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Bergenia (ber-GEEN-ee-uh)

Common Name:  Pigsqueak

Light:  - Moderate sun to light shade

Soil:  Humus-rich, moist but well-drained

Moisture:  Average

Blooms:  Spring

Zones:  varies by type


Bergenia 'Perfecta'

Bergenia Description and Cultural Information

Bergenia cordifolia, heart-leaved bergenia. 12" - 14". These plants have glossy green leaves that make nice groundcovers and are beautiful in mass plantings. Pink blooms rise above the foliage in spring. Many hybrids exist, including 'Bressingham White' with white flowers, 'Bressingham Beauty' with dark foliage in the spring, and 'Winter Glow' with red flowers, and 'Perfecta' with many light pink flowers on dark stems. Zones 3 - 9.

Bergenia purpurascens, purple pigsqueak. 12" - 15". These bergenias have deep-red undersides and wonderful spring and fall purple color. The flowers are purple or magenta. The hybrid 'Magic Giant' has purple fall color, pink flowers, and red stems. Zones 4 - 9.

How to Grow:  Plant bergenias in moist but well-drained, humus-rich soil in moderate sun to light shade. Plants are adaptable to many soil types and are drought tolerant in lightly shaded conditions. They are nearly evergreen but you may need remove damaged or poor looking leaves in spring to keep them looking best. They have a tendency to grow out of the soil so divide if plants grow long stems causing them to open up in the center. Some of the best plants are container grown, keeping them slightly under-potted in an airy, well-drained potting soil.

Landscape uses:  Use bergenias to complement rock walls, along walkways, or as an edging plant. They work well as a transition plant between the sun and shade gardens with other part shade plants such as Platycodon (balloon flower), hardy Geranium, and Polemonium (jacob's ladder).

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