The Hepaticas plants are astonishing plants. The Hepaticas plants emerge early in the year, their small saucers of flowers held on wiry stems just above the ground, in time to provide ample of pollen and nectar for the earliest bees.

A lot of Japanese gardeners admire them so much that they seek them out as they emerge through the snow on remote mountainsides, small and perfectly formed jewel-like flowers that come mainly in white, cobalt blue and vivid pink. The Japanese actually call them yukiwariso or the breaking snow plant, and they are also known as the flower of happiness, because they really give such pleasure.

Unfortunately, the Japanese species (easily distinguished by japonica in their Latin name) actually need a sophisticated alpine house to survive in the United Kingdom and are not for beginners. Luckily, though, there are plenty of hardy hepaticas plants that will grow happily in our gardens.


How to Grow Hepaticas Plant from Seed

Collect the hepaticas plant seeds in summer when ripe and sow them straight away using seed sowing compost. Most of the hepaticas seedlings will germinate in the following spring and they can be picked out in the autumn into individual pots.


Where to Plant Hepaticas Flowers

Good winter drainage is really necessary: hepaticas are not actually plants for heavy ground. On the other hand the plants do need moisture-retentive conditions during their growing season in order to produce fat buds for the following year.

Make sure you find them a semi-shaded position under a deciduous tree or a shrub. When planting them, you can add well-rotted compost or, ideally, leaf mould to the hole, to retain moisture in summer.

You can also plant the hepaticas flower in clay pots with equal amounts of John Innes no 2, perlite and leaf mould.


How to Plant Hepaticas

Make sure you always water the newly planted hepaticas during their first spring and summer. Do not hem them in or move them unless you have to.


When to Divide Hepaticas Plant

You can divide after flowering or in autumn, but only if necessary. Each division needs to be potted for about 6 months so that it will be well-rooted before being replanted into the garden.


Growing Hepaticas in Pots

A lot of gardeners actually prefer to grow hepaticas flowers in pots in an alpine house because their foliage is protected from wintry weather. Repot or divide them every year, just immediately after flowering. Shake off the old compost and trim any long roots by a third. Tease the larger plants apart at this stage. Place the crowns on the soil surface. Keep the compost mixture airy and light and firm gently.

Make sure you water well and keep the plants well-watered in spring and then ease off the watering. Don’t ever allow the pots to dry out completely, morning watering is actually the best.

Shade your greenhouse just immediately after flowering so that three quarters is covered. You can remove in October.


Feeding Hepaticas Plants

You can give the plant a dressing of blood, fish and bone every autumn.

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