Plant Profile: Bleeding Hearts

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Bleeding hearts or Dicentra are wonderful shade loving plants that grow really well in my north facing shady garden.  Another name for this plant is Lady’s Locket, and it is easy to see how it got that name from looking at the individual blooms.


This plant prefers cool, moist conditions.  The plant starts out on the small side but can get to almost 60 cm. high and wide.  Above are the shoots just coming up after the winter.


The plant seems to almost grow overnight and soon the buds are appearing.  The bleeding heart is a deer resistant plant.  The plant can be divided in the spring and it does send up volunteer plants in my garden.  Be sure to dig deep and get all of the root system which are like long, thin tubers.


The blooms come on long, arching stems.


I’m lucky to have both pink and white varieties in my garden.


As the flowers finish a small green pod develops.


These can be left on the plant to dry to either drop and produce new little plants or to be picked off and gathered for the seed.  After these pods develop I usually trim off all the flowering stems and some of the leaves and just leave the plant in the gaarden for some green interest.  Once the plant goes dormant it can be cut down.  I like to leave a few stems poking out so that I know where the plant is over the winter.


More from The Gardener Side

plants … seed info … veggies & herbs … bulbs, corms, tubers

the gardens  … whimsy in the garden



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