Ligularia Information – Care and Maintenance

Basic information about Ligularia.  Includes Origin, Growing & Cultivation, Common Pests & Diseases, Interesting Facts & Uses,  and Garden Design Tips.

Ligularia Origin

ligularia last dance
Ligularia ‘Last Dance’

Ligularia’s botanical name comes from the Latin word for ‘strap’, referring to the strap-like flower petals.

This plant has a couple of common names, most often used ones include ‘Leopard Plant’ (some species have spotted leaves) and ‘Ragwort’.

NOT to be confused with the toxic (and allergen-producing) ‘Ragwort’ (which is in the Senecio genus/family).  A good reason to use the scientific name!

There are many species and varieties in this genus, all native central and eastern Asia, with a few species in Europe.

Growing and Cultivation

Ligularia prefers part to full shade and moist to wet soils that don’t dry out.  Cannot tolerate dry soils.

Some Ligularias will regularly wilt during the hottest part of the day, but will return readily to normal structure during the cooler evening hours, or with a good watering.  They frequently require deep, heavy watering or soils that naturally hold water.

Common Pests and Diseases


Ligularia is pretty pest and disease resistant.  The only pest seen regularly to bother it would be slugs and snails, causing holes in the foliage.  A homemade or commercial slug/snail bait or preventative can be applied.

This plant is deer resistant; they prefer not to eat it.

Interesting Facts and Uses

Ligularia is included in the Aster family.

Garden Design Tips

Ligularia ‘Midnight Lady’

This plant’s stunning foliage is a show-stopper in the garden!  Most varieties have extremely large, bold dark green to black heart-shaped leaves. These are topped by stems of bright, cheery orange or yellow flowers.

Ligularias can be a great contrast for more delicately-leaved plants, and are frequently planted with other shady and water-loving plants, like Rodgersia.

Purchasing Ligularia

To purchase Ligularia varieties, please visit our Shade Companion Plants Page.