Bergenia – Winter Glow Beauty Defying the Cold

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The perfect flower for the winter months – Bergenia

The winter hydrangea or Bergenia is very appreciated for its winter flowering. The leathery leaves surround the delicate flowers of this precious specimen that grows up to about 40 cm in height.

It is ideal for gardens that require little maintenance, since it also maintains its foliage throughout the year. We can grow it in containers as well as on borders and borders.

Scientific name: Bergenia crassifolia.

Synonym: Bergenia cordifolia.

Common name: Winter hydrangea, Bergenia, winter Begoña, winter cabbage.

Origin: Siberia and Mongolia.

Family: Saxifragaceae.

Description: it is a herbaceous, perennial, vivacious and rhizomatous plant that can grow up to about 40 cm in height. The leaves are large and rounded, with wavy edges and very marked ribs. It supports the low temperatures without major difficulties.

Flowers: of light pink color, they are not very big, but they form funny very dense clusters on sturdy stems. Also, they are perfumed. There are varieties of white and red colors. The variety ‘Purpurea’ for example, has purple foliage and pretty reddish flowers.

Flowering: in regions of mild winter climate, they begin to bloom at the beginning of winter and will do so until the beginning of spring.

Difficulties in cultivation: it adapts to difficult and calcareous soils; As the only care, it requires the cleaning of old and dry leaves.

It is advisable to plant it in a definitive place for several years, 4 or 5, before making a division of bushes. It does not tolerate drought well.

A trick to make the flowers of winter hydrangea larger, is to cut the leaves that are immediately below the flower when it begins to open.

Type of soil: it adapts to any type of soil (except the very dry ones) although it prefers the application of some organic fertilizer to develop larger and fleshy leaves.

Exposure to light: your preferred area is the average shade, although if the terrain is wet enough, it can be placed in full sun.

Irrigation: constant, since it does not tolerate dryness.

Plantation: in autumn.

Multiplication: the winter hydrangea can be multiplied through the division of bushes in spring, by rhizome cuttings and by seeds, also in spring.

Use: beds and borders. It also works excellent as floor coverings.

Pests and diseases: may be affected by some fungi, and pests of aphids and cocoids.

Although nature seems to rest in the winter season, there are plants that strive to flourish and defy the cold; such is the case of Bergenia Crassifolia.

Belonging to the family Saxifragáceas, it is a specimen from Siberian regions. The most striking of this species is its winter flowering, so it is attributed the name of ‘ winter hydrangea’.

 winter glow bergenia

– Its name is also due to the fact that at this time it does not lose its stems or its leaves .
– It is long-lasting and requires very low maintenance in the garden.
– It may be ideal to place it in shade or partial shade even can also be used to decorate interiors , capable of creating an atmosphere of tranquility and harmony to your home.
– The composition of its bright pink flowers , in the shape of a bell, and its broad green leaves, large and glossy, offer a delicious contrast with a slight aromatic touch. 
– Outside, this peculiar cold plantIt can reach up to 45 cm. Tall.

Image / Flickr: sybarite48

A good place to place it

For a balanced development it is advised to grow it outdoors. The most frequent is to place it in the garden in all seasons of the year, since they do not fear at low temperatures.

The strength that characterizes it supports up to -7 ° C, but can lose its foliage at -3 ° C. 

Its broad, bright green leaves tend to redden in the autumn season , but with the arrival of spring they begin to produce stems and leaves.

It is very rustic and adapts well to various fields and exhibitions.

how to grow bergenia
Image / Flickr: jacilluch

An ‘off-road’ crop

In order for it to take root it requires loose soils, rich in nutrients and fertile, although it adapts to any type of terrain, as long as it has adequate humidity and drainage.

The plantation will be in semi-shade, preferably, although it can also be grown in places with direct sunlight (in this case, it would need more moisture).

If you plan to plant outdoors, try to always be in a humid terrain , with a cultivation temperature between 12 ºC and 15 ºC

bergenia cordifolia
Image / Flickr: elias_daniel

This bold perennial can be held in small pots, even in the bathroom, as it is completely resistant to moisture, heat and slightly elevated temperatures; just put a good fertilizer and water it every week (once or twice at the most).

Another suitable place for them is the kitchen or near a window. 

During the cold months , avoid wetting the substrate excessively and watering when temperatures are very low.

Perennial plants have a vegetative rest period of a few months, so during these months it is not necessary to water them so often.


It is advisable to place it in a place as cool as possible and very well ventilated , since it does not resist the high temperatures that heating can produce.

As the spring season approaches and the thermometers rise, it will be necessary to increase the humidity to get the specimens to flourish and flourish.

On the other hand, if you have opted for the exterior, its wide and thick leaves will look more attractive in the vicinity of ponds, edges and corners of the flower beds.

bergenia crassifolia
Image / Flickr: n0rthw1nd

A better care to surprise

The flowering occurs in late winter and early spring and, to be surprised with larger flowers, it is recommended to remove the leaves that are located just below the flower, as it begins to open.

For a better care, it is advisable to cut the withered floral stems and then prune all those that have flowered from the lowest part.


Easy reproduction

It develops from rhizomes , and can be divided in autumn to lighten the bushes too large and thick.

The sowing season is from October to November or spring .

It can be reproduced by cuttings or seeds.



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