A Bleeding Heart Plant, has perennial flowers that resemble little "hearts". They were a favorite flower in grandmother's garden half a century ago, and they are still very popular today. They make lovely perennial garden plants that bloom in the Spring.
pronounced (dye-sen-truh) the Bleeding Heart is in the fumitory family.
They are very popular, and very easy to grow. The unique flowers of the Bleeding Heart plant really do resemble hearts.
They are the perfect shade/woodland garden plant, but they are not as delicate as they look. I've had good luck with planting these perennial flowers in a full sun garden.
They like fertile, moist, humas-rich soil, and like to be in a well drained location.
The lobed green foliage remains attractive in cooler summers of northern gardens,but goes dormant in warmer areas.
They add a nice bit of interest and contrast to my garden in early Spring, and the flowers seem to last for such a long time.
The common bleeding heart plant Dicentra spectabilis "Alba' which is the pure White Bleeding Heart, and the pink (Dicentra spectabilis), are the common form. They grow 2 feet tall and 18 inches wide.
The plants form irregular mounds of divided leaves. The plants bear graceful,arching branches of pendulous heart shaped flowers 1 1/2 inch in diameter, in late Spring. When you see them in bloom, you just can't resist touching the flower "hearts", because they are so unique, they almost don't seem real!
Hardy zones 2-9
By midsummer, plants go dormant, so it is best to plant other plants close by that will replace the color, and the bare spot left behind. Be sure to mark the spot, so that area will not be disturbed during fall or spring cleanup. Plants can be a bit slow to emerge in the Spring.
They bloom at the same time as Columbine, and make nice companion plants. (especially the blue ones)so plant some near by.
The fringed bleeding Heart perennial or (D.eximia), Bleeding Heart, Fernleaf is a dwarf form of bleeding heart. This little beauty grows to 18 inches tall and wide. It forms neat mounds of grey-green feathery foliage.
The rose-pink heart shaped flowers are born a-top slender, branched stalks.
It blooms heavily in late Spring and early Summer, but then continues to bloom all Summer, if spent blossoms are removed, and the plants are kept supplied with adequate moisture.
They are very hardy.
I have mine mulched with pine needles and bark mulch, and they seem to like that.
To propagate plants, divide the brittle, fleshy roots in very early spring. Plant in humus rich soil, and water well. Keep watered during dry spells.
I've had very good luck dividing my plants and making "lots" more from the mother plant. All it takes is a few roots to make a nice new clump.
Because of the fern type leaves, the color of the leaves, and the interesting flowers, they make a nice addition to the flower bed. When planted in a shade bed, they combine well with the different colored hosta plants.
D. exima species self-sows freely.