Ask a Question forum: Bleeding Heart Successors

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twoods
Aug 4, 2016 6:03 PM CST
I have a well-established bed of very large bleeding hearts that make a fantastic spring display in my upper Great Lakes region garden (zone 4-5). I always wait until they start to yellow before I cut them down to a few inches above the ground, which I did just this evening (August 4th). My frustration is that the bed is nothing but a tall sea of green from the time the spring blooms are spent until now. Do you have any suggestions for a companion plant that would follow the bleeding heart spring display and not be hindered by all of their foliage? The spot gets partial sun.

Thank you!
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Aug 4, 2016 11:30 PM CST
Welcome! to NGA

I think the bigger problem will be finding something that won't crowd out the Bleeding Hearts. You obviously can't plant anything shorter but taller will cause its own problems. Hostas are pretty all summer but would be the same height as the Bleeding Hearts so compete for sunlight. You could add a small evergreen tree for added visual interest or plant a late flowering shrub.



Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Aug 5, 2016 6:06 AM CST
Hard to know what will go without knowing how much sun, whether am or pm, and is soil moist or is there a lot of root competition. Plants like bleeding hearts do great because they can flourish in spring while there's better light and moisture, then go dormant when things get rough in summer, instead of struggling. And bleeding hearts can self sow like made; there may be lots of babies you can take out without decreasing the bloom you saw this spring on the mature plants.

Maybe Siberian iris planted near, will have enough sun to bloom, contrasting foliage shape wil stick up through the edges of bleeding hearts.

Maybe some coleus interplanted, would then take off once you cut back the bleeding hearts.

In any case, you may have to bite the bullet and make room by removing some bleeding hearts. This reminds me of when I realized that common bearded iris also develop into large clumps and then make a large ugly spot while they're dormant in summer.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
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