What’s Doing the Blooming? Bergenia

Bergenia, Pig Squeak

This week, I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite perennials for Minnesota! Bergenia is a long lived, low maintenance, vigorous plant that provides beauty all year long. Bergenia, also known as pig squeak, is a semi evergreen. So, after its foliage takes on a beautiful red color in the fall, it darkens to a maroon green, adding interest through winter. In early spring, seemingly overnight, chunky stalks rise above
the foliage. Climbing these stalks are lovely purple-pink bell flowers that are long lasting and fun to cut for spring bouquets. With

Heartleaf Bergenia 'Sakura'
Heartleaf Bergenia ‘Sakura’ – Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens

summer’s arrival pig squeak proves it’s worth. It’s large, thick, shiny foliage is disease resistant and looks terrific all summer long. Bergenia prefer part sun and well drained fertile soil. The foliage gets to be 8-12” high and the flower stalks about 14-18”. They make a very attractive groundcover when planted en
masse, or a unique low profile specimen for part shade.

Oh, and one more thing…If you’re wondering how this plant got a name like pig squeak, then here you go! Just fold over one of those thick glossy leaves and rub it against itself – You’ll have your answer!