Another Asian import, bergenias are evergreen perennials that can grow up to two feet (0.6 meters) in height and produce large masses of brightly colored, leathery flowers in shades from white to deep purple. In fall, the bright green, heart-shaped leaves begin to change color, turning shades of bronze, mauve and purple.
Soil: Provide moist, rich soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
Sun: Bergenias like good light with some shade protection during the hottest part of the afternoon.
Water: Be careful not to let this plant dry out.
Zones: 4 to 10
Planting: Plant in spring or fall. Bergenias also profit from mulching twice a year. They will tolerate quite a bit of abuse as long as they are kept moist. Divide plants every three or four years to keep them vigorous.
On the next page, we'll learn a little about witch hazel.