Bleeding Heart Flower

Bleeding Heart flowers do well in dappled shade as well as in 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.

Bleeding Heart Flower for shade gardening. Dicentra spectabilis

The foliage will span 30 to 36 inches wide.

Sun burns the leaves of Bleeding Heart plant, so this is a flower suited to shade gardens.

Bleeding Heart likes a rich, moist well drained soil.

The foliage lasts a good while provided it is maintained in a moist, cool, environment and has always been a pretty popular 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

The common varieties of Dicentra spectabilis have beautiful pink blossoms that brings back memories from childhood for some, in grandparents’ gardens.

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

There is a version with gold leaves, but these are less popular as the plant is quite delicate – it is easily damaged and grows slowly. For these reasons it is not as favoured by gardeners and nurseries.

Generally speaking, the Dicentra spectabilis varieties of Bleeding Hearts are the original ones that we are 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 has luxurious pinkish red flowers. There exist varieties with white flowers, and then there are the more obscure hybrids with more exotic characteristics, such as blue tinged leaves.

These varieties tend to grow 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 remainder of the summer because it prefers the shade. If that happens, you will still get flowers the following spring.

If it is a bloom right through the whole summer you are looking for it is best to plant them in shade, not in full sun. Plant 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 flourish and give you stunning flowers through the summer months.


Bleeding Heart Flowers

Bleeding Heart flowers require soil that is extremely fertile and drained.

Remember bleeding heart plant 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 for the plant is to supply it with a few shovels of compost.

Put compost all around the base of the plant every spring.


Ensure that you water regularly and well, though not so much tha tyou turn the soil into a swamp.


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

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