Growing Leopard Plant: How To Care For Ligularia Tussilaginea

Ligularia tussilaginea, commonly called leopard plant or leopard’s bane, is a rosette-forming perennial native to mountain regions of central and southwest China, Japan, and Taiwan.

This plant is a member of the Asteraceae family.

Growing Ligularia TussilagineaPin

The genus name comes from the Latin word ligula, meaning strap, about strap-shaped leaves. 

The specific epithet resembles tussilago, a genus of plants in the daisy family with flower heads reaching small umbrellas.

If you’re considering adding ligularia tussilaginea to your garden, you’re in for a treat. This perennial flower is both easy to grow and stunning to look at.

Here are some reasons why you might want to get and learn how to care for ligularia tussilaginea:

  • It’s a great way to add color to your garden. The flowers of ligularia tussilaginea are a beautiful yellow.
  • They’re easy to grow. Ligularia tussilaginea is a hardy plant that can tolerate many conditions.
  • They’re low maintenance. Once you’ve planted ligularia tussilaginea, you don’t need to do much to it. It’s a great plant for beginners.

Some of the common household names of Ligularia Tussilaginea include:

  • Ragwort
  • Leopard plant
  • Hound’s tongue

It is called ragwort because the leaves were once used to make a yellow dye for cloth.

It is called a leopard plant because of the leaves’ markings, which resemble a leopard’s spots.

The plant is called a hound’s tongue because the leaves have a rough, hairy texture similar to a dog’s tongue.

Quick Facts On Ligularia Tussilaginea

  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Light: Full sun to part shade
  • Temperature: 65° to 75° degrees Fahrenheit
  • Water: Medium Watering
  • Fertilizer: Balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Propagation: Seed, stem cuttings
  • Common Problems: Slugs, rusts, powdery mildew

Ligularia Tussilaginea Care

Ligularia tussilaginea plants are easy to care for and relatively drought-tolerant once established.

What Does The Ragwort Plant Look Like, And How Big Does It Grow?

Ligularia tussilaginea is a tall, herbaceous perennial that can grow up to six feet tall and four feet wide.

The plant has large, dark green leaves that are somewhat heart-shaped. The leaves are typically about 8″ inches long and 6″ inches wide.

Ligularia tussilaginea is a slow grower and can take up to 2 years to reach its mature size.

When Does Ragwort Plant Flower? Are The Flowers Fragrant?

The ragwort plant produces yellow, daisy-like flowers from late summer to early fall. The flowers are not particularly fragrant.

It typically grows in a clump to 2′ to 3′ tall with basal leaves (to 12″ inches long and 8″ inches wide that are heart-shaped, deeply-lobed, toothed, and leathery.

Yellow flowers bloom in late summer in racemes to 10″ inches long.

Flowers give way to small black fruits. Foliage often turns attractive shades of bronze or red in autumn.

What Are The Lighting Needs And Temperature Requirements?

Ligularia tussilaginea is not particular about lighting needs but prefers cooler temperatures.

It will tolerate some shade, but the plant will bloom best in full sun. The ideal temperature range for this plant is 60° to 75° degrees Fahrenheit.

The plant will tolerate full sun, but its leaves may scorch in direct sunlight. 

How And When To Water And Fertilize Ragwort Plant?

During the first growing season, establish an extensive root system for the Ligularia tussilaginea and water regularly and deeply.

Once established, reduce the watering frequency. This plant is tolerant of heavy rainfall and does not require supplemental watering unless conditions are unusually dry.

Feed in spring with a general-purpose fertilizer before new growth begins

What Is The Best Soil For Ligularia Tussilaginea, And When Should You Transplant?

Ligularia tussilaginea prefers moist, organically rich, well-drained soils and will tolerate full sun but prefers some relief from the hot afternoon sun in hot summer climates.

The best leaf color occurs in partial shade. Soils must not be allowed to dry out.

If you are transplanting ligularia tussilaginea, it is best to do so in the spring.

Does Ligularia Tussilaginea Need Special Grooming Or Maintenance?

No special grooming or maintenance is required for this plant. However, you may want to remove spent flowers to keep the plant looking tidy.

Spent flower stems may be removed after bloom or left for winter interest. You may also cut back the foliage to the ground in late fall to early winter.

Plants may be divided in spring or fall.

How To Propagate Leopard Plant?

To propagate ragwort, you must take a cutting from the plant. Cuttings can be taken from the stem or a leaf with a petiole attached.

The best time to take cuttings is in late summer or early fall.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Fill a pot with moistened perlite and insert the cutting.
  • Cover the pot with plastic wrap and place it in a warm, sunny location.
  • Keep the cutting moist but not wet.
  • Roots should form within 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Once roots have formed, remove the plastic wrap and transplant the ragwort into a pot with well-drained soil.
  • Water regularly and fertilize monthly.

Ragwort can also be propagated by division.

Divide the plant in spring or fall and replant in well-drained soil. Water regularly and fertilize monthly.

Ligularia Tussilaginea Pests And Diseases

Ligularia tussilaginea is a low-maintenance plant that is relatively pest- and disease-free.

However, this plant may be susceptible to a few pests and disease problems, including:

  • Aphids: These small, soft-bodied insects feed on the sap of plants, which can cause stunted growth, distorted leaves, and yellowing. Aphids can also transmit viral diseases from one plant to another.

To control aphids, blast them off the plant with a strong stream of water or use an insecticidal soap.

  • Beetles: The larvae of Japanese beetles and other beetles feed on plants’ leaves, leaving behind large, ragged holes. Adult beetles can also cause damage by chewing on leaves and flowers.

To control beetle problems, handpick the adults and larvae from plants and dispose of them. You can also use a beetle trap or an insecticide.

Ligularia Tussilaginea is susceptible to several diseases, including:

  • Mildew
  • Rust
  • Leaf spot

These diseases can cause stunted growth, distorted leaves, and yellowing.

To control disease problems, remove and dispose of infected leaves. You can also use a fungicide to prevent and treat diseases.

Suggested Uses For Leopard Plant

If you’re looking for a plant that will add a touch of drama to your garden, look no further than the ligularia tussilaginea plant.

It’s perfect for adding height and interest to borders, and its large, toothed leaves make it a standout in any garden.

For landscaping, you can use a leopard plant to fill in gaps in borders or as a dramatic focal point.

It’s also a good choice for naturalizing since it spreads and self-seeds readily. 

When grown in containers, the leopard plant makes a striking statement. The large, toothed leaves are perfect for spilling over the edge of a pot or planter. 

Overall, ligularia tussilaginea is easy to care for and is low maintenance. It will make a beautiful addition to any garden.

So if you’re looking for a plant that will make a statement, be sure to add the leopard plant to your list.