2022 | How to Care for Ligularia Plant

The sunflower flower family has a genus of everlasting herbaceous plants known as Ligularia. Under the genus Ligularia, there are more than 150 species. They belong to the Aster family and are well known as Ragwort flower. From the color pattern of its foliage, this plant got the name as Leopard plant. Their leaves are saw-toothed and kidney-shaped in some species which produce spikes of yellow-colored flowers in late summer.

These plants fulfill ornamental purposes due to their fetching foliage and alluring flowers. Foliage is carried on extended petioles in species that have the mounting habit. Sizeable towering plants with glitzy flowers and enormous foliage raised in your orchard can only be a description for Ligularia plants.

The most common habitat of the genus Ligularia is Europe and Asia. Their number multiplies near squelchy areas. They are found in marshy and swampy soils but can be grown in dry areas under proper supplements of water. These plants are believed to be originated from China. In Japan, these plants are called Metakaraku (sweet-smelling roots). In the North, they are grown under the full sun as long as stable moisture is applied.

People get confused between ragwort flowers and ragwort. Later one is a lethal weed of the genus Senecio. The Latin word Ligula means a diminutive tongue, so these plants are called Ligularia because of the saw-toothed shape of florets. These plants can germinate from seeds. The division method is also valuable for its propagation. It is accomplished in initial spring days and later summertime. Crowns are slashed from roots and replanted in ample nutrient soil. These plants are grown more for their saw-toothed and heart-shaped foliage than flowers. 

Above and beyond having lovely foliage and scented flowers, these plants also attract hummingbirds and advantageous flies. It helps in the dispersion of pollens. Due to the colorful combination of petals and foliage, butterflies cannot withstand visiting Ligularia plants. The saccharine scent and nectar of flowers welcome bees too.

Ligularia plants are being utilized for edible purposes and pharmaceutical uses. Stems of leaves are consumed in salads and broths. The sour flavor is cut off by boiling them in water and then removing the outer crust. Leaves are used as a remedy for fish intoxication, pox, and lacquer poisoning.

Varieties of Ligularia Plant:

For the first, Ligularia plants were classified under the Compositae family in the 19th century by Alexandre de Cassini. Now, this plant is placed under the Asteraceae family with more than 150 species. They fluctuate in stalk elevations, leave structures and flower colors, and fragrances. Hybrid Ligularia is being bred with both foliage and florets. The following are some of the varieties of Ligularia plants.

1. Ligularia dentata Britt-Marie Crawford:

Their characteristics are extensive, lustrous, dark brown leaves, and dark plum bottoms. These characteristics give them an exceedingly bold statement in the orchard. In summers when buds sprout, these plants give charming look with golden orange sunny flowers perching on top of dark purple stems. They can endure the sun more than any other Ligularia plant.

2. Ligularia dentata Desdemona:

House of these plants are damp muddy areas. Their saw-toothed foliage is as beautiful as their flowers with dark yellow colors that sprout in summers. Captivating flowers on top of thick stems heighten the splendor of your garden in summer when sun heat dulls everything around you. An interesting thing about these plants is that the young leaves have red-purple color while the older ones have dark green tops and maroon bottoms.

3. Ligularia Osiris Café Noir:

Housing in your orchards, these dwarf, rubbery leaves Ligularia plants is a beauty idol. Young leaves are dark purpled which lighten with age from bronze to green mature leaves. In summers, radiance is boosted with yellow flowers in the midst of green foliage.

4. Ligularia Othello:

If you treasure hefty, affluent, reddish-brown leaves plants, Congratulations! You have hit upon Ligularia Othello. Fetch them home and they will embellish your garden with luminous golden flowers in summers.

5. Ligularia stenocephala The Rocket:

The most frequently found ornamental plant species of Ligularia is the Ligularia stenocephala The Rocket specie. Amidst of saw-toothed dark green foliage, sprout the yellow flowers which have spikes with black stems. Their blossoming in mid-summer makes the garden no less than dreamland. They are the biggest of Ligularia plants that tower up to two meters.

Common Pests and Diseases:

1. Slug and Snail Damage:  

One of the best things about Ligularia is that they are carefree plants if all the vital supplies of soil and moisture are available. But they are not safe from snails and slugs. Their hefty plump leaves are a magnet for slugs and snails. They raid these plants and do damages. Measurements should be taken to control the population of these mollusks otherwise they will lacerate the phantastic, swanky foliage of Ligularia. These measurements include putting traps with beer bait, silica source diatomaceous earth, and slug as a source of iron phosphate.

