Bleeding Heart Flower

Bleeding Heart does well in dappled shade as well as full shade. They are generally early bloomers and have wonderful soft, lacy foliage.

The flowers are pink and rose pink with white tips, and the bleeding hearts hang from horizontal branches.

The foliage will span 30 to 36 inches wide.

Sun burns the leaves of the Bleeding Heart Flower, so this is a flower suitable for shade gardens.

They like a rich, moist well drained soil.

Foliage of this plant lasts a good while provided it is maintained in a moist, cool, environment. Bleeding Heart has always been a pretty poplar choice for perennial gardens.

There are, generally speaking, two main varieties of bleeding heart flower, Dicentra spectabilis and D. eximia or D. Formosa.

Dicentra Spectabilis

Bleeding Heart Flower

The common varieties of Dicentra spectabilis have beautiful pink blossoms that most of all remember from our childhoods, in our grandparents' gardens.

There is also a species with interesting white flowers, but this seems to be a little bit less common.

Then there is a version with gold leaves, but these are less popular as the plant is quite delicate - it is easily damaged and moreover, grows rather slowly in the first place. Obviously, it is not as favored by gardeners and nurseries.

Generally speaking, the Dicentra spectabilis varieties of bleeding hearts are the original ones that we are all familiar with.

They grow just about three to four feet tall and tend to blossom at the beginning of spring, continuing to bloom for about a month.

D. Eximia and D. Formosa

These are hybrid varieties and one of the most popular versions of these has luxurious pinkish red flowers. There exist varieties with white flowers, of course, and then there are the more obscure hybrids with more exotic characteristics, such as blue tinged leaves.

These varieties tend to grow just about a foot tall or about a foot and a half at the most. On the other hand, if they are properly cared for by a conscientious gardener, they do tend to blossom all through the summer.

Care of the Bleeding Heart Plant

You must remember this is a plant that thrives at its best when located in shade but it is a fairly hardy plant that is reasonably resistant to light from the sun. Although it may not die from being planted in the sun, as mid-summer approaches it may stop flowering for the rest of the summer because it much prefers the shade.

If that happens, you will still get flowers the following spring but if it is a bloom right through the whole summer you are looking for it is best to plant them out of full sun, not in it. Plant it in a full or partial shade part of the garden, under the shade of trees or on a shaded side of the house.

The correct conditions provided and this plant will no doubt flourish and give you stunning flowers for the entire summer months.


Bleeding Heart

When growing bleeding heart flower, remember that it requires not only soil that is extremely fertile, but also well drained.

Remember bleeding heart plant once originated in shade woodlands, in soils full of organic matter such as decaying leaves, and thus highly fertile.

The most obvious way to supply this requirement of these plants is to supply it with a few shovels of compost.

Put the compost all about the base of this plant, and make sure you do this every spring, and your plant will always be healthy.


Ensure that you water regularly and well, though not turning the soil around the plant into a swamp.


This is done by division, and is best carried out very early in spring. It will, if kept healthy, propagate itself as well.