Bergenia are half-hardy perennials with thick, almost succulent leaves and bright pink flowers growing on tall stems. The plant is also called "pig squeak" because of the noise the leaves make when you rub a wet thumb across them. Bergenia bloom every spring and produce numerous blooms on the stems. Once the plant begins to age, the blooms may decline or even stop. The plant has become too woody and needs to be divided so that it can send up new shoots. Division is a simple process that can result in several more plants and improve the health of the perennial.
Dig up the bergenia carefully so that you don't damage its roots. Fall is the best time to divide bergenia since it is not actively growing. Brush off the excess dirt and check the roots for disease. Cut off any bad pieces.
Prune out the old flower stems and any damaged leaves. Use a saw or gardening knife to cut the plant into sections. Each section should have three or four healthy leaves and a good root base.
Plant the sections in a sunny area with afternoon shade, which will stimulate flower production. Dig holes big enough to accommodate the root bases of the sections. Amend the soil with 2 inches of compost worked into the bottom of the hole. Place the section in the hole and fill with soil. Tamp it down around the leaves.
Cut off any leaves that were damaged in the division process. Water the plant until the soil is wet down to the roots. Spread mulch out around the plant, an inch from the base and 1 to 2 inches deep, to conserve moisture and add rich nutrition to the soil.
Things you need
- Garden knife or small hand saw