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In nature, the liverwort (Hepatica nobilis) occurs primarily in beech forests with calcareous soils. With a targeted planting in the garden, care is made much easier if the right location is selected and suitably prepared.

Hepatica is fairly easy to care for

How much water does the liverwort need?

Although liverworts do not like long periods of drought, they do not tolerate waterlogging very well. Therefore, in loamy soils, care should be taken to ensure adequate drainage through incorporated compost or chopped pieces of wood. However, since liverworts generally need consistent moisture, plants in pots should be watered at least every two days in summer. In a sheltered location under trees or shrubs, occasional watering during a dry phase is usually sufficient.

When is the best time to transplant liverworts?

Since liverworts are protected in Germany, for example, you are not allowed to dig up specimens from the wild. Ideally, plant hepaticas acquired from captive breeding in September and October to give the plants good chances of growth and to prevent them from drying out. Suitable locations are:

  • witch hazel
  • forsythia
  • hazel bush
  • beech

Soil areas under coniferous trees such as conifers should be avoided, as these can acidify the soil over the years and thus make it unsuitable for liverworts.

Does the liverwort need a cut?

Pruning measures should not be taken on the liverwort, as it is usually more disturbed than promoted by all interventions. Dying plant parts do not need to be removed, but a protective layer of leaves can be placed on potted plants before winter as winter protection.

Is the liverwort susceptible to diseases and pests?

Apart from location-related deficiency symptoms, the liverwort is not susceptible to diseases or pests. The ants, which can often be found near liverworts, do not damage them, but are diligent helpers in propagating from seeds.

Should liverworts be fertilized?

Liverworts thrive on nutrient-rich and humus-rich soil without additional fertilizer. The incorporation of compost and mild long-term fertilizers such as horn shavings (€32.93) can have a positive effect, but the roots of the liverworts must not be affected when working the soil.

How are liverworts overwintered?

In the field and in pots, hepaticas are absolutely hardy thanks to special outlasting buds. In addition to foreign leaves, the plant's own leaf material, which does not always die off completely, serves as winter protection.


Since the flowering time of the liverworts is very short, a combination with other spring flowers such as daffodils in one location is a good idea.

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