The Q&A Archives: Bleeding Heart

Question: I have a Vigoro select Bleeding Heart I purchased at Home Depot. I have it planted on the edge of the woods in my backyard. It receives partial sun especially in the morning. I planted it this spring. It has not produced one flower all year. Also it started out very healthy looking and was growing quite nicely. Here lately it has stopped growing and is starting to turn yellow and looks quite unhealthy and fragile. It is still alive and has some green left on it but does not look healthy. Can you help me? Thank you.

Answer: Dicentra, or Bleeding Heart, is a perennial plant but it dies down in the summer months, usually after it has finished blooming. Yours probably didn't bloom this year because it was suffering from a little transplant shock. Once the tops of your plants die down, remove the debris from the garden and place a few inches of organic mulch over the top of the soil (first to protect the roots from drying out during the remaining summer weeks and second to remind you that something is planted there). Next spring the roots will send up new shoots, the plant will branch out, and it should flower from spring through early summer. Then it will die back and rest again until the following spring.

Hope this sheds some light on the growth habit of Dicentra.

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