Photo Credit: Walters Gardens

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Interesting Facts

There are only about 6-8 species of Bergenia. B. cordata is often planted in gardens.

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Pigsqueak   Winter Glow (Bergenia)

Elephant's Ears

This evergreen is sure to be noticed with its shiny, cabbage-like leaves that have an unusually thick rubbery feel that makes a 'pig squeak' sound when rubbed between your fingers. Bergenia 'Winter Glow' has clusters of bright red flowers from early to late spring that will provide long lasting cut blooms for bouquets. During the fall and winter months the leaves of 'Winter Glow' turn a reddish-bronze hue and return to green in the spring. This plant is considered an improvement over Bergenia 'Rotblum' and the climate in Michigan is conducive for possible reblooming in the fall. A versatile plant for use as a groundcover, edging, or container gardening.

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Plant Types: Perennial, Succulent
Light: Shade to Full Sun
Height: 1 foot to 1 foot 3 inches
Width: 1 foot
Zones: 3a to 8b
Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Seasons: Early spring, Mid spring, Late spring
Leaf Color: Green
Special Features: Attractive foliage, Deer resistant, Naturalizing, Not North American native
Shape: Rounded
Fertilizer: Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food
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Plant Care

Plant the seedlings during fall. Root rhizome sections from seed-raised plants every 3-5 years in spring or autumn.

Plant Growth:

Clump-forming, evergreen perennials. Bergenias have a wide range of light needs, but in the warmest of climates they will do best with a partial shade. Otherwise, if the climate is cool enough, they can thrive with full sun. Grow Bergenia in a woodland garden or border. Also works as a groundcover.


Blooms in the spring and sometimes again in the fall. Flower colors can be white, red and various pinks. Funnel-shaped, 5-petaled borne on red or purple flower stems.

Soil and Irrigation:

Needs regular water. Does best in humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil. Can tolerate poor soil, but cannot bear heat and drought. Poor soil enhances winter leaf color.


Mulch in fall.


Since these plants form clumping groundcovers, they should be divided when they become overcrowded. Divide the clumps during fall. Remove foliage that has died back from winter frost.


Snails and slugs can cause trouble, along with weevils, caterpillars, and foliar nematode. Other problems include fungal leaf spots and rhizome rot.