What other word is more suitable to describe the flowers of the bleeding heart plant but delightful? This plant is responsible for coloring and cheering up your early spring with its bright pink and white flowers on green foliage.
The bleeding heart plant delicately decorates your garden, while requiring a small amount of attention from your side. You may have heard of it also by the nicknames Lady in the Bath or Lyre Flower. But almost certainly you will recognize its heart-shaped row of flowers.
What Is the Bleeding Heart Plant?
The Bleeding heart plant is scientifically known as Lamprocapnos spectabilis, formerly listed as Dicentra spectabilis. It is a hardy plant, according to the USDA (United States Agricultural Department), which means that it is not highly affected if you forget, occasionally, to wet it. You can grow it on well-drained, fertile soil, if you provide it direct sunlight (in cold climates), or partial shade (for warm areas).
As a perennial, the bleeding heart plant blossoms in early spring and summer, and it usually goes to being dormant in late summer, until the next year. The bleeding heart plant mainly impresses through its small pink, heart-shaped flowers, grouped in clusters of 20.
The flowers are considered perfect, as they contain both the reproductive organs types. Moreover, their petals have a small and white drop-alike hanging part, hence its name. The plant wonderfully attracts its main pollinators, hummingbirds.
Main Varieties of the Bleeding Heart Plant
The bleeding heart plant is the sole member of the Lamprocapnos family. So, it can only choose from varieties when it comes to the color of its flowers.
- Alba: Produces impressive and joyful white blooms;
- Valentine: Produces red-and-white flowers of intense colors, backed-up by red-tinted stems;
- Gold Heart: A more delicate variety, which compensates through the beauty of its rose flowers and golden foliage.
Its height ranges from 6 inches to 2 feet, therefore you won’t have trouble with offering it a suitable place in your garden. Hosta plants make ideal companions for all the varieties of the bleeding heart plant.
How to Grow a Bleeding Heart Plant in Your Garden
The bleeding heart plant loves shade and consistently moist soil. It can even survive in direct sunlight, during winter, if you wet it accordingly. You can plants this one by cultivating seeds from stores or from other friend plants. Once its blooming season passes, you may even notice that ants are responsible for the spread of bleeding heart plants, as they carry the seeds. Here are some tips for planting and caring for this garden beauty.
- In order to ease the accommodation of the seeds, first prepare a mix of hummus-rich, moist soil with compost and peat moss in a pot. The soil may be a bit alkaline. Note that the seeds only germinate in early spring.
- The roots grow up to 2 feet apart. Keep this in mind when planting the seeds or moving them to your garden.
- You only need to fertilize the bleeding heart plant once, during spring, while it is growing.
- In mid-summer, after the plant dies back, you can clean the dead foliage and provide it protection by adding a companion.
- The bleeding heart plant reaches maturity around 2 – 5 years. Pay attention to its spreading now, as plants tend to overcrowd. Its roots are thick and spread in a large network. At times, you might need to dig them, remove the rotten roots and divide the healthy ones.
- This plant tolerates drought and it is fire resistant. However, it grows spectacularly when it is accompanied by partial shade.
- All parts of the plant are poisonous and contain alkaloid toxins; so handle it with care. Use gloves while planting it. Beware of animals and children when they are around the blossoms.
- If you are sensitive, you may develop skin irritations. Other symptoms might include vomiting, diarrhea, impaired breathing, or convulsions.
To the Heart of Gardening
The bleeding heart plant is a show by itself. You can’t fail to notice it as soon as spring comes, or pass it by without admiring its delicate blossoms. This plant will easy become an important member of your garden. So, once you see it performing its act once, you may look forward to its next growing and blooming season.
Do you have bleeding heart plants in your garden? If so, how you care for them? Share your experience and tips with other readers!
The images are from pixabay.com.