2.Heat Burning/Wilting:

 The hot sun during daytime burns the glamorous foliage of Ligularia. Parched leaves are seen by a dint of heat. If you want a lush garden of Ligularia, provide the moisture and temperature to a degree that they can endure the weather. Shelters should be made available during hot day sunlight.

Growing Conditions and Requirements:

Planting requirements:

These plants blossom well in partly sheltered areas nearby rivers and ponds. They can acclimate to a variety of pH levels. The nutrient-rich soil is a must for their planting. Before planting, the soil is worked with heaps of leaf litter. As moisture is necessary for their growth, the soil is integrated with a bone meal that helps increasing humidity preservation. An adequate amount of peat moss is also added to the mixed-up soil.

Now all the requirements are fulfilled. Measure the crown to half an inch and plant it in the soil so that half an inch of the crown is under the soil surface. After you are done with planting, make mulch of decaying leaves and barks and spread them over the soil to insulate it against moisture loss.

Sometimes wilting of foliage is observed after planting. Environmental temperature also results is the wilting of foliage. Ligularia plans are very sensitive to external environmental conditions, so there is nothing to worry about. When the outside temperature is low, during morning and evening, plants look fresh with perked up foliage.

Water Requirements:

During summers, deeply water the plants so that they can acclimate to external temperature. During winters, apply water every week so that their foliage remains diluted. During the initial growth stage, the standard volume of water establishes an intense, widespread root system. Sunlight causes the Ligularia plants to wilt. It is frequently observed in specie The Rocket. Plants uphold water by wilting, but if they do not recover leaves during low sun time then water them deeply.  It is the cleverest plant that lets you realize that it demands water supply.

Light Requirements:

These plants are shadow friendly. They grow well in the morning and during midafternoon. In the daytime, if the sun is mottled, they grow. But under direct sunlight, their foliage wilt. It really does not imply that never expose your Ligularia plant to light. Those species with towering flowers will collapse in too much shadow. So light constraints vary from specie to specie and your general purpose for Ligularia plant. For sheltered environments, it is a brilliant pick.

Temperature Requirements:

Somewhat cooler surroundings are favorable for the top-notch growth of Ligularia plants as compared to the warmer environment. In dreadfully scorching weather, they will close down their growth and go inactive. Even the day heat of easy-going summers also causes wilting of leaves, but leaves get recovered as the sun goes down and the temperature of surroundings falls. Many species of Ligularia plants are capable of enduring extreme conditions in USDA zones 3 to 8.

Humidity Requirements:

The only rigid requirement for Ligularia plants to thrive and grow is copious moisture. These plants naturally grow near water bodies like ponds, lakes, and rivers. By planting Ligularia in dry regions, you are on purpose slaughtering them.

Fertilizer Requirements:

Feeding the plant in spring before new growth begins with general-purpose fertilizer, maintains its growth. If your plant is growing in moist, nutrient-enriched soil then there is no need for any fertilizer. Applying an ample mulch in spring would do for all fertilizers. The un-necessity of fertilizers proves stresses the necessity of moisture and organic soil.

Soil Requirement:

Ligularia flourishes best in a prolific loamy soil. Once you are done planting Ligularia, and the plant has grown to a noticeable height, it will endure heavy clay soils too. They can endure sloppy soils. The addition of peat moss to the soil triggers the growth rate of Ligularia plants. Peat moss surges the moisture holding capability of humus enriched soil. Their extensive roots suck water from deeper organic soil. The neutral pH level of the soil is ideal for their growth but in addition to it, these plants can adapt to slightly acidic and slightly basic soils.


Both seeds and division techniques have been effectively successful for the proliferation of Ligularia plant species. During spring, seeds are sown. Under moist and humus enriched soil, these seeds sprout into tiny plants. When these plants have grown enough so they are hand able, take the plantlets out of the soil and plant them into individual pots. Their endurance accelerates if they are nurtured in a greenhouse for their earliest winter. Now they are flourished enough so that they can adapt any place. Reallocate them to their permanent sites after spring and before summer. The division is also carried out in the spring season. Shove the soil deeper and reach the roots. Now by means of a sharp razor or knife, make a number of divisions you crave of the root crown. Before cutting the root crown, make a water-fertilizer mixture. Straight away, detach these divisions from the main root system, and place them in the early formulated mixture. These divisions were then planted into separate pots in soil with ample moisture and humus. Keep in mind that the early growing Ligularia plants need water more than ever, so water them deeply for a few weeks after the seeds or divisions are being grown.


