dicentra - spectabilis - known as Bleeding Heart

Dicentra Spectabilis - Bleeding Heart common name:

I just bought two new plants of Dicentra. So, I'll share the "how to grow" information here.

Tips and Tricks for Success:

  1. Plant your new plant in spring after the last frost.
  2. If you cannot plant perennials right away, store them in a cool, dry, dark location.
  3. I just plant my perennials in a pot and wait until I can plant them outside.


  1. Plant in the shade - morning sun is fine, but afternoon will be too hot.
  2. Add compost or peat humus to enrich and loosen soil, if needed.
  3. Plant so that the crown and roots are completely covered and the tips of dormant eyes are just below the surface.
  4. Water thoroughly after planting.


  1. Grow under shrubs or evergreen trees and protect from strong winds.
  2. Once planted the addition of organic mulch will help retain moisture in the soil as well as keep down the weeds.
  3. Bleeding hearts are quite drought-tolerant once established, but will go dormant in summer if not provided enough moisture.
  4. These plants are ideal when painted amid patches of spring-flowering bulbs, as their foliage will obscure the bulb foliage as it dies back.
  5. Plants are sensitive to chemicals and heavy fertilizers.


  1. Foliage should be cut back in the fall.
  2. For new plants, provide a winter mulch of evergreen boughs or salt marsh hay after the ground freezes to help prevent heaving.
dicentra - burning heart

Dicentra - are Spring and recurrent blooming perennials:
These perennials grow bigger and better year after year.

Dicentra Bleeding Heart Description:

Bleeding hearts bear heart shaped flowers.
Common bleeding heart - blooms in early spring.
It bears 1 - 1/2" pink-white flowers in rows from gracefully curving stems up to 2 feet long, above a 2-3 foot mass of blue-green foliage.
Good to Zone 2 - 8.

How to grow:

Grown them in partial shade and well-drained soil, humus rich soil.
Common bleeding heart tolerates full sun if given plenty of moisture during active growth. It dies back to the ground when in summer in hot sunny spots.
Remove the leaves whey they start turning brown.
Mine do best in partial shade.

Landscape Uses:

Common bleeding hearts do well in woodland plantings or mixed with spring bulbs.
Bleeding hearts companion plants; hostas, ferns and astilbes, they fill in the blank spots when the Bleeding Heart foliage dies back in summer.

Best Cultivars:

I only have; Spectabilis and Burning Hearts Dicentra.
D. eximia: has soft pink flowers
Boothman's variety, blue-green leaves
Snowdrift: white flowers

Author: canadian-gardening.ca
Content created without the use of AI

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