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Common Bleeding Heart

Dicentra spectabilis

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Common Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Dicentra spectabilis in bloom

Dicentra spectabilis in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Common Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Dicentra spectabilis flowers

Dicentra spectabilis flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  3 feet

Spacing:  30 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  1b

Other Names:  Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart

Ornamental Features

Common Bleeding Heart features delicate nodding pink heart-shaped flowers with white tips dangling from the stems from late spring to early summer. Its ferny compound leaves remain bluish-green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Common Bleeding Heart is an herbaceous perennial with a mounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Common Bleeding Heart is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Common Bleeding Heart will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 30 inches apart. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years. As this plant tends to go dormant in summer, it is best interplanted with late-season bloomers to hide the dying foliage.

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Garden 
Applications
Flowers  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features