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Fernleaf bleeding heart

By: Garden Gate staff
Unlike old-fashioned bleeding heart, which usually goes dormant in the summer, fernleaf bleeding heart blooms from midspring to fall.

bleeding heart

plant pick

Fernleaf bleeding heart Dicentra hybrids

From midspring to fall, fernleaf bleeding heart’s arching flower stems dangle delicate blooms above bunches of lacy foliage. Most flowers have shades of red or pink, like ‘Luxuriant’, at left, but it’s possible to find white bloomers, like ‘Snowdrift’.

Bleeding heart is easy to care for. Deadheading? Optional. Dividing in spring? Optional. Staking? Unnecessary. In fact, with just a 3-in. layer of compost placed over the roots in spring, and a consistent watering schedule, this hardy plant will be happy! However, it does reseed readily, so if you don’t want a large stand of bleeding heart, pull seedlings in spring. If you plan on letting this perennial set seed, keep in mind that it can hybridize easily. Plant more than one cultivar in your garden, and you may get a surprise mix of flower colors next year.

TYPE Perennial SIZE 1 to 2 ft. tall and 18 in. wide BLOOM Red, pink or white blooms from spring to fall LIGHT Part to full shade SOIL Moist, well-drained PESTS None serious HARDINESS Cold: USDA zones 3 to 8; Heat: AHS zones 8 to 1

Learn about other great perennials in Great Plant Combos Made Easy at right!

Published: April 21, 2009
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