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Tell us your Favorite Shade Plants

By dave
January 20, 2016

We're putting together a list of the ATP members' favorite shade plants! Come on in and read how to nominate your favorites! We will later publish a final article on the top picks.

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Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Jan 20, 2016 5:08 PM CST
I nominate Bleeding Hearts as a favorite shade plant. The arching branches with the dangling hearts look so delicate in the spring and I think it has interesting foliage. It self sows and multiplies well, too!

Unfortunately the bleeding hearts in my yard were under the huge oak tree that was just taken down this week. I will have to find a new shady place to keep my bleeding hearts going.

Database Link:
Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra)



Just realized that I hadn't put any of my pictures in the database. These are going in the general category since I don't know the cultivar:



Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
[Last edited by blue23rose - Jan 21, 2016 2:48 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1037655 (1)
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 21, 2016 1:29 AM CST
I have to agree with you Vickie, the tiny heart shaped blooms are so interesting, and the foliage is so lacy and lovely.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Jan 21, 2016 8:30 AM CST
Love this plant. It is one of my early spring flowers and sometimes goes dormant if the summer is hot, although that also depends on how much sun exposure it gets.. It does not self seed for me, but is easy to divide in the spring or fall. When my granddaughter was young, she called them bloody hearts, which somehow sounded a bit more macabre to me.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Jan 21, 2016 2:50 PM CST
Glad to hear it Lynn and Deb!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Rose
Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a)
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Rose1656
Jan 21, 2016 5:41 PM CST
Thank you for using one of my photos! I do love these and have several in my gardens. I just bought the gold leafed one with the white flowers last fall. I can't wait to see it bloom!
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Jan 21, 2016 5:47 PM CST
I used to have bleeding hearts..I think it got zapped out by our heat here and did not return anymore. But it was really pretty when it managed to bloom.
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
Hostas Cat Lover Annuals Bulbs Container Gardener Critters Allowed
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Houseplants Foliage Fan Butterflies Bee Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers
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DebbieC
Jan 21, 2016 7:01 PM CST
I see there is a new yellow variety "Sulpher Hearts"; wonder if anyone has grown that one?
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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dirtdorphins
Jan 21, 2016 8:49 PM CST
Three cheers for bleeding hearts!
just the old-fashioned variety here
Thumb of 2016-01-22/dirtdorphins/1c26e3 Thumb of 2016-01-22/dirtdorphins/e3b8d3 Thumb of 2016-01-22/dirtdorphins/36f86e

Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Hellebores Ferns Ponds
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aspenhill
Jan 23, 2016 3:43 AM CST
I've always loved bleeding hearts in my shade garden. Mine don't seem to self sow, but they spread readily in a friend's garden. She has gifted me with seedlings every spring for years. Last year I also planted bare root plants of the cultivar 'Valentine' which has dark red hearts.

The photo here is of the first three bleeding hearts I ever planted - noid - nice and mature now.
Thumb of 2016-01-23/aspenhill/9ae8b9

Valentine


[Last edited by aspenhill - Jan 23, 2016 7:15 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1039836 (9)
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Jan 23, 2016 7:01 AM CST
Rose, I thought it was a pretty picture:)

Dirt, I love the tulips with the bleeding hearts in that first shot Thumbs up

Terri, what a wonderful woodland picture of bleeding hearts! So nice that your neighbor has some to share and keep them going:)
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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gardengus
Jan 23, 2016 2:00 PM CST
I grow a couple bleeding hearts in my garden as a memory plant. My grandmother had a huge plant that grew right next to the front door and I always thought it was because she was a very loving grandmother. She also always had a huge heart leaf philodendron in the house.

Question?
Do your bleeding hearts die back in the summer?
Just wondering if they all do or just the old-fashion ones?
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Hellebores Ferns Ponds
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aspenhill
Jan 23, 2016 2:14 PM CST
Mine die back in the summer - usually gone by the end of June or early July.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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dirtdorphins
Jan 23, 2016 2:23 PM CST
The D. spectabilis do go summer dormant for me--
I had several Dicentra 'Luxuriant' where I used to live and they did not. In fact, they boomed off/on all summer and got more and more impressive each year.
Bleeding Heart (Dicentra 'Luxuriant')
comment
Posted by Cyclaminist (Minneapolis, Minnesota - Zone 5a) on Apr 26, 2015 12:17 PM

Dicentra 'Luxuriant' is a hybrid of three species of bleeding-heart: Dicentra eximia (the Appalachian species), Dicentra formosa (the Pacific Coast species), and Dicentra peregrina (the Japanese and Siberian alpine species).

I do not know the extent of summer dormancy in these species, but I imagine that at least one or more of them don't, just based on my experience with the hybrid Shrug!
Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Hellebores Ferns Ponds
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aspenhill
Jan 23, 2016 2:43 PM CST
Dirt, same here for me. It is only the old fashioned bleeding hearts (dicentra spectabilis) that goes dormant in the summer. I have 'Luxuriant' and fringed bleeding hearts (dicentra eximia) and they keep their foliage all season and do bloom on and off after the first spring flush. I didn't know that little tidbit about 'Luxuriant' being a hybrid of those three species - learn something new every day Smiling
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
blue23rose
Jan 24, 2016 4:41 AM CST
My bleeding hearts did die back in summer too. I will have to check out Luxuriant. I think it would be nice to see the foliage stick around in summer.
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 24, 2016 5:10 AM CST
Excellent choice I agree
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Cayuga
Massachusetts (Zone 6a)
Cayuga
Jan 24, 2016 10:22 AM CST
Hi all, I love the old fashioned bleeding hearts too. They have a grace in the garden that is lovely & they also make good cut flowers too. My bleeding hearts self sow, but are not invasive. I grow mine in part sun & in shade & they do not go dormant in my 6a garden. They do begin to look a little ratty, so I cut them back to the ground at that point, to no ill-effect.

Dirt, I love your photos, particularly the first with tulips & the third with ? clematis & ? alliums?
[Last edited by Cayuga - Jan 24, 2016 10:24 AM (+)]
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Name: Jeanie
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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foraygardengirl
Jan 25, 2016 8:51 PM CST
The old fashioned ones are taller and more spectacular, but the fringed bleeding hearts are real workhorses. They bloom all summer long.
:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:
Old gardeners never die. They are just pruned and repotted.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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dirtdorphins
Jan 25, 2016 9:28 PM CST
Thanks!
third is a clematis (backside just as pretty as the front) and some tradescantia

I like the fact that the old-fashioned bleeding heats go dormant--gives more elbow room for the summer players
Name: Leon
Indiana (Zone 5a)
Light is the shadow of God!
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: United States of America Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower
Garden Ideas: Master Level Native Plants and Wildflowers Peonies Hummingbirder Dog Lover Lilies
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TBGDN
Jan 26, 2016 10:31 AM CST
I agree with Vickie. Bleeding Hearts are hard to beat in the shade gardens, and they are easy to keep. They are also self-sewing which is a bonus. They tend to go dormant in very dry summers, but that's natural; and come back year after year!

Lux Umbra Dei

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