Bleeding Heart Plant – Cold-Hardy Perennial

The beautiful bleeding heart plant (also known as Dicentra spectabilis) is a perennial shrub featuring heart-shaped vibrant pink or bright white flowers with a long petal extending below the heart.

The attractive fern like foliage is blue green in color.

Dicentra spectabilis grows up to 2-3 feet, with a spread of 1 - 3 feet wide. In late spring to early summer it produces horizontal, slightly curved stems lined with the amazing pendulous, heart-shaped flowers.

This plant is native to Asia. It can be planted year-round in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 – 9. In the landscape it can be planted and displayed in a container, or used as a bedding or border planting.

Bleeding heart plants are very easy to maintain, even for the casual gardener. They bloom in early spring and summer before dying back, and will reappear for years to come with proper care.

Growing Dicentra spectabilis – Basic Tips and Care Information

Bleeding Heart Plants get their common name for the spectacular heart-shaped flowers with long petals extending below the heart.

The long petals give the appearance of a bleeding heart. The flowers bloom on curving stems in the late spring to early summer months.

Once they become established, they are relatively easy to care for and maintain.


Bleeding Heart Plant does well in light to medium shade.


A half an inch of water per week from regular watering or from rainfall is ideal. Check soil moisture just under the soil surface to see if you need to water. If plant is well mulched it will not need to watered as frequently. This plant blooms longer and keeps healthier foliage if the soil is kept evenly moist.


Dicentra spectabilis performs best when planted in the spring or fall in moist, rich, well-drained soil in a location that receives partial to full shade.


Fertilize in early-spring - handful of general-purpose, slow-acting granular fertilizer should be sufficient. Sprinkle the fertilizer onto the soil around each plant – water the soil after applying the fertilizer. This will provide consistent nutrition over the season


To protect the soil, spread a one to two inch layer of mulch (chopped leaves, wood chips, or shredded bark, or dried grass) close to the base of the plant. This will help to conserve moisture and prevent weeds.


The easiest way to acquire more bleeding heart plants is to divide the root balls. After four to five years the root systems become large and crowded.

Dig up the mass of roots in early spring (when new growth is beginning). Carefully pull them apart in clumps of approximately six inches. Set the divided plants back into the soil, making sure they are spaced properly. Discard any old, withered roots (usually located near the center of the root ball.


When grown in the proper environment, this plant requires minimal maintenance. Cut back the foliage when it yellows and collapses – usually around mid-summer.

Display and Usage

Plant Dicentra spectabilis in mixed perennial beds or use as a border planting. A cool location that receives light to medium shade is ideal. This plant can also be displayed outdoors in containers.

Bleeding Heart Plants For Sale

Bleeding Heart Plants 'Burning Hearts' $25.95 - Bleeing Heart Burning Hearts, Dicentra 'Burning Hearts', adds color to the front of your shade border. This neat, compact dicentra blooms from mid spring until the first frost. Dicentra 'Burning Hearts' PPAF has deep rose-red, heart-shaped blossoms that are suspended on curved stems over the feathery blue-grey foliage.
Bleeding Heart Flowers Bleeding Heart 'Gold Heart' $24.95 - The Bleeding Heart 'Gold Heart', Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart' (CPBR#0974), is a fast-growing perennial with rose pink, heart-shaped flowers. The blooms look wonderful against its bright gold foliage.
Bleeding Heart Plant Pink Bleeding Heart $29.95 - The Bleeding Heart Spectabilis, 'Dicentra ‘spectabilis’, is a fast-growing perennial with pink, heart-shaped flowers. It is the most common variety in its species. The blooms look wonderful against its grayish foliage.


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