The Q&A Archives: Bleeding Heart Changing Color

Question: I have a pink bleeding heart that did not come up last year,
but did this year. The interesting part is that it is now white.
How is this possible?

Answer: If the plant bloomed in 1996 and was pink, then did not bloom in 1997, and now is blooming white in 1998, there is a possibility (albeit small) that the bleeding heart has changed color. It is uncommon, but there is natural phenomena that can change a plant's color. Iris tend to do this more frequently than other flowers. Sometimes tulips can get a virus that changes the flower's color or even adds streaks or speckles to the flower. I haven't heard of this occurring in a Dicentra, but, it certainly isn't impossible. I would let the plant go with the flow and if you have your heart set on a pink one, you may need to purchase another. If it has never bloomed, then there is a possibility you were sold a white bleeding heart rather than the traditional pink variety. Another possibility is that the plants self-sowed. That is, the plant you had in 1996 produced flowers and seed, these seeds grew last year (but didn't flower), then finally flowered this year. It is not at all unusual for "daughter" plants to have different colored flowers than the parents.

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