Hepatica liverwort location and care

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Hepatica are plants from sparse mixed deciduous forests, they usually occur in nature in locations where there is loamy, humus-rich and calcareous soil. In winter and spring you have a lot of air, light and water under the still bare trees and bushes – under these conditions the most important growing season of the year takes place, which is almost over in May. The flowering time depends on the location, the course of spring and the choice of the different species and varieties; in general, it extends from the end of February to mid-April. After flowering, the new leaves are formed, this only happens now, only once a year.

Then the canopy of leaves on the trees and bushes closes over them, and they use the rest of the year with the reserves they have just saved to plant the buds for the next year (both shoot buds and flower buds).

For garden culture this means:

  • an undisturbed place under dense trees and bushes, where there is no chopping and raking, the leaves are left lying around and are even scattered in the autumn; Little oak leaves, not walnut leaves at all! Places close to conifers are less suitable.
  • Heavy clay soils should be loosened with sharp sand and humus – sieved compost soil or leaf compost, but no peat (!) Light, sandy soils are also given plenty of humus, plus loam, clay, bentonite or stone flour – whatever is available
  • in winter they need a good cover of leaves and otherwise CALM, except for a lime supply; Dolomite lime is very suitable, sprinkled on the snow
  • Lots of light and water in the spring, an organic or organic-mineral fertilizer before and after the flowering period
  • in summer there is rest time – the plants should be as shady as possible and also fairly dry. Additional watering is only necessary if the plants really sag. It is always to be watered in such a way that the plants are dry again by the evening, they should not go wet into the night. (Danger of leaf fungus, in an emergency ORTIVA can help)
  • Propagation by sowing occurs naturally, usually by the ants; otherwise immediately after harvest in humus soil with sand, prick out only in the 2nd year of growth!
  • You should only divide the plants when they have stopped blooming after many years of good growth. Immediately after flowering, they are dug up, divided into manageable, not too small pieces, seed heads cut off and immediately planted again. The roots should not be shortened and should be very spared!
  • The most important thing: be patient with these beautiful plants! A freshly acquired young plant needs 1-2 years to settle in at the planting site – after that, it will be more fun every year for a long time!

Don't forget: talk to your plants – they will thank you!

Have fun with these wonderful heralds of spring!

Green greetings – Mister Hepatica