Alphabetical Plant Listing

Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding Heart)

Bleeding Heart, Showy Bleeding heart, Dutchman's Breeches, Chinaman's Breeches, Locks and Keys, Lyre Flower, Seal Flower, Old-Fashioned Bleeding Heart, Lamprocapnos spectabilis


One of the most elegant of perennials, Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) is a graceful herbaceous perennial boasting gracefully arching stems studded with lockets of pink flowers, whose hearts are no doubt bleeding, adorned with protruding white petals. They hang above the attractive foliage of soft green, divided leaves. Blooming for 4-6 weeks in late spring to early summer, it tends to decline or even disappear in mid-summer. However, if it is kept well-watered during the spring, dormancy may be delayed until late summer or early fall. Great for shaded borders or woodland gardens, plant this old garden favorite among other perennials such as hosta, astilbe, pulmonaria or ferns to fill in the space left by its foliage when going dormant.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society for its outstanding merits
  • Grows up to 30-36 in. tall and wide (75-90 cm).
  • Thrives in part shade and is easily grown in fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soils. It is full shade tolerant but be aware that too much shade will result in few flowers. It can be grown in full sun in the coolest part of its range provided the soil is kept consistently moist.
  • Great for shaded borders or woodland gardens, plant it among other perennials such as hosta, astilbe, pulmonaria or ferns to fill in the space left by its foliage when going dormant. Great as fresh cut flowers: the racemes make delightful additions to fresh bouquets, lasting about 2 weeks in a vase.
  • Deer and rabbit resistant
  • Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-in. (5 cm) layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds.
  • Plant bareroot Dicentra in early spring while the plants are still dormant.
  • After the first killing frost, cut stems back to an inch or two above soil line.
  • All parts cause severe discomfort if eaten.
  • Native to Japan

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Dicentra - Bleeding Hearts
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spacing 30" (75cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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Guides with Dicentra - Bleeding Hearts


While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Dicentra - Bleeding Hearts
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spacing 30" (75cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Dicentra - Bleeding Hearts

Guides with Dicentra - Bleeding Hearts

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