RED FLOWER ELEPHANT EARS Bergenia cordifolia
Elephant Ear's are named due to their very large, smooth, shiny and evergreen leaves! If the lasting glossy foliage was not enough interest, Bergenia also boast huge displays of red blooms in spring and summer, held high above the foliage, and are held on red stems! In autumn, leaves turn a brilliant of red. This is a beautiful focal plant for the perennial garden, and is much under-used in our opinion.
Height: Leaves 12", flowers 18-24"
Hardiness zones: 2-9
Location: Sun or part probably best in a location that receives a bit of both.
Bloom time: Summer
Germination: As with many perennial seeds, these seeds can benefit from a period of moist cold to help them break dormancy. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 4-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period.
If you are planting your seeds in late winter or spring, these seeds can be planted outdoors while it is still cool out (once the ground is workable and unfrozen), to receive the cold period naturally in the garden.