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Bergenia Issues: Identifying And Treating Bergenia Pests And Disease

Bergenia Issues: Identifying And Treating Bergenia Pests And Disease


By: Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

Bergenia is a reliable perennial for tricky sites. It thrives in shade to full sun, poor soil and dry areas, where many other plants struggle to grow. It is also rarely bothered by deer or rabbits. However, like any plant, bergenia can experience some problems with pests and diseases. Continue reading to learn about common bergenia problems.

Common Bergenia Issues

Bergenia prefers to grow in moist, but excellent draining, soil in part shade. While it can tolerant dry soil, it cannot tolerate extreme heat, intense afternoon sun, drought or waterlogged soil. One of the most common bergenia issues is simply being planted in the wrong site with one or more of these environmental factors causing damage.

In areas with intense afternoon sun, bergenia may experience sunscald. Sunscald can cause foliage to turn yellow and wilt or dry up, turn brown and become crumbly. It is recommended that bergenia be planted in a location with afternoon shade and regular waterings if you suspect heat, sun or drought to be the problem.

On the other end of the spectrum, shady beds can oftentimes be extremely moist or wet, and dank. While bergenia appreciates the shade, it cannot tolerate wet feet, waterlogged soil or excessively damp areas. In these conditions, bergenia can be susceptible to a variety of fungal diseases and rots.

Damp areas may also give bergenia problems with snails or slugs. Fungal leaf spot is a common affliction of bergenia plants in damp, soggy sites. Symptoms of fungal leaf spot of bergenia include water-soaked lesions, wilting and discoloration of foliage. To prevent fungal leaf spot, plant bergenia is well-draining soil, do not over crowd shade beds so air can easily flow around plants and water plants at the root zone, not from above.

Other Bergenia Pests and Disease

Anthracnose is a common bergenia issue that can resemble fungal leaf spot. However, when bergenia has anthracnose, it will display brown to gray sunken lesions that grow, eventually connecting. These lesions are usually sunken in the center. Like fungal leaf spot, anthracnose can be prevented by improving watering techniques and air circulation, and by limiting plant-to-plant contact.

Lastly, bergenia plants may be a favorite treat of adult vine weevil beetles. Generally, though, these beetles just chew on the edges of the foliage, causing purely cosmetic damage.

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What insect is eating my elephant ears?

Bugs, Diseases and Other Problems Other concerns for elephant ear leaves turning brown might be pest infestations. Insects that nibble the edges or suck sap from the leaves may cause this damage. Look for pests such as aphids, mealybugs and mites.

Similarly, what's wrong with my elephant ears? The most common elephant ear plant disease is fungal leaf blight. It produces tiny round lesions on the ornamental leaves that may ooze fluid and turn purple or yellow when dry. Pythium rot can cause plants to die. It is most common in areas with too much water and humidity.

Simply so, do slugs eat elephant ears?

To minimize slug damage, why not grow plants that slugs don't like to eat. Bergenia, commonly known as Elephant's ears is an example of a plant that slugs will leave alone. For other plants that slugs find unpalatable, see list below.

How do you get rid of spider mites on elephant ears?

Use room-temperature water and pay special attention to the bottom of the leaves, the spider mite's first target. Wiping the leaves with a damp sponge can also physically remove the mites, but spraying the plant with a hose is the quickest method. So how often should you shower your houseplants?


Botrytis Blight

Botrytis blight (Botrytis cinerea), also called stem rot or brown rot, causes brown, moist spots to form on the flowers, leaves or stems. The lower leaves turn yellow and might drop. The begonia appears wilted but doesn’t recover after being watered. The infected begonia plant typically develops a gray, fuzzy mold as the blight progresses. The begonia’s root system becomes water-soaked and discolored. The roots eventually turn mushy and collapse. Botrytis blight also causes the seedlings to damp-off. Infected begonia plants die if the disease is left untreated.

  • Botrytis blight (Botrytis cinerea), also called stem rot or brown rot, causes brown, moist spots to form on the flowers, leaves or stems.
  • The begonia’s root system becomes water-soaked and discolored.

What Is Wrong With My Bergenia Plant – Learn About Common Problems With Bergenia - garden

Full Sun or Partial Shade

Bergenia are incredibly hardy, and reliably evergreen throughout nearly the entire continent. Plants form a low clump of bold, leathery green leaves, which often turn bronze during winter. Short stems of magenta-pink flowers rise above the shiny foliage in mid spring.

The winter leaves are a valuable addition to cut flower bouquets. Most effective when mass planted or used as an edging along a walkway. Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, in both sun or part shade. Easily divided in spring or early fall.

If you’ve got a shady spot you want to brighten in your garden but you’re tired and bored with hostas, then Bergenia might be just the plant you’re looking for. Bergenia, also known as pigsqueak for the sound it makes when two leaves are rubbed together, fills that shady or dappled spot in your garden where so many flowers shy away.

Bergenia plant care takes very little time, as these are low-maintenance plants.

Growing Bergenia loves shade and dappled sunlight, so choose a darker corner of the yard or a bed up against the house that rarely gets full sunlight. Plant them 12 to 18 inches apart early in the spring to fill the area without crowding them out.

Choose a spot with well-drained, moist soil, and add compost to the bed as needed. Watch for flowers in the early spring. Bergenia will grow a spike from 12 to 16 inches tall, and the tiny, bell-shaped blooms will cover the spikes in pink, white or purple flowers.

These flowers remain for a number of weeks, then begin to die off. Deadhead the spent blooms by snipping off the spikes once the flowers brown and begin to fall off. Remove any dead, brown leaves you find through the summer as part of your Bergenia plant care, but don’t chop off the plant in the fall.

Bergenia needs these leaves as food to survive through the winter, and many of them are evergreen. In the spring, search for dead leaves and remove them at that time. Bergenia is a slow grower, and only needs dividing once every three to five years. Once the center of the clump dies off and is empty, divide the plant into four pieces and plant each one separately.

Water the new plants thoroughly when you set them out, and only when the weather is particularly dry after that.

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Watch the video: Bergenia cordifolia - Elephant Eared Saxifrage - Elephant Ears - Pig Squeak - How to grow Bergenia