Heartleaf Bergenia Bergenia cordifolia 'Rosa Zeiten'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
elephant's ears 'Rosa Zeiten'


The Bergenia cordifolia 'Rosa Zeiten', commonly known as Heartleaf Bergenia or simply Bergenia, is a visually striking perennial plant. This attractive variety is noted for its glossy, rounded to heart-shaped leaves that often have a leathery texture. The foliage is a rich green color that can turn to reddish-bronze hues in colder weather, adding to its visual appeal throughout the year. During the flowering period, the Heartleaf Bergenia produces eye-catching flower clusters. The inflorescences rise above the foliage on stout stems and exhibit a lovely range of pink shades. The individual flowers are bell-shaped and arrange themselves in a loose and attractive manner, creating a delicate and whimsical appearance that contrasts beautifully with the robustness of the leaves. The overall impression of the Heartleaf Bergenia is one of lushness and vibrant color, with its verdant foliage and charming pink blooms contributing to its popularity as a garden plant. Its robustness and attractive foliage make it a versatile choice for borders, groundcover, or as a specimen plant in a variety of garden settings.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Heartleaf Bergenia, Elephant's Ears, Pig Squeak, Leather Bergenia, Winter Bloom.

    • Common names

      Bergenia cordifolia 'Rosa Zeiten'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Bergenia, commonly known as pigsqueak, is generally considered non-toxic to humans. However, as with many plants, it is not intended for human consumption, and eating large quantities may cause mild stomach upset. There are no prevalent reports of significant poisoning from ingesting Bergenia.

    • To pets

      Similar to their effect on humans, Bergenia plants, also known as pigsqueak, are not known to be toxic to dogs and cats. While they are not intended for pet consumption, ingestion of plant material may result in mild gastrointestinal discomfort. It is always wise to monitor your pets around plants and discourage them from eating non-food plants to prevent any potential issues.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attractive Foliage: Bergenia cordifolia 'Rosa Zeiten', commonly known as heartleaf bergenia, sports large, glossy leaves which provide year-round interest in the garden.
    • Spring Bloomer: It produces clusters of pink flowers in the spring that add a splash of color when many other plants are just beginning to emerge.
    • Ground Cover: Its dense growth habit makes it an excellent ground cover, suppressing weeds and reducing soil erosion.
    • Drought Tolerant: Once established, heartleaf bergenia is somewhat drought-resistant, making it suitable for xeriscaping or low-water garden areas.
    • Shade Tolerance: This plant thrives in partial to full shade, making it an ideal choice for woodland gardens or shaded borders.
    • Winter Interest: The foliage often turns reddish-bronze in the winter, providing seasonal interest throughout the year.
    • Low Maintenance: Bergenia cordifolia 'Rosa Zeiten' requires minimal care once established, making it a good choice for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Pest Resistant: It is generally resistant to pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical interventions.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The flowers attract bees and other pollinators, which are crucial for the health of the garden ecosystem.
    • Tolerance of Various Soils: Heartleaf bergenia is adaptable to a variety of soil conditions, though it prefers moist, well-drained soils.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Bergenia cordifolia, commonly known as heartleaf bergenia, has been used in traditional medicine for its potential anti-inflammatory properties.
    • Diuretic: It has been used to promote the production of urine and may assist in flushing out the urinary system.
    • Antimicrobial: The plant contains substances that have been believed to have antimicrobial activity against certain pathogens.
    • Astringent: Heartleaf bergenia has been used for its astringent effects, which can help to tighten tissues and reduce bleeding.
    • Antioxidant: It contains antioxidants which may help protect cells from damage by free radicals.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Bergenia cordifolia 'Rosa Zeiten', commonly known as Heartleaf Bergenia, sometimes has its robust leaves used as natural sandpaper for light woodworking because they are tough and abrasive.
    • The large leaves can be used as improvised cups or containers in outdoor activities, due to their size and sturdiness.
    • Dried Bergenia leaves can be incorporated into potpourri mixes for their textural contrast and subtle fragrance when combined with essential oils.
    • Heartleaf Bergenia can serve as a natural dye plant, with leaves offering a range of colors from yellow to brown when processed correctly.
    • Outdoor enthusiasts sometimes use thick Bergenia leaves as trail markers by writing on them with a stick or pen, due to their durability.
    • Its leaves can be used in crafting, especially in flower arrangements or as a backdrop in scrapbooking due to their large size and interesting texture.
    • Heartleaf Bergenia, being an evergreen, provides year-round greenery in winter gardens, acting as a natural snow marker for areas to avoid stepping on during heavy snowfalls.
    • Bergenia leaves can be used to create subtle environmental art pieces or mandalas, especially in autumn when they turn reddish-bronze colors.
    • In some cultures, the leaves are traditionally used as a temporary shelter material for small garden creatures, such as frogs or toads, due to their size and resilience.
    • Heartleaf Bergenia's robust nature allows it to be used in children's outdoor play, such as making leaf boats to float on water surfaces.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Bergenia is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Bergenia is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Adaptability: Bergenia cordifolia, commonly known as 'Pigsqueak' due to the sound produced when two leaves are rubbed together, is known for its ability to adapt to a wide range of soil conditions and climates, symbolizing flexibility and resilience in various life situations.
    • Tenacity: The plant is tough and can survive in harsh conditions, representing the ability to withstand life's challenges and remain strong.
    • Durability: With evergreen leaves that persist throughout the winter, Pigsqueak symbolizes endurance and the capability to persevere, even during tough times.
    • Protection: The thick, leathery leaves offer protection to the plant itself, which can be seen as a symbol of safeguarding oneself or others.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    For Piggyback plant, water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, about once a week, but frequency may vary with indoor conditions. Provide enough water to soak the soil thoroughly until water runs out of the drainage holes. In the growing season, which is spring and summer, Bergenia may need more frequent watering, like 1-2 gallons every week, depending on the size of the plant and pot. Reduce watering in fall and winter to allow the plant to rest, possibly to half a gallon every two weeks.