Ligularia or commonly called leopard plants blossom according to climate. If the winter is cold, they will flower in August. If the climate is warmer, they will flower after spring ends and summer starts. Their flowers are yellow-colored nine times out of ten. The color of flowers is variable. As the flowers originate from unusual bracts, which makes them somewhat bizarre plants. These daisy-like flowers multiply the beauty of gardens many times.


Prune the Ligularia to the base so that lifeless and dented foliage get cut off (these dead leaves can be used as mulch).  Cutting off timeworn flower heads urges more buds and flowers. Pruning is important for the maintenance of plants.


Take a concoction of dead leaves and barks and disseminate it over the soil near around stems of these plants. This would shield the soil moisture in dry surroundings. In winter, Ligularia plants are sedentary. Apply 3 inches of all around the crown and remove it from the base when flowers begin to blossom in spring.


Can I divide my Ligularia plant?

Ligularia plants can be propagated by the division method. For this purpose, dig the soil deep enough so that roots are visible. Unfold the roots, remove soil from them, take a sharp knife, and cut the root crown into a various number of divisions. Take water and add fertilizers or peat moss into it. Make a mixture. Gently separate the divisions from the main root system, bring them out of the soil and immediately put them into water mixture. Otherwise, they will wilt. Now ready a place which is good in moisture and shady. Take the divisions from the mixture and plant inside the soil. You can use the remaining mixture of peat moss in the soil where you have planted divisions.  Water deeply and take care of your plant.

Why does my Ligularia plant foliage have holes in it?

Whenever you find out holes in foliage, accuse slugs. Take the measurements mentioned above to keep rapacious eaters away from your plant. There are no other pests that damage Ligularia plants except the slugs and snails. They are attracted by the green fleshy leaves of Ligularia, raid them and put holes in them.

How often should I water my Ligularia plant?

The Schedule of watering Ligularia plants is the most vital requirement of plant growth. During winters, water them weekly. While in summers, water them deeply. Always water the plants deeply so that moisture reaches the bottom-most roots. During hot summers, leaves get wilted to conserve water. In order to recover the structure of leaves, apply ample water.

Are Ligularia plants toxic to Deer?

It is not unpredictable that deer stand back from aromatic plants with powerful scents. Ornamental plants such as Ligularia are unpleasant to deer. Flowers of different species of Ligularia plants possess a sharp scent. That is why they are resistant to deer.

Can my Ligularia plant take the sun?

This is the genus of plants that are shade friendly. Their optimum growth is seen in full shade or partial shade. When exposed to sunlight, their leaves wilt. This wilting is reversible if you supply an adequate amount of water. But in hot summer days, if the water supply is inadequate, then wilting causes permanent damage. Sun heat burns the leaves of Ligularia plants, and they look miserable. Too much shade is also not good for the proper color of leaves. The wine-red color of foliage fades away and they turn to deep green leaves. Blooming is also thinner if Ligularia plants are kept under full shade.

How tall do Ligularia plants go?

Ligularia genus is a group of ornamental plants. Six feet is the maximum height they can reach. They have thick leaves that are universally saw-toothed, kidney-shaped, or heart-shaped. Their flowers are spike-shaped which are mounted over thick stalks. Commonly found plants are Ligularia stenocephala The Rocket specie. They have dark green foliage with yellow-colored flowers.

Is Ligularia is perennial?

Perennial plants are those plants that last for a long time. Ligularia is a perennial plant that lasts for many years in gardens. Ligula is a Latin word. It is used for tongue-like shape. This name comes from their characteristic petals which have a tongue-like shape.

Is Ligularia a native plant?

The ideal habitat of these plants is soggy areas near water bodies. These plants are native to China, Japan, and Taiwan. They are frequently found in Asia. Some of their species also grow in Europe. The main constraint in the growth of these plants is the proper site. The place where they grow must be damp and shady. If these conditions are fulfilled, they can grow in hot summers too. They are winter-friendly; they grow best during the winter season. Their growth is restricted in summers due to outside temperature. These plants can not cope with very high temperatures. Their leaves wilts and burns in severe conditions.