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Growing: Bleeding Heart

By Ellen Brown


Botanical Name: Dicentra spectabilis
Life Cycle: perennial
Planting Time: spring
Height: 12" to 30"
Exposure: light to full shade
Soil: moist, rich, well-drained soil; avoid overly soggy sites
Hardiness: zones 3 to 9
Bloom Time: late spring and early summer
Flower: pink, white, cherry and red heart-shaped flowers
Foliage: green, fern-like leaves
Propagation: seeds (difficult) or division (early spring or fall)
Suggested Use: beds, shade gardens, borders
Growing Hints: Bleeding Hearts are difficult to sprout from seed, so you're better off purchasing a potted plant and dividing it after it becomes well established and produces plenty of new growth. The roots are susceptible to breaking and should be handled with care when planting or moving. Prepare site in advance by working compost into soil. Plants do not like to be disturbed once planted.
Interesting Facts: Bleeding Hearts are also sometimes called "Dutchman's Trousers" and are native to Japan.


Growing: Bleeding Heart

My bleeding hearts, dicentra spectabilis, grow in full sun through to full shade. I have them in the middle of the garden in full sun as well as under a lilac bush. My grandma used to have a beautiful one that commonly grew well over 3 feet high that was planted on the south side of her house in the flowerbed between the walkway and the house. Full sun. Our zone here in Manitoba, Canada is a 2b. Absolutely beautiful they are when in flower and will made a great plant in the flower beds because they will stay green with foliage right until September. They flower for a full month starting the beginning of June. I dig out portions of the roots in spring and carefully divide them into pieces at that time for friends. (01/30/2006)

By valleyrimgirl

Growing: Bleeding Heart

I've grown the dwarf bleeding heart (fringed bleeding heart) for years. A very good friend of mine in her 80's now told me this once. Every three years, dig up the plant and give it a good shake, let the dirt fall away from the roots. This is a good time to divide and place in other areas of your garden or give to a gardening friend. Then you can place the plant right back in the same spot you dug it out. Just be sure that you start the job and finish it pretty quickly. You don't want the roots to dry out. Water the area well after repositioning the plant. I've done this for about 15 years now and my plant is still thriving beautifully. Not to mention the many other plants around the yard that came from the original plant. (The main plant is on the north side of my house.) Hope it works for you! (01/31/2006)



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