The Q&A Archives: Bleeding Heart

Question: I got a bleeding heart bulb as a gift but I don't know anything about this plant. Where should put it and how do I treat it?

Answer: Dicentra, or Bleeding Heart, is a lovely plant with feathery fern-like foliage and delightful little heart shaped flowers. Plant the bulblike roots now (in early spring) in rich, light, moist soil, in a shady garden spot. Water regularly, but don't allow water to collect and stand over the root area. To assure good drainage, mix some organic matter into the soil prior to planting.

You can expect your bleeding heart to grow 1 1/2 to 3 feet tall. The stems are tender and may need support. I tie mine to slender bamboo stakes to keep them upright.

The stems and foliage will die down to the ground when blooming stops, but the roots will remain, sending up new stems and foliage the following spring.

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