How to Grow Bleeding Heart Flowers

Tips for growing and caring for Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding Hearts are low maintenance, fast growing perennials that are great for shady areas.

They can be grown directly in the garden or planted in large containers for gorgeous summer blooms.

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Bleeding heart flowers

Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra spectabilis), also known as Asian Bleeding Hearts are native to Northern China, Korea, Japan and Siberia. [1]

They have beautiful heart shaped flowers in red, pink and white.

HOW TO GROW BLEEDING HEARTS

Best Soil for Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding Hearts like rich, fertile soil. Before planting, dig some compost into the area and mulch around the plants to reduce moisture loss.

How much sunlight do Bleeding Hearts need?

Bleeding Hearts prefer to grow in cool, shady areas.

In cool climate areas, they can be planted in a spot where they will get partial sun or even full sun if the weather is cool enough.

When do Bleeding Hearts bloom?

Bleeding Hearts flower from summer to fall but they may take a couple of seasons to bloom after planting.

Bleeding Heart flowers in garden

How tall do Bleeding Hearts grow?

There are many different varieties of Bleeding Hearts that range from 1.5 feet (45 cm) to 3 feet (90 cm) tall.

Growing Bleeding Hearts from Seeds

The seeds can be scattered in the garden in late fall and they will sprout in spring when the ground warms up.

Bleeding Hearts also self-seed readily.

Growing Bleeding Hearts from Cuttings

To propagate Bleeding Hearts from cuttings, take a 6 inch (12 cm) section of stem and trim off the lower leaves.

Place the cuttings in moist perlite or sand and roots will form in about 6 weeks.

The best time to take cuttings is straight after the plant has finished flowering.

Important Note: All parts of the plant are poisonous and can cause skin irritation. It’s a good idea to wear gloves and long sleeves when working with Bleeding Hearts.

Dividing Bleeding Hearts

The clumps will need to be divided every 2 to 3 years to keep them healthy and prevent them from growing too big.

Growing bleeding hearts

Water Requirements

Bleeding Hearts need to be watered regularly throughout the growing season, especially in hot weather. The soil should be consistently moist but not waterlogged. Adding a layer of mulch can help to keep the roots moist in warm weather.

Pests & Diseases

Bleeding Hearts can be affected by slugs, snails, aphids and leaf spot.

Pruning

After the plants have finished flowering, deadhead the spent flowers to tidy up the plant.

Once the foliage starts to turn yellow, the whole plant can be cut back to ground level.

Pink Bleeding Heart flowers

Companion Planting

Bleeding Hearts can be grown alongside other shade loving perennials like Astilbe, Hosta or Hydrangea

Can Bleeding Hearts be grown in containers or pots?

Bleeding Hearts can be grown in large containers with well-drained, rich potting soil. Perlite or peat moss can be added to the potting mix to improve drainage.

Can Bleeding Hearts grow in full sun?

Bleeding Hearts prefer shady areas, but in cool climates they can be grown in a spot with full sun or partial shade.

Are Bleeding Hearts Frost Tolerant?

Bleeding Hearts become dormant at the end of summer or early fall and reappear again in spring, so frost shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

A thick layer of mulch over the soil will protect the roots from winter frosts.

How to grow bleeding hearts

Bleeding Hearts are easy perennial flowers for beginner gardeners to grow.

They’re great for shady corners of the garden and they don’t need much ongoing care.

Just be sure to keep the roots moist and deadhead the old flowers and they’ll reward you with their gorgeous blooms all summer and even into fall.

Have you tried growing Bleeding Hearts in your garden? Let me know in the comments below.

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How to grow bleeding heart flowers

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Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin. I'm passionate about gardening and horticulture and I love growing just about everything including herbs, vegetables, flowers, succulents and indoor plants. I've been gardening most of my life and I created this blog to inspire beginner gardeners to create their own urban garden. Read more

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. This is the first time I saw this plant. It looks lovely. I hope we have seedlings of this plant in my country.

  2. Wow, I actually really love these flowers! They’re just so pretty!

  3. I’ve never seen bleeding heart flowers before. They are so pretty! I would love to grow them at our home.

  4. One of my wife’s favorite flowers! The fact that they’re perennials makes it easier to maintain.

  5. These are so stunning!! I have never seen them before, not sure if they’d like the climate in Australia. I’m more into growing succulents and cacti.

  6. Beautiful flowers! I am wondering if they would also grow good in tropical climate? I want lots of flowering plants because they are like therapy for me. I will research more about this pretty flower and how to care for it.

  7. I had this one in my garden but it has cut-off! I love this flower, it’s so cute. I had white and red colored bleeding hearts. But i will again plant them!

  8. I get these flowers for my mom for her birthday every year!! She loves them

  9. Wow, I love this bleeding flower plant. The best thing about this plant is that it’s frost tolerant and won’t die in winter.

  10. I had never heard of bleeding heart flowers. In fact i don’t think I’ve seen them before but that’s exactly what they look like. Wow. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I’ve never seen this plant in person but it is beautiful, plus the name is unique. Does it grow in tropics like in my country?

    1. Bleeding hearts grow best in cool, shady areas so they’re probably not the best flower for the tropics, sorry. They really are a beautiful and unique flower plant.

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