Badan, Mughal tea and Elephant Ears


If you want to plant a plant in the garden with expressive leaves that adorn the site all year round, then badan is exactly what you need.

Born in the harsh climate of the countries of the Asian coast of the Pacific Ocean, this perennial is undemanding to habitat conditions.

He is accustomed to living on scarce stony soils and high in the mountains, in nature he also inhabits the undergrowth of coniferous forests and therefore he is not afraid of wind, snow and frost.

Badan should be settled on the site also because it is a powerful natural immune stimulant. Have you ever heard of Chagir (Mongolian) tea? It is brewed from bergenia.

By the way, this is not the only name of this plant. In addition to the names used in natural habitats, in the international classification it is known as bergenia, and in Europe it is commonly called «elephant ears». All thanks to the large rounded shiny leaves.

Leaves in the outlet live 2-3 years. In early spring, the rosette throws out a tall peduncle and by April-May small flowers bloom on it. There are quite a lot of them, which gives the plant even more decorative effect. To get the maximum effect from flowering, fertilizing with complex mineral fertilizers is recommended during this period.

Badan leaves will remain green throughout the warm season, and in autumn they will turn red.

Badan is one of the few plants that can grow in the shade. Ibadan hardiness zones 3-8, the species listed below are the hardiest and can overwinter without shelter.


Badan thick-leaved (Bergenia crassifolia)

  • Growth area: Siberia, Kazakhstan, North of Mongolia, Korea, China.
  • Flowering period: end of April — beginning of May, three to four weeks.
  • Color spectrum: pink.
  • Height: up to 50 cm.
  • Growing conditions: shade, partial shade, sun, moist drained soils.
  • Peculiarities: frost-resistant, evergreen, rhizomatous perennial with thick leathery leaves of rounded shape, which change color to red in autumn, is a medicinal plant.

Badan hearty (Bergenia cardifolia), a subspecies of badan thick-leaved.

  • Growth area: Altai.
  • Flowering period: May, 20 days
  • Color spectrum: the flowers are purple, white, pink, red (depending on the variety), the peduncle is red.
  • Height: 20-40 cm.
  • Growing conditions: shade, partial shade, sun, moist drained soils.
  • Peculiarities: frost-resistant, evergreen, rhizomatous perennial with dense shiny heart-shaped leaves, there are varieties with purple leaves, medicinal plant.

Badan pacific (Bergenia pacifica Kom.)

  • Growth area: Far East (south), Korea, Northern China.
  • Flowering period: end of April — beginning of May, two or three weeks.
  • Color spectrum: pink flowers on a red peduncle.
  • Height: 30-45 cm.
  • Growing conditions: shade, partial shade, sun, moist drained soils.
  • Peculiarities: frost-resistant, evergreen, rhizomatous perennial with dense rounded leaves, slightly smaller than those of the thick-leaved, also blush in autumn, medicinal plant.


Only overwintered leaves of the previous year are used in medicinal (Mongolian) tea. They are harvested in the spring, when the snow melts. Young leaves that have not been cold-treated are poisonous!

Badan grows both in the shade and in the sun. However, it practically does not bloom in the shade, and grows very slowly in the sun. The ideal place for this plant is partial shade.


Badan leaves are decorative throughout the warm period of the year. In the spring they are bright green, and in the autumn they change color from green to purple.

Badan is planted in the foreground of the mixborder, near the paths, on the northern, northeastern side of the rocky hills.


The ideal background for badan is stones and concrete.


It is possible to increase the population of Bergenia with seeds, but this is a troublesome and long business. In March, the seeds are sown in trays with moist heated soil, covered with a film until they hatch (about 18 days later).

The optimum temperature is about +20. Seedlings develop very slowly, but they are transplanted into shkolka already in June. In winter, rather small sprouts will go under the snow, don’t let that scare you, they will winter quite safely. The main condition is maintaining moderate soil moisture, shading and weeding.

Pre-winter sowing in the ground will give more friendly shoots, but the bed should be clean of weeds that can drown out miniature shoots.

Another disadvantage of this method is that you will get flowering at best in the third year.

The second option is root cuttings. When the flowering period is over, the bush is carefully dug up and the rhizome is cut into sections.

Segments with three root buds are suitable for reproduction (this is approximately 10-20 cm). They are cut off, processed in a weak solution of potassium permanganate, laid almost horizontally on prepared and moistened soil. Half of the long cutting can be buried in the ground, after which the planting is covered with mulch and agrofibre to retain moisture. A place in the garden is chosen shaded and cool.

Over time, sockets will hatch from the kidneys, and they will put thin roots into the ground.

The third option is the division of the bush. In May, the rhizomes will release young rosettes and they are already separated from the mother plant.

It is important to consider that such sockets have already taken root and they are very fragile, so the transplant should be carried out carefully.

It is even easier to simply break the mother bush into pieces, but you should know that such a procedure is done no more than once every five to six years.

How to divide the bush, as well as prepare Mongolian tea is shown in the video.

Bergenia grows in one place for about 10 years. It does not tolerate frequent transplants, so the bergenia is immediately planted in a permanent place.

It is important to choose the right composition of the soil: it should be loose, moist, but without stagnant water. On loam, sand and compost (peat, humus) are added to the hole, on clay, they dig a large hole into which peat, sand, or even crushed stone is mixed with the soil.

The best time for transplantation is early spring, at the beginning of the growing season, but it is also possible at the end of August — September, subject to regular watering. Landing depth — 8-10 cm.

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