Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)

Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart

Romantic pink and white blooms, there are few plants as romantic, iconic, and intriguing as the Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)! The Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart is a showy, reliable, and whimsical choice for your spring garden. This shade-loving and classic variety offers an exceptional spring display with its bright pink, heart-shaped puffy blooms.

All it takes is one glance at the Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart to understand why this plant is a garden must-have! The Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart produces strings of perfectly plump and delightfully pink outer petals and white inner petals that form the “drop”. And it’s impossible not to love how these flowers dangle and drip, creating one of the most unique garden sensations you will find.

Only growing to a ferny, fringed mound of elegant green foliage that’s 2-3 feet tall and wide, the mounds gracefully arch, cascade and drape themselves over the ground beautifully! In stark contrast to this delicate-looking plant’s appeal, is the extreme cold-hardiness and heat tolerance of these herbaceous perennials throughout USDA growing zones 3 through 9!

Planting and Application:

With racemes that erupt with blooms as elegant, stunning, and unique as high-fashion jewelry and foliage that holds its own in light of the breathtaking blooms, a Bleeding Heart is a true joy to grow! Any formal shady garden border, Cottage garden, or fanciful Children’s Garden just seems complete with a Bleeding Heart!

It pairs well with other shade-lovers like Hostas, Coral Bells, and Columbines because as these perennials fill in, they provide shade and protection for your Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart as it bids your garden adieu. Likewise, pair with larger shrubs that may not leaf out until later in the spring. Plant your Bleeding Heart around their bases so their later-emerging leaves cover these summer-shy perennials!

Thriving in higher moisture areas, tuck a few Bleeding Hearts around the outskirts of a Rain Garden or water feature! Under trees and larger shrubs, Bleeding Hearts bask in the welcome understory and are the perfect facer perennials to hide larger plants’ bare legs with a lacy skirting of green. No proper Shade Garden or shady side of your home’s foundation seems complete without a few Bleeding Hearts!

  • Exquisite Puffed Rosy-Pink & White Blooms
  • Heart-Shaped Dangling Flowers
  • Finely-Textured Cut-Leaf Foliage
  • Contrasting Arching Stems
  • Classic Shade Garden Beauty
  • Containers, Edging & Borders, Wildness & Understory Forest Gardens

Tips for Care:

Make the most of every inch of your garden with an Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart. It loves partial shade and won’t make a fuss if you let it do its thing. These plants appreciate regular, consistent moisture and a 3-4 inch layer of mulch over their root systems. Plant in any kind of enriched, organic well-drained soil for best results.

In some areas, Bleeding Heart self-seed, so in out-of-the-way locations allow them to spread and colonize your shady glens and understories, or deadhead right after the blooms fade to keep them in one place year after year. As a tender herbaceous perennial, it goes dormant in the heat of summer. But then this perennial reliably reappears each spring, and you will be delighted all over again! Clean up the mound by pruning away the leaves and stems as soon as they’ve yellowed in late summer or fall.

  • Partial Shade-Loving Perennial
  • Consistent Moisture & Mulched Beds
  • Any Enriched, Well-Drained Soil
  • Deadhead After Blooms Fade & Prune After Foliage Yellows
  • Low-Maintenance & Very Easy Care

These lovely and classic shade garden flowers offer an elegant display come spring. If your garden has yet to be blessed with a Bleeding Heart, the Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart is a great start! Be sure to prepare your camera, this photogenic beauty is sure to steal your heart and the show.

Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) Details

Common name Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart
Botanical name Dicentra spectabilis
Plant type Perennial
Hardiness zone 3-9
Growth rate Medium
Height 2 - 3 ft.
Width 2 - 3 ft.
Sunlight Partial Shade
Moisture Consistent & Medium
Soil condition Well Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Pruning time After Foliage Yellows
Flower color Pink & White