The bleeding heart plant bears spectacular heart-shaped flowers. Bleeding hearts are very popular perennials that come in many varieties. Find facts and information on two different types of bleeding heart plants that can be easily incorporated into your landscape.
Bleeding Heart Plant Facts
Two varieties of bleeding hearts, the common bleeding heart and fringed bleeding heart are both beautiful plants with suburb flowers. Information on growing and caring for each type of bleeding heart will be given.
Common Bleeding Heart
Dicentra spectabilis, the common bleeding heart, grows in Zones 3-9 and will reach up to 4’h x 2’w. It prefers full or partial shade and fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5-7.0. This plant has long, arching stems of pendant pink flowers with white inner petals that appear in late spring and early summer. After flowering the foliage will die back.
This plant will add grace and delicacy to the woodland garden or the shade border. The flowers are great additions to any fresh cut flower arrangements you may be making.* The bleeding heart flower is widely recognized, especially in the Christian religion as the symbolic bleeding heart of our savior, Jesus Christ.
Companion plants include: ‘Elegans’ Siebold hosta, heart-leaf brunnera, and ‘Mrs. Moon’ Bethlehem sage. * Tip- interplant hosta with bleeding hearts to cover the space left after bleeding hearts die back in summer.
Plant 15-24” apart in spring or fall in fertile soil high in organice matter. After planting, water deeply and add 3” of mulch around, but not touching, the plant. You can apply a slow-release granular plant food at the time of planting or begin using soluble plant food 3 weeks after planting in spring. Water deeply whenever the soil becomes dry.
Propagation: plants will self-seed lightly in the landscape. Divide every 3 years, or when it doesn’t grow as quickly. To do this, just dig around the root and lift. Reset portions that are healthy and have top shoots.
Pest: Bleeding hearts are relatively pest free when their requirements are met. Sometimes slugs and snails may become pests. Wet soil during the summer may contribute to disease problems if too wet.
Related species include: ‘Alba’ which has pure white flowers and the same attractive foliage. Dutchman’s breeches (D. Cucullaria) bears long, arching stems of curious white flowers with a yellow tip in early spring. Deedly divided leaves are light and airy and bluish green. After flowering, the foliage dies back.
2. Fringed Bleeding Heart
Dicentra eximia, fringed bleeding heart, will bloom sporadically all summer long. This variety grows in Zones 3-8 to about 24” h x 18”w. This variety also prefers full shade to partial shade. It features nodding stems of heart-shaped pink flowers that appear in late spring and intermittently through early autumn. The red-tinted gray-green stems of deeply lobed leaflets add a graceful element to the landscape. The foliage of this low-maintenance perennial remains attractive throughout the growing season.
Place them in large swatches if using in a woodland garden. They can be placed at the foot of irrigated trees and shrubs, or in odd-numbered groups in the shade border, or in containers for delightful early-season color and interest. The same companion plants as listed in the common variety can also be used with this plant. You may also want to consider lady’s mantle, and Japanese painted fern, as well.
Plant fringed bleeding heart plants 18” apart in spring or fall. After planting, water deeply and apply 3” of mulch around the plant, but not touching it directly.
Propagation and Pests and Diseases are the same as mentioned for common bleeding heart.
Related Species: ‘Adrian Bloom’ has deep carmine red flowers, and ‘Bountiful’ has purplish-pink flowers. ‘Alba’ has pure white blooms with divided foliage.