The bleeding hearts are pouring their hearts out right now! Graceful, arching stems are strung with pink, white or red heart shaped flowers that appear as though they are dripping. I often hear people reminisce about the bleeding hearts in their Grandmother’s or Mother’s gardens. Generations later, it’s still a classic perennial for part shade and shaded garden beds or borders. Bleeding hearts are long lived, hardy and low maintenance perennials. They can tolerate a wide range of soils provided they receive consistent moisture and are well drained. Clumps will mature to be 30-36” tall and wide, which might seem large, until you remember that summer dormancy is normal for bleeding hearts. They won’t take up that entire footprint for the whole season. This makes them excellent companion plants for summer bloomers.
Newer varieties of bleeding heart include Dicentra spectabilis ‘Valentine’. These produce a deeper pink almost red blossom. ‘Gold Heart’ blooms in the classic pink but against vivid gold foliage making it really stand out in the garden.