The Gingerbread (Hepatica nobilis) is also known as common liverwort or three-lobed liverwort and belongs to the buttercup family. This delicate flower, which has actually been under nature protection in Germany for many years, blooms in several colors such as red, yellow, blue, violet or white. If you want to buy liverworts yourself and plant them in the garden or at home, you will find everything you need to know here!
Hepaticas bloom purple or blue most often, but they can also be found white or yellow
When is the hepatica flowering time?
Hepaticas start blooming as late as late February or early March and you can enjoy the hermaphrodite blooms until late May. The individual stems grow up to 15 centimeters high, while the leaves can be between three and six centimeters long. Hepaticas usually form small and compact carpets in purple or blue. The medium-green leaves remain green even in winter and have a broad shape, the outline of which is slightly reminiscent of the shape of the human liver. That’s where the name comes from.
This delicate flower loves shady places with moist soil and often grows in the forest
You can also plant liverworts in a pot
Is the liverwort hardy?
Hepaticas are really hardy and can withstand low temperatures and cold without any problem. Namely, that’s why many people decide to buy liverworts. In addition, if cared for properly, the liverwort blooms more luxuriantly from year to year!
In winter, the flower forms the buds for the incoming bloom, you must carefully ensure that they are watered regularly and sufficiently. However, if the temperatures get too low, you should also stop watering. Otherwise there is a risk of freezing. If you live in a climate where periods of frost are common, you should put the pots in a garage or greenhouse. You can cover liverworts that grow in the garden with fleece.
Which color do you like best?
Note that liverworts are not edible!
How and when do you plant liverworts?
Hepatica can be planted with either bulbs or seeds. The best time to plant the hepatica small bulbs is in the fall, than between September and October or early November if the fall is milder in your area. Depending on your preference, you can plant the bulbs separately or in groups. As noted above, liverworts grow both in the garden and in a container on the patio.
As for the location, choose a rather shady to semi-shady place under other shrubs or trees. First you should loosen the soil well and remove all weeds. The soil must be sandy to loamy and rich in humus. Hepaticas prefer chalky soil that is also well drained. If the soil in your garden is rather acidic and heavy, you can work a little sand into the subsoil. Mix compost or organic fertilizer into the soil to help retain moisture and nutrients. Make sure there is a distance of 10 to 15 centimeters between individual liverworts.
Water the flowers regularly, making sure the soil stays moist but not wet. Waterlogging is not to be desired here! This usually leads to rotting roots and leaf shedding.
If you are going to plant liverworts in pots or a tub, you should note that the tubers develop longer roots. Some reach up to 30 centimeters, so the vessel should be deep enough. It’s also worth noting that potted liverworts shouldn’t be repotted too often. Wait a few years until they are strong and completely fill out their container before repotting the florets.
Buying and sowing seeds of liverworts: This is how it works!
You can either buy ready-made plants or grow liverworts from seed. If you wish to use seeds, sow them in moist soil in the fall or early spring and cover them with a thin layer of soil. Plants that are divided need well established roots, so only specimens that are fully grown should be divided.
Important: Hepaticas belong to the buttercup family and, like the other members of the family, are not intended to be eaten by humans or pets. Professionals even recommend wearing gloves before touching the flower.
But liverworts are particularly bee-friendly