Bleeding heart, an exceptional perennial

Bleeding heart is a sumptuous perennial bearing elegant and colored flowers.

Basic Bleeding heart facts

Name – Dicentra spectabilis
Family – Papaveraceae
Type – perennial

Height – 8 to 24 inches (20 to 60 cm)
Exposure – part sun
Soil – ordinary, well drained

Flowering – May to August

Caring for this from planting to blooming is quite easy and its decorative impact is exceptional.

Planting bleeding heart

When to plant bleeding heart

Equally good are spring and fall for bleeding heart plants purchased in pots.

However, it is slightly better to plant in fall to favor root development before winter hits. If you plant during spring, avoid days of frost and freezing.

How to plant bleeding heart

If properly settled in, bleeding heart requires very little care. It is thus important get the planting step right.

  • Bleeding heart revels in part sun and like being sheltered from cooler winds.
  • Space plants at least 16 inches (40 cm) from one to the next.
  • Prefer rich soil like soil mix, ensure it drains well.
  • Keep the soil cool with mulch, especially in summer. This is the key to extending the bloom.
  • Remember to water regularly spring and summer for the 1st year after planting.

You can easily propagate your bleeding heart through crown division in fall.

Pruning and caring for bleeding heart

A long flower scape with bleeding heart flowers dangling down from it.Bleeding heart is easy to care for and shouldn’t give you any problems, even for beginning gardeners…

  • Cut wilted flowers regularly in order to boost flower-bearing.
  • Add fertilizer in spring.
  • Water in case of dry spells or strong heat waves.
  • Protect your bleeding heart from winter frost spells.

Species and varieties of bleeding heart

Although most bleeding heart varieties bear pink flowers, some are white-flowered such as Dicentra cucullaria and Dicentra formosa aurora.

Among the interesting pink-flowered varieties, Dicentra eximia and Dicentra ‘Firecracker’ stand out.

Learn more about bleeding heart

White bleeding heart flower.This magnificent bulb perennial is mysterious and enchanting even for its name.

Indeed, along a floral scape 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) long, very beautiful pink, white or red hearts appear, each about 1 inch (2 to 3 cm) long.

The bleeding heart, also called Mary’s heart, is a classical elegant ornamental plant and will grow and shine just fine in a flower bed, along edges or in a garden box. The name alone will help you soothe your soul if you plant it near your meditation garden.

This plant is marvelous all summer long, in the garden or on your terrace!

Lastly, note that bleeding heart is poisonous and should be handled with gloves to forego any risk of skin rash.

Smart tip about bleeding heart

Early spring, spread mulch around the plant to avoid weed growth and keep water from evaporating.

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Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Picked bleeding heart flowers by Wokandapix under Pixabay license
Bleeding heart flower scape by Anja under Pixabay license
White bleeding heart variety by Susanne Jutzeler under Pixabay license