Hepatica, otherwise known as liverwort or liverleaf, are small perennials that are between 5 and 20 centimetres in height. Though many people consider these plants to be pests and weeds, liverworts are known for the medicinal benefits and are a wonderful groundcover.
There are over 6000 known species of liverworts, and they are known to produce small anemone-like flowers that are blue, pink, or white in colour.
Different Ways to Grow Liverworts
Growing Liverleaf Outdoors
Liverworts prefer shade and grow best in moist, rich soil. An ideal groundcover, liverworts thrive in many damaged areas where other plant-life will not grow. If planting seeds, it is best to plant them in May or June.
They only need to be planted at a depth of 6 millimetres to ensure proper growth. Liverworts can easily be divided and planted in other areas. They need a fair amount of water and you need to ensure that the soil has proper drainage. During autumn, you can use leaves as mulch for your liverworts.
Growing Liverworts in a Greenhouse
Many species of liverworts are too fragile and require a proper balance of light, humidity, and the appropriate temperature to grow. These more delicate species of liverworts can be grown in a greenhouse.
Place the seeds and rich, moist soil in a black plastic bag. After 3 weeks, place the bag into a refrigerator for approximately 3 weeks. Plant the seed in small pots at a temperature of between 10°C and 12°C. Be sure to mix some small rocks, shale, or red brick with the soil in the pot. This gives the soil more alkaline.
Some species of liverworts prefer more sunlight; therefore, artificial light sources may be needed to grow these particular varieties of liverworts. Liverwort species may take anywhere from a month to a year to germinate. Many of these varieties of liverworts can be transplanted outdoors after they have successfully germinated in the greenhouse.