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How to Grow Bleeding Heart


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Also known as Dicentra Spectabilis, bleeding hearts are beautiful perennial favorite of gardeners. The plants have mounding leaves and dropping red heart-shaped blossoms tipped in white; one cultivar is pure white. Bleeding hearts grow 6 to 24 inches tall and can spread up to 20 inches wide.

Difficulty:
Moderate

Instructions

things you’ll need:
  • Shovel
  • Bleeding heart bare root
  • Water
  • Complete plant food
  • Pruning shears
  • Plant markers
    1. Select the site for the bleeding hearts. They need filtered sunlight and a sheltered spot. Strong, hot drying winds can cause the plant to shrivel; they can also be damaged from late frosts. They need soil with good drainage that is enriched with large amounts of organic matter several weeks before planting.
    2. Plant the bleeding heart. Dig a hole that is deeper than the bare root. Hold the bare root (it looks like a plain stick) upright, so that the crown is just below the soil line. Fill with soil and tamp down gently to remove air bubbles. Water to settle the soil. Space bleeding hearts 10 to 12 inches apart.
    3. Water bleeding hearts regularly and deeply during dry periods in the growing season. Sprinkle a complete plant food when growth begins in the spring. Bleeding hearts have no specific pest or disease.
    4. Watch for bleeding hearts to bloom beginning in late spring and early summer. Cut spent flower stems; cut off any yellowed foliage just above the ground level.
    5. Divide established bleeding hearts in the fall. Dig up, divide and replant the bleeding hearts 10 to 12 inches apart. Place a plant marker where bleeding hearts are planted to avoid disturbing them during the dormant season.

Tips & Warnings

  • Bleeding hearts are not suitable as cut flowers.

  • Bleeding heart dies back in mid-summer. Hide the gap by planting near hosta, ferns or other shade plants.

  • Check the guarantee and return policies of the nursery, gardening center, catalog or garden website where you buy plants. Some have a one-year guarantee and require that you have the receipt, shipping invoice or shipping label. Michigan Bulb guarantees its plants for life and will either replace the plants or refund your money as long as you are gardening.

  • Bleeding hearts are quite toxic if ingested. Do not plant around animals and keep away from children.

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