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How Do I Split Bleeding Hearts?


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Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) is an old-fashioned, hardy perennial plant that blooms with white or fuchsia flowers that seem to drip from arching stems in May and June. Some people describe the flowers as looking like breeches. Bleeding hearts like well-drained soil and grow well in partially shady areas. They can grow to two to three feet in height and equally as wide. They need to be split, or divided, every three to five years.

Difficulty:
Easy

Instructions

things you’ll need:
  • Spade
  • Knife
    1. Plunge a spade into the ground next to the plant. To do so, point your spade onto the plant and give it a good push straight down next to the plant by stepping on the shoulder of the spade and throwing your weight onto it.
    2. Loosen the surrounding soil and the soil under the plant with your spade, and then lift both halves of the plant and its roots out of the ground.
    3. Using a knife, cut the root bundle into sections with three to five eyes (plant buds that you can see on the crown of the plant) per section. If the root bundle is very big, you can split it with your spade before cutting out smaller sections. Try not to do too much damage to the fleshy roots, which are tender.
    4. Re-plant each division with the eyes at the soil surface. Tamp the soil to ensure that there are no air pockets, which cause plants to grow poorly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Divide bleeding hearts in early spring or fall.

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