How to Grow Bleeding Heart Flowers

Tips for growing and caring for Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding Hearts are low maintenance, fast growing perennials that are great for shady areas.

They can be grown directly in the garden or planted in large containers for gorgeous summer blooms.

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growing bleeding heart flowers

Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra spectabilis), also known as Asian Bleeding Hearts are native to Northern China, Korea, Japan and Siberia. [1]

They have beautiful heart shaped flowers in red, pink and white.

HOW TO GROW BLEEDING HEARTS

Soil

Bleeding Hearts like rich, fertile soil. Before planting, dig some compost into the area and mulch around the plants to reduce moisture loss.

Sunlight

Bleeding Hearts prefer to grow in cool, shady areas.

In cool climate areas, they can be planted in a spot where they will get partial sun or even full sun if the weather is cool enough.

Bleeding heart flowers

When do Bleeding Hearts bloom?

Bleeding Hearts flower from summer to fall but they may take a couple of seasons to bloom after planting.

How tall do Bleeding Hearts grow?

There are many different varieties of Bleeding Hearts that range from 1.5 feet (45 cm) to 3 feet (90 cm) tall.

Growing Bleeding Hearts from Seeds

The seeds can be scattered in the garden in late fall and they will sprout in spring when the ground warms up.

Bleeding Hearts also self-seed readily.

Bleeding Heart flowers in garden

Growing Bleeding Hearts from Cuttings

To propagate Bleeding Hearts from cuttings, take a 6 inch (12 cm) section of stem and trim off the lower leaves.

Place the cuttings in moist perlite or sand and roots will form in about 6 weeks.

The best time to take cuttings is straight after the plant has finished flowering.

Important Note: All parts of the plant are poisonous and can cause skin irritation. It’s a good idea to wear gloves and long sleeves when working with Bleeding Hearts.

Dividing Bleeding Hearts

The clumps will need to be divided every 2 to 3 years to keep them healthy and prevent them from growing too big.

Growing bleeding hearts

Water Requirements

Bleeding Hearts need to be watered regularly throughout the growing season, especially in hot weather. The soil should be consistently moist but not waterlogged. Adding a layer of mulch can help to keep the roots moist in warm weather.

Pests & Diseases

Bleeding Hearts can be affected by slugs, snails, aphids and leaf spot.

Pruning

After the plants have finished flowering, deadhead the spent flowers to tidy up the plant.

Once the foliage starts to turn yellow, the whole plant can be cut back to ground level.

Companion Planting

Bleeding Hearts can be grown alongside other shade loving perennials like Astilbe, Hosta or Hydrangea

Pink Bleeding Heart flowers

Can Bleeding Hearts be grown in containers or pots?

Bleeding Hearts can be grown in large containers with well-drained, rich potting soil. Perlite or peat moss can be added to the potting mix to improve drainage.

Can Bleeding Hearts grow in full sun?

Bleeding Hearts prefer shady areas, but in cool climates they can be grown in a spot with full sun or partial shade.

Are Bleeding Hearts Frost Tolerant?

Bleeding Hearts become dormant at the end of summer or early fall and reappear again in spring, so frost shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

A thick layer of mulch over the soil will protect the roots from winter frosts.

How to grow bleeding hearts

Bleeding Hearts are easy perennial flowers for beginner gardeners to grow.

They’re great for shady corners of the garden and they don’t need much ongoing care.

Just be sure to keep the roots moist and deadhead the old flowers and they’ll reward you with their gorgeous blooms all summer and even into fall.

Here’s a quick video that explains more about growing Bleeding Heart flowers.

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How to grow bleeding heart flowers

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin. I'm passionate about gardening and horticulture and I love growing just about everything including herbs, vegetables, flowers, succulents and indoor plants. I've been gardening most of my life and I created this blog to inspire beginner gardeners to create their own urban garden. Read more