Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Plant Profile: Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding Hearts (Lamprocapnos spectabilis, formerly Dicentra spectabilis) look so enchanting in the garden with their neat rows of hanging hearts in mid-spring. This old-fashioned favorite is also known as lyre flower, lady’s locket, and lady-in-the-bath.

This woodland perennial likes to be planted in some shade with a bit of morning sun. It prefers soil that is moist, but well-draining with lots of composted leaf mold added in for amendment. It is hardy from USDA Zones 2 through 8.

This plant goes dormant in the heat and humidity of summer in our Mid-Atlantic region, so place them among ferns and hosta, which will fill in as the bleeding hearts die back.

It can reach a height of two to three feet and forms loose, bushy clumps. It has a thick, fleshy root that can be divided and replanted in late winter just before the spring growth starts. It can also self-seed, unless it is a sterile variety.

The common garden variety has blooms of rosy-pink, but the white version is just as lovely.

Newer cultivars like 'Ruby Gold' and ‘King of Hearts' can have different colored flowers and foliage. Some of these are quite spectacular.

There is also a native fringed bleeding heart (Dicentra eximia). It is a bit more demure than the cultivated varieties, but just as enchanting.

Bleeding Hearts - You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.

Visuals by Khloe Quill
Audio by Kathy Jentz


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