Bleeding Heart


1. Light/Sun Exposure - As indicated below.

  • 'Luxuriant' - Full sun to part shade.
  • Old Fashioned 'White' - Full to part shade.
  • Old Fashioned 'Pink' - Full to part shade.
  • 'Valentine' - Full to part shade.


2. USDA Hardiness Zones - 3 to 9.

3. Planting Distance - As indicated below.

  • 'Luxuriant' - 12 to 18 inches apart in ground.
  • Old Fashioned 'White' - 2 to 3 feet apart in ground.
  • Old Fashioned 'Pink" - 2 to 3 feet apart in ground.
  • 'Valentine' - 24 inches apart in ground.

4. Mature Height/Spread - As indicated below.

  • 'Luxuriant' - 12 to 15 inches tall with a similar spread.
  • Old Fashioned 'White' - 2 to 3 feet tall with a similar spread.
  • Old Fashioned 'Pink" - 2 to 3 feet tall with a similar spread.
  • 'Valentine' - 30 inches tall with a similar spread.

5. Bloom Time - Mid to late spring.

Note:  After blooming, Old-Fashioned Bleeding Hearts usually go dormant until the following spring. However, if plants are kept well-watered during the spring, dormancy may be delayed until late summer or early fall.

6. Planting Instructions - Dig a hole at least twice as wide and twice as deep as the bare root divisions received. Place the bare root plant in the hole with the buds (or eyes) of the plants pointing up. Spread the roots out and pull the soil over the plant so the buds are only 1-inch below the soil surface. Firm the soil around the plant with your fingers. Water thoroughly.


Dicentra is one of the first shade-loving perennial groups to come into bloom in mid-May, and contrary to common belief they will thrive in the sun provided they get sufficient moisture.  Originally described as very curious and beautiful, immensely hardy, beautiful foliage and a long bloom period, they became the rage of the 19th century as they were very easy to grow. 

Old-fashioned Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) produces sprays of deep pink or white heart-shaped flowers Bleeding Heart is a hardy perennial best grown in well drained soil in partial shady areas. Plants produce feathery foliage and arching stems covered with heart-shaped flowers in May to June. Bleeding Heart has a summer resting period and by late summer, the stems die back, often disappearing entirely by August. Hardy, low-maintenance plant is the perfect companion to hostas and ferns and is great for cutting. Grows 2 to 3 feet tall and spreads 3 feet across in partial to full shade.

Luxuriant - This bleeding heart cultivar features deeply-cut, fern-like, grayish-green foliage which persists throughout the growing season and cherry red, nodding, heart-shaped flowers carried above the foliage on long, leafless, leaning stems. Plant typically grows to 15 inches tall. Bloom begins in late spring. In cooler climates, flowering may continue throughout the summer, but in the hotter climates the flowering generally stops.  Possible rebloom occurring when the weather cools in late summer or early fall.  It also seems to tolerate more sunlight and summer heat than most other varieties. Unlike the Common Bleeding Heart, 'Luxuriant' will not go dormant in midsummer as long as the soil is kept moist. Given adequate moisture, foliage remains attractive in summer, and may produce an attractive groundcover effect.

Valentine is a new spin on an old-fashioned favorite. Blooms are suspended on graceful, arching stems that emerge in late spring. Each deep red, heart-shaped blossom is accented by a white center.


Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office.  These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance.  See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:

1.  Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.

2.  To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2-4 inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.

3.  After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.


Water - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground.  Do not allow plants in containers to dry out.  In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat.  You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e.,in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).

Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures and to discourage weed growth.

Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with other plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.

Grooming- Clip off dead or unsightly growth to maintain attractive form and shape. Deadhead or remove flowers when blooms have faded, leaving as much foliage as possible.  As long as the foliage remains green it will gather sunlight and transmit energy into the root system for the following growing season.  

Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.

Winterizing - The time to protect your plants in the garden is after the ground has frozen. At that time, a covering of a loose, non-compacting mulch or soil "hilled" 3 to 4 inches around the base of each plant should be used for winter protection.

For container planting, move plants next to your home's southern foundation for added warmth and protection. They may also be moved into an unheated, protected area such as a garage or cellar. If moved to a protected area be sure you water them well once every 7 to 10 days.

In spring, remove mulch from in-ground plantings and remove any dead or damaged parts on any plants.  Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance.  


CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.