Bleeding Heart

Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart
Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart

My annual blog on my favorite spring perennial – the Bleeding Heart.

One of the pleasures of having perennials starting in the greenhouse every spring is that you get to watch the plants growing starting in mid-March.   The white bleeding heart in the greenhouse has started blossoming and are quickly finding new homes.   My bleeding heart are up and are just starting the set their flower buds and will soon be blossoming.

The delicate looking – but tough – flowers hang out over the foliage with their heart shaped flowers which will certainly bring a smile to your face.   These plants are a stalwart to the shade garden.  I have several in my shade gardens and my oldest bleeding heart has been welcoming spring for over 15 years!  It is the anchor to one of my annual beds and when June comes and the bleeding heart begins it’s annual trip into dormancy, the annuals take over.

The bleeding heart grows anywhere from 18″ to 36″ tall – depending on variety and site conditions.  When blossoming, you should have these beautiful pink flowers (or red) from late spring into the beginning of summer.  The flowers on my plants begin to wane in early June.  Plant your bleeding heart where you have well drained soil, and in part shade.

Gallium - Sweet Woodruff
Gallium – Sweet Woodruff

In the corner of my hosta garden – way at the end – I have my gold leafed bleeding heart.  From the kitchen window when I look out you can see the gold foliage and it lights up that corner, and becomes a beacon when the sun peeks through the tree canopy.  Mixed in with hosta collection and groundcovers, the flowers fade in June but the foliage of the gold leafed bleeding heart will stand proud with its gold color through most of the summer, finally succumbing to dormancy in late August well after my old fashioned bleeding heart.