Bleeding heart

Dicentra spectabilis

Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
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Bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis)
dy-SEN-trah spek-TAB-il-iss
Genus:  Dicentra
A garden favorite for many years, bleeding heart has soft green foliage and 1-inch-long rose pink and white heart-shaped flowers for several weeks in spring. Plants can form clumps 3 feet across and almost as tall. Foliage generally goes dormant in summer, so be sure to choose companion plants carefully so there isn't an empty space left in the garden. Beautiful in a border or woodland garden.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Arching stems of little pink hearts that "bleed" white.
Care:  Grow in moist, humusy soil in part shade. Can take full sun in reliably moist soil. Prefers neutral or slightly alkaline pH. Protect from wind and frost.
Propagation:  Sow seed in containers in a cold frame as soon as ripe or in spring. Divide carefully in early spring or after the leaves have died down. Insert root cuttings in winter.
Problems:  Downy mildew, Verticillium wilt, viruses, rust, and fungal leaf spots can occur. Slugs and snails may eat new growth.

Overview

Height
3 ft. to 6 ft.
Spread
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Habit
Clumps
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Showy Flowers
Bloom Time
Early Summer,
Late Spring,
Spring,
Summer
Flower Color
Pink Flower,
White Flower
Uses
Beds and Borders
Style
Cottage Garden,
Woodland Garden
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Type
Perennials

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