Bergenia is a small evergreen plant native to central and southern Asia, often used as a ground cover. It is characterized by thick tufts of large curious leaves, rounded or heart-shaped, with wavy or serrated edges, dark green, which become reddish in autumn. From the center of the tufts at the end of winter stems develop that stand out above the foliage, on which small bunches of small bell-shaped flowers bloom, of a white to purple color, which usually tend to darken; flowering can last several weeks, especially if the spurge-like spikes are cut. The flowers have different shades that vary from white to pink through various shades. This species is particularly suitable for making borders or as a ground cover plant.
Bergenias are perennial species that grow well in any position from full sun to full shade; most varieties of bergenia it does not fear the cold, it is advisable to avoid B. ciliata in places with very cold winter. If you decide to place your bergenias in full sun it is advisable to shade them in the hottest periods of the year, to prevent the leaves from being burned by intense heat. Just place them in a sheltered area of the garden or terrace to guarantee them the best development conditions.
As for watering, bergenia needs abundant water; a trick to take into consideration is to try to prevent the soil from drying too much, so supply water often, even every week, in the period from March to October; in winter you can suspend the watering, still checking the soil in the milder periods. In the vegetative period p well add every 15-20 days of the fertilizer for flowering plants to the water of the watering, or it can be placed on the ground around the slow release fertilizer leaves.
The bergenie are very rustic plants, which develop well in any soil, provided it is well drained. Despite this, if we have to choose an ideal soil for our plants, this will certainly present an alkaline pH. It is possible to use a generic topsoil adding to it equal parts of peat and sand.
If you want to reproduce the bergenia plants, in spring it is possible to divide the heads of the plant, taking care to maintain some vigorous roots in each portion made; the new plants can immediately be planted. In the same period it is also possible to sow the bergenie, in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts, if you wish you can try to sow them directly as a dwelling.
Bergenia: Pests and diseases
The bergenias are hardly affected by pests or diseases. It may happen that the plant is struck, however, by the red weevil, a curculionid beetle from Asia as well as a deadly insect for many plant species. To combat the weevil we can use two methods: the use of natural products through biological control or classic pesticides, in this case more effective.