Plant Type
Sunlight Amount
detail of pink bergenia blooms
Credit: Peter Krumhardt
detail of pink bergenia blooms

Bergenia is an easy-to-grow, clump-forming perennial primarily grown as a groundcover or as edging for walkways. This plant’s foliage appears as large rosettes of glossy, leathery, gently toothed, dark-green leaves that are heart-shape at the base. When you rub these large leaves together, they sound like a squealing pig, hence the common name “pig squeak.” Deep-pink flowers appear from the center of the foliage rosettes in April and May.

genus name
  • Bergenia
  • Part Sun
  • Shade
plant type
  • 6 to 12 inches
  • 1 to 3 feet
  • From 12 to 18 inches
flower color
foliage color
season features
problem solvers
special features
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8

Colorful Combinations

Fall's cooler nights prompt bergenia's foliage to take on a striking purple-bronze color. During winter, the evergreen foliage becomes more intensely burgundy, and in milder winters can look good year round. In April, small dark-pink flowers bloom on the plant in loose branching clusters (panicles) on thick stems.

Bergenia Care Must-Knows

Bergenia tolerates a wide range of lighting conditions, but part shade to full shade suit it best. Although this evergreen perennial grows well in average, well-drained soil, moist humus-rich soil provides maximum growth and bloom power. Once established, bergenia is drought-tolerant, but appreciates supplemental watering during extended dry spells. Bergenia is usually problem- and pest-free, but keep an eye out for slug damage.

This perennial is considered evergreen in the South, while in more northern states it may suffer winter damage. Protect this plant from strong, cold winter winds to prevent its evergreen leaves from losing too much moisture. Remove any damaged foliage and spent flowering stems in late winter or early spring, but leave living foliage alone.

Because this plant grows slowly via creeping rhizomes, division is not often needed. You may want to divide them every 3-5 years, though, to help them regain vitality. If a plant begins to die out in the center, you know it's time to divide it.

More Varieties of Bergenia

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'Apple Blossom' Bergenia

Bergenia cordifolia 'Apple Blossom' features large pale pink flowers on red stems that rise above glossy green leaves.

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'Bressingham White' Bergenia

Bergenia cordifolia 'Bressingham White' has flowers that open pink but age to white. Fall foliage is burgundy.

Bergenia cordifolia 'Winterglut'
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'Winterglut' Bergenia

Bergenia cordifolia 'Winterglut' has reddish-pink flowers in spring and dark green leaves that turn rich mottled red and orange in fall.

Bergenia Companion Plants

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