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How to Grow Bleeding Heart Perennial Flower Plant


Dicentra Spectabilis

Bleeding Heart is a perennial, herbaceous flower plant. Its name comes from the heart shaped flowers. The scarlet petals resemble a drop of blood dripping off a heart. The leaves are fern-like.

Bleeding Heart plants are native to Asia and North America.

Not surprisingly, the prospect of love is associated with Bleeding Hearts.  According to legend, it can predict whether you have found your true love. Step on the flower. If red juice comes out, you have found your true love. If the sap from the flower is white, then the person you are thinking of, is not your true lover.

Bleeding Hearts look good growing as a border plant, or in clusters. They also make good house plants.


Plant Propagation:

Bleeding Hearts are propagated through rhizomes (their roots). Dig up rhizomes and separate. Make sure that each segment  you are re-planting has an eye or two.

The flowers also produce seeds, which take longer to grow.


How to Grow Bleeding Heart Flowers:

This shade loving plant prefers warm to hot weather, and a rich well draining soil.

Plant rhizomes in the spring.

Keep the soil moist throughout the growing season.

Apply a general purpose fertilizer every 6 to 8 weeks, especially if the native soil is not rich.

Mulch around the plants, to help retain soil moisture.

The flowers bloom in the spring, In cooler areas, they may re-bloom again in the summer.

At the end of the season, cut plants back to 1 to 2 inches above the soil level. Or, pot the plants and move them indoors as a winter houseplant.


Medicinal Uses:

The North American Pacific varieties have medicinal uses. Some varieties have poisonous roots. The leaves of other varieties can cause skin irritation. Make sure you are knowledgeable about the varieties, before using this plant for medicinal purposes.

Medicinal uses include:

  • Bee stings

  • Helps ease pain and aches from sprains when added to a hot compress.

  • Reduces anxiety and induces calmness

  • Stomach pains

  • Relieves asthma

  • Relieves diarrhea




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