Bleeding Heart question?

gardenbug(8b)March 25, 2011

Zone 8a, Fraser Valley, BC

I planted my 3ft tall bleeding heart in a container last spring. Would it be safe to remove it from the pot and put it in the shade on the north side of my house right now? Thanks.

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flora2b(z6a bc)

Where has the pot been?
If the pot has been outside or in a unheated garage, then plant. These plants are hardy to zone 3 so you can't really hurt them.
I'm starting to plant perennials in my zone now and I'm colder than you.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 8:19PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

cadence - I think our climates are similar and my Bleeding Heart is pretty well in full bloom. So I'm sure yours is safe outdoors. The only problem I can foresee is trying to transplant and keep happy a plant in full growth. Make sure it is hardened off if it was inside and ensure it gets plenty of water.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 7:30AM
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Thank you.
Yes, my bleeding heart has been outside in a large terracotta pot all winter long, sitting in the shade beside the cedars. It is just beginning to sprout now about 1/4 inch above the soil. Do I need to do anything special when transplanting?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 12:55PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

At 1/4 inch it will be fine to transplant. Just make sure the new hole is big enough and that the soil is well cultivated. Water it well in. I would not amend the planting hole.

Our climates are obviously not as similar as I thought - my BH is in full bloom now.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 8:27AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Flora, most years we are quite similar (PNW, including Cadence), this one is a little off. We've been experiencing below normal temps, above normal rainfall, every week so far this year. Getting a bit of a slow start to Spring ;)

And a difficult freeze the last week of February that I can only remember happening one other time in the last several years.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 11:49AM
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Morz8 is right. Strange weather indeed and I'm still holding my breath that we don't get any more freezes. I remember last year in April we got a freeze