Dicentra spectabilis is one of the most popular of old-fashioned garden plants. Bleeding hearts come into flower during late spring. Forming a small upright mound of light-green foliage, this variety has the appearance of a fern. Bright pink locket type flowers hang from arching stems and are excellent for cuttings. Dicentra spectabilis must be planted in a rich, moist soil with part shade and at a minimum protection from the hot sun in afternoons. This plant is native to forest-type environments, so the more mulch they are planted in the better.
After flowering, cut back the foliage to just over 6 inches. This will rejuvenate the plant; although it might go dormant by mid-summer. As a perennial it will return the next spring.
Winchester Gardens generally stocks this item.
Deep Pink, White
Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. After the first killing frost, cut stems back to an inch or two above soil line.
Hosta – Large hostas, such as Siebold hosta are excellent at filling in the void left when old-fashioned bleeding heart dies back to the ground in midsummer.
Heart-leaf brunnera – Heart-leaf brunnera makes a lovely combination with bleeding heart. Its bold foliage provides a contrast to the finely divided leaves of bleeding heart, while its airy blue flowers float above.
Lungwort – Lungwort makes an excellent foreground plant for bleeding heart. It blooms at the same time, but carries interest through summer with its silver-splotched foliage.