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Dicentra spectabilis

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Bleeding heart

Easy to grow with spectacular flowers

This classic cottage garden favourite makes a lush mound of bright green, fern-like leaves then in spring, long arching stems dripping with rose pink, locket-shaped flowers emerge. 

Where?

Best in partial shade. Ideal for a border, woodland garden or container. 

How?

Plant in fertile, well-drained soil. Enrich the soil with organic matter before planting - homemade garden compost or well rotted manure is fine. Use a good quality potting compost for container growing.

Introduced to Britain in 1840 by the plant collector Robert Fortune

Plant details


In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Perennial herbaceous
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available April - September
Season of interest Spring, Summer
Flowering May - June
Evergreen No
Plant height 50 cm - 100 cm
Plant width 50 cm - 100 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Hazardous Yes
Attracts bees No
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 100 cm
Medicinal No
Hardiness zone (?) H7

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Chalk, Clay, Loam
Light exposure Part shade
Soil drainage Well drained, Moist
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Cottage garden, Informal garden, Flower border and beds

Typically available

From April to September