Bleeding hearts (Dicentra spp.) are shade garden perennials valued for their long bloom season. The flowers hang from stems from early spring to mid-autumn and look like strings of red and white hearts. Propagate bleeding hearts by division, root cuttings or seeds.
Divide bleeding hearts in late summer or early spring. Late summer divisions are usually more successful and the plants recover quickly. Carefully dig the plant and divide it into sections with a sharp knife. Each section should have at least one shoot and a mass of roots. Sections with more than one shoot become established, bushy plants faster.
Use 1- to 2-inch root cuttings from 2- or 3-year-old plants. Lay the cutting horizontally on the rooting medium and cover with 1/2-inch of soil. This is best done in early summer.
Seeds need six weeks of freezing temperatures before planting. Place them in the freezer mixed into a little potting soil. Afterward, plant the seeds about 1/2-inch deep and keep them at temperatures between 55 and 60 degrees until they germinate. Germination may take up to 180 days.