  • sunLight

    Piggyback plant thrives best in partial shade to full shade conditions, making it ideal for a spot that receives filtered sunlight or is shaded for part of the day. It can adapt to brighter conditions, but avoid direct, harsh sunlight that could scorch the foliage. Morning light or dappled sunlight is ideal to maintain vibrant leaf color and support blooming.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Piggyback plant prefers a temperature range between 60°F and 75°F for optimal growth but can handle brief periods outside this range. Ensure that temperatures do not drop below 30°F, to prevent frost damage. Bergenia cordifolia 'Rosa Zeiten' is generally cold hardy and can survive in lower temperatures typical of outdoors conditions in many temperate regions.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Piggyback plant entails removing spent flower stalks and damaged or yellowing leaves to encourage new growth and maintain a tidy appearance. The best time for pruning is after the blooming period, which is typically late spring or early summer. Prune sparingly throughout the season as needed to remove occasional withered leaves or stems.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    For Elephant's Ears, prepare soil that is rich, humusy, and well-draining with a pH range from 5.8 to 6.5. An optimal soil mix can include equal parts garden loam, peat, and perlite to ensure good drainage and fertility. Adjust soil pH with lime or sulfur if necessary to fit these parameters.

  • plantRepotting

    Elephant's Ears should be repotted every 2-3 years to replenish its soil and accommodate growth. Spring is the best time to repot when the plant starts to outgrow its current container or the soil appears spent and compacted.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Elephant's Ears prefer humidity levels between 40% to 75%. They thrive in moist environments but can tolerate dry air better than many tropical plants. Consistent humidity promotes lush foliage and overall health.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Use well-draining soil, indirect light, and maintain humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in part-shade, enrich soil, mulch, and shelter from wind.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Bergenia cordifolia 'Rosa Zeiten', commonly known as Heartleaf Bergenia or Pigsqueak, starts its life as a seed that germinates in late spring after experiencing a period of cold stratification. The seedling develops into a rosette of heart-shaped, leathery leaves which are evergreen in mild climates and can exhibit reddish tones in the fall and winter. In the second or third year, the plant reaches maturity and produces tall flower stalks in early to mid-spring, boasting clusters of pink flowers that attract pollinators. After flowering, the plant sets seed that either drops nearby to potentially germinate or is dispersed by wind and animals. Heartleaf Bergenia grows slowly, expanding into a sizeable clump through rhizomatous growth, which can be divided every few years to propagate new plants. Throughout its life, the plant endures by maintaining its foliage in winter and rejuvenating each spring with new growth and blooms.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Bergenia cordifolia 'Rosa Zeiten', commonly known as Heartleaf Bergenia or Pigsqueak, is best propagated by division. The ideal time to divide Heartleaf Bergenia is in the early spring or after the plant has finished flowering, which typically occurs in late spring or early summer. To propagate by division, gently lift the plant from the soil with a shovel or garden fork, ensuring a good amount of roots are maintained with each section of the plant. Carefully separate the clumps into smaller sections, making sure that each new piece has at least one growth bud. After dividing, replant the sections promptly, spacing them approximately 12 inches (about 30 centimeters) apart to allow for ample growth. Water the newly planted divisions thoroughly to help establish them in their new locations. This method allows gardeners to quickly and easily increase their stock of Heartleaf Bergenia while ensuring the new plants are true to the parent variety.