How to Grow Bleeding Heart (Dicentra)
Bleeding hearts are graceful woodland plants that do best in light shade in well-drained soil. Their ferny foliage appears in early spring, followed by pink or white flowers that are arranged along the stem like little hearts.
things you’ll need:
- Bypass Pruners
- Garden Trowels
Choosing Bleeding Heart
- Shop for bleeding hearts in spring when they’re in bloom. Nurseries sell bleeding hearts in 4-inch to 1-gallon containers.
- Choose robust-looking plants that have a lot of new growth starting from the base.
- Choose the right bleeding heart for your garden – Dicentra formosa grows 9 to 18 inches high, while D. spectabilis can grow to 2 feet.
Planting Bleeding Heart
- Plant in the shade – morning sun is fine, but afternoon sun will be too hot.
- Grow bleeding hearts under shrubs or evergreen trees. Brighten up the shade with the white flowers of D. spectabilis ‘Alba’.
- Add a light application of organic fertilizer to the planting hole.
- Water well when you’re finished planting.
Caring for Bleeding Heart
- Put a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost around the bleeding hearts in spring to help retain soil moisture.
- Keep the plants well-watered to maintain good-looking foliage throughout summer.
- Cut down the remaining plants during fall cleanup using bypass pruners.