comes from the stone beaker family and is characterized as a perennial by its robustness and ease of care. It usually blooms in the spring months of April and May, but some varieties continue to bloom in the autumn months. But so that the Bergenia thrives and you can enjoy it for a long time, you should pay attention to a few details, which relate in particular to care, cutting and propagation.

Care of the bergenia

The plant is one of the easiest to care for. The care does not make any great demands on you. With the cutting of the flower stalk after the flowering period and dried leaves before new sprouting, little fertilization and its winter hardiness, it is robust and hardy. It doesn’t need frequent watering proving to be a plant that doesn’t need special attention even after repotting or planting. It is one of the long-lived plant varieties that can give a healthy and dense picture for many years at the right location and without major changes.

Less demanding when pouring

The plant can handle drought very well outdoors and even prefers the drier soil. In the cachepot, however, the bergenia does not tolerate the drought and should therefore be supplied with water more often. It is poured as soon as the upper layer of soil has dried. The Bergenia does not like soil that is too wet. Consequently, you should always make sure that no waterlogging collects in the pot or on a saucer, even with potted plants. If the bergenia gets too much water, it makes it susceptible to diseases.

Rarely fertilize, but properly

Compost can be used as an organic fertilizer. If this is not available, an inorganic long-term fertilizer can also be used for the bergenia. Since the flowering period does not last very long, the Bergenia should not be fertilized too often, otherwise it will become susceptible to disease. Fertilizing once a year is sufficient to provide the plant with additional minerals and nutrients.

The perfect location

The Bergenie prefers locations that are sunny, partially shaded or shaded. She likes fresh soil that has sufficient nutrients, is loamy and well drained. In the alkaline range, a soil ranging from slightly acidic to alkaline should be chosen. If the soil is also calcareous, the Bergenia will thank you with regular flowering and good growth. If a location that is too shady is chosen, it can happen that the flower develops poorly and the leaves are longer and not as beautiful in appearance as usual. If you plant under or between trees or shrubs, you should position the plant accordingly so that it can still get enough light. If it is near water, you have to choose a dry place for planting.


The Bergenia goes particularly well with filigree grasses. But ferns, sedum and hostas are also ideal as neighboring plants. In terms of colour, lavender goes perfectly with the plant, as do rock garden plants. The dark red flowering Bergenia purpurascens feels particularly good if you offer it a place between trees. Under or between trees, it receives light and yet shade. Also on sunless borders or at the edge of ponds or streamsthe plant is thriving. It stands out beautifully in rock gardens and, thanks to its evergreen leaves, offers optimal planting there even in winter. For planting you need 7 to 9 bergenias per square meter if an even and complete ground cover is desired. The mature plants should also keep a mutual distance of between 35 and 40 centimeters. That’s roughly the length of a foot. This ensures that the plant can spread sufficiently in all directions.

Regular repotting

If you own the Bergenia as a potted plant, you should give it enough space. It is advisable to repot the plant every two years so as not to prevent it from growing healthily. In addition, after 2 years at the latest, the potting soil can be brittle, which can happen with the Bergenia, as it also likes to dry out. New soil means new nutrients for the plant. You can repot almost all year round, provided the plant is in the warm. However, you should not do a transplant just before flowering in April or May, and especially not during or just before flowering. Accordingly, an optimal time after flowering is until autumn.

Wintering of the Bergenia

The Bergenia is hardy, but is sensitive to late frost in spring. The light pink flowering Bergenia ciliata in particular is less robust and does not like late frost. A cover made of plastic or brushwood helps and protects the plant against the frost just before flowering. The cold winter temperatures give the leaves a pretty red colouration, such as the Bergenia ‘Eroica’, which stands out particularly in the snow and is considered to be extremely hardy against the cold. In principle, it is possible to leave potted plants outside for the winter. But you should make sure that the roots in the pot have spread a lot.

diseases and pests

The plant is also robust in terms of diseases and pests and is not susceptible. A typical pest for the plant is the vine weevil. You can quickly counteract this by mixing nematodes with the irrigation water and watering the plant with it as usual. After just a few waterings, the infestation has disappeared.


The propagation of the Bergenia does not involve much effort, although the breeding of new varieties should be left to the specialist. When it comes to propagation, you have three options:

Propagation by cuttings

In order to obtain cuttings from the plant, rhizome cuttings are cut and stuck into the ground. Spring is the recommended season for planting cuttings. If you want to grow the Bergenia cuttings in a pot, special potting soil is perfect. It has all the necessary minerals and nutrients that promote fast and healthy growth. The cutting should be protected by covering the pot with a transparent plastic sheet or a plant cone. For a cutting to thrive, the pot should be placed in a bright and warm place.

Propagating by root division

If the soil is well moistened and flowering is not imminent, then it is time to divide the roots if you want to propagate Bergenia from them. By autumn the division should have been made before the first frost hardens the soil. Since the roots are usually not very deep, they can easily be divided. To do this, either divide the root with a sharp knife or pierce the center of the plant with a firm push of a spade. In most cases, breaking a spade is enough to start dividing the roots. The divided roots are then planted back into the ground.

Propagation by sowing

If you want to multiply the Bergenia with a seed, you should also pay attention to other details in addition to the different temperature requirements for successful breeding. The sowing is covered with a little soil. You have to press them down regularly and keep them moist. In the first 10 to 28 days, the minimum temperature should not fall below 21 degrees Celsius. Although the sowing likes it warm at first and needs a lot of light, direct sunlight should be avoided. As soon as the cotyledons are visible, you should reduce the temperature to 15 degrees Celsius. The months of March and April as well as August and September are ideal for sowing. In addition, a minimum distance between the plant seeds of about 40 x 40 centimeters is necessary, especially when sowing, so that the piglets do not interfere with increasing size. This results in a sowing of around 16 plants per square meter.

Correct cutting

Healthy plants should be pruned immediately after flowering in spring. You have to make sure that the cut of the flower stalks is close to the ground. If there are withered leaves, you only need to remove or cut them off in winter. But by the time the new shoots take hold between April and May, you should have removed them. If the plant grows too tall for you, you can cut the plant to the desired height with a sharp knife. A full cut back to ground level is also possible. You should do the complete pruning in the fall and add a little fertilizer.

The easy-care plant brings year-round color to any garden. If you give it just a little attention, it will thrive and offer a chic color contrast, especially in shady places. The Bergenia can mainly be planted where other flowering plants cannot exist. Therefore, the plant is, among other things, an optimal solution, especially for shady places. The propagation is also promising for the layman to possible. If you follow the few care instructions, you will get a robust plant with the Bergenia that will give you pleasure for many years to come.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *