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Dicentra

dicentra.jpgDICENTRA SPECTABILIS bare root jpgDicentra (dye-sent-ruh) Bleeding-Heart; Fumitory Family (Fumariaceae). Long-lived perennials, with fern-like, deeply cut leaves, and charming flowers of unusual heart shape in pendant sprays.

D.eximia (ex-im-ee-uh), Fringed Bleeding Heart. One of the most tolerant of sun, partial or full shade, and the species having the longest flowering season – from spring to fall. The flowers are rose pink. Attains 1 to 1 ½ foot height. Self-sows readily and easily transplanted.

D. spectabilis (spek-tab-il-iss); Common Bleeding Heart. Easily the handsomest species, this is a hardy long-lived perennial from Japan, up to 2 feet tall, with elegantly arching sprays of rose-colored, heart shaped blooms. Blooms from April to June.

Dicentra is most at home in part to full shade woodland settings. It likes rich, loose soil that is evenly moist but also well-drained. At planting time, add lots of compost, humus, or peat moss to the soil to enhance its water retention capabilities. Plants will not grow well in heavy clay soils. Dicentra should be planted in locations that are protected from high winds and early frosts, such as the edges of woodlands or on the north or east sides of buildings. Dicentra may be propagated by division in either spring or fall, taking great care to keep the fleshy roots intact when transplanting. If spent flowers are not removed, small pods develop and drop their seeds when mature and dry. If these seeds are left undisturbed, they will germinate the following spring. The resulting plantlets are easy to transplant while they are still small.

dicentra-spectabilis-old-fashioned-bleeding-heart.jpgUse as border plants, in containers, for cut flowers, for edging, and in mass plantings. Racemes make delightful additions to fresh bouquets, lasting about 2 weeks in a vase. Attracts hummingbirds. Deer resistant.

PLANTING: Set plants 12 to 24 inches apart, depending on species. Choose a shady or partly shaded location, where the soil is rich, humusy and well-drained. D. x ' Luxuriant' can be grown in full sun. 

MAINTENANCE: Plants should be watered during periods of drought. We recommend a summer mulch to help conserve moisture, as well as a protective mulch in winter. D. spectabilis tends to go dormant in midsummer. It is unlikely that division will become necessary, but if it does, divide in spring. Zones 3-9.

Dicentra 2 to 5 eye bare root divisions would typically fit into a 1 to 2-gallon container.

  • Dicentra 'Pink Diamonds'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Dicentra 'Pink Diamonds' PPAF (20)ct Flat

    Dicentra 'Pink Diamonds' PPAF CPBRAF - Proven Winners®(20)ct Flat Common Name: Fern-leaved Bleeding Heart'Pink Diamonds' explodes with flowers in late spring to early summer and blooms throughout the season. Pink flowers open light pink and show a...

    $236.28
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  • Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart'

    Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart' (20)ct Flats

    Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart' s a/k/a Bleeding Heart-Old-Fashioned Zones 3 to 9; Part shade to full shade. Mature size 18 to 24 inch height, spreads 24 to 36 inches. Radiant yellow foliage in spring creates a brilliant focal point Pink and white...

    $169.08
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  • Dicentra s. Alba

    Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba' (25) BR Plants

    Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba' Common Name: Bleeding Heart-Old-Fashioned Zones 3 to 9; Part shade to full shade. Mature size 30 inch height, spreads 18 to 36 inches. In late spring, chains of puffy, white, heart-shaped flowers dangle beneath the arching,...

    $206.60
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  • Dicentra spectabilis

    Dicentra spectabilis (25) BR Plants

    Dicentra spectabilis a/k/a Bleeding Heart Zones 3 to 9; Part shade to full shade. Mature size 30 to 36 inch height, spreads 30 to 36 inches. Large, bushy clumps of powdery-green foliage comprised of cut or lobed leaves on fleshy stems. In late spring,...

    $190.60
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  • Dicentra 'Luxuriant'

    Dicentra 'Luxuriant' (25) BR Plants

    Dicentra 'Luxuriant' a/k/a Bleeding Heart- Fern-leaved; Western Bleeding Heart. Zones 3 to 9; Full sun to full shade. Mature size 12 to 15 inch height, spreads 12 to 18 inches. Cherry red, heart-shaped blooms dangle above spreading mounds of ferny,...

    $189.40
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