Why Bleeding Hearts Make Great Plants for Beginners

Bleeding hearts are are grown in gardens for their tall stalks with small, pale pink or white flowers. They are easy plants for beginners…

Bleeding Hearts | Dicentra | Great beginners plants
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Bleeding hearts are an intriguing and unusual shape and are grown in gardens for their tall stalks with small, pale pink or white flowers. They bloom from spring to early summer and are well suited for the shade garden. Their longevity makes them a popular choice for the shade garden. However, caring for them requires attention to ensure their health.

The cool, humid forests of the Pacific Northwest and Eastern slopes of the Appalachian Mountains in North America are where this charming plant can be found. It does quite well as a house plant or shade plant in the garden because it demands little light (10 hours or less) and is tolerant of cool temperatures.

Bleeding hearts have tall stalks with clusters of small, pale pink or white flowers from spring to early summer. They are commonly grown in gardens for their interesting and unusual shape. Bleeding hearts are often recommended for the shade garden, and for good reason. They are a long-lived perennial, but they require some attention to keep them healthy.

In this article you will learn more about Bleeding Hearts – its various types of care, growing conditions, propagation methods and more!

About Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding Hearts are so-called because their flowers (see below) resemble… a bleeding heart! That may sound trite but they do. It’s no wonder that the person who discovered them decided that’s what they should be called.

It’s nothing to do with the derogatory term of the same name used to describe people who are excessively or performatively ‘sympathetic’ toward another person or group’s real or imagined problems, (traditionally to denigrate more liberal politicians).

It’s the common name for a group of plants called Dicentra. The Latin dicentra means “double spur” and spectabilis means “showy” or “spectacular”. The two spurs on each flower are the reason for the name.

What’s So Special About Bleeding Hearts?

Bleeding Hearts flowers are adored for their delicate, beautifully coloured blossoms. The flowers come in pink, white, and red colours, and resemble butterflies.

In addition to being spotted in woodland gardens, these beautiful flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators. This plant is a wonderful way to draw wildlife to your backyard or garden.

Its other claim to fame aside from its gorgeous blossoms is its unusual habit of growth. The plant is a low-growing, mound-forming perennial when grown in the ground, but when grown as an indoor plant, it grows upright and produces a stunning yellow-gold crown.

How to Care for Bleeding Hearts?

It’s wiser to begin your Bleeding Heart plants in a larger container if you want to grow them indoors, as this makes repotting them easier down the road. If you want to grow them outdoors, you should select a container large enough to accommodate the plant’s mature size.

Bleeding Hearts thrive when grown indoors and require warm, humid conditions. Careful shielding from direct sunlight is necessary until the plant is well established, although a shaded, brightly lit location is preferred.

They require moist, well-drained soil with excellent porosity. You can enhance the soil by mixing perlite or vermiculite into it.

Growing Conditions for Bleeding Hearts

There are various types of Bleeding Hearts, and they can be grown in either partial or complete shade. The ideal soil for growing is a well-drained, organic-rich soil that stays relatively moist but not swampy.

You can raise them from seeds or cuttings. Remember that these plants prefer cool weather. During the growing season, they prefer 60-70° Fahrenheit temperatures, with 50° at night.

Propagation of Bleeding Hearts

You can start growing them from seeds or root divisions, although most gardeners begin with seeds. To germinate, they require only damp and warm conditions, making them an easy plant to grow from seed.

The growing medium should be kept moist but not soggy, or the seeds will rot. They produce flowering plants after 3 to 5 years from seed. They can be grown from root divisions or propagated by cutting. A flowering plant will be produced in one or two years.

Where to buy


When choosing an indoor plant or shade-loving outdoor plant, the lovely Bleeding Heart is an outstanding choice. Because of its large root system, however, it should be planted in large pots or containers if not in your borders or beds outside.

Bleeding Hearts are an exceptional choice for homes with little light, as they are simple to grow from seeds and require little maintenance once established. If you prefer native plants and want to grow them indoors, this is also a good option.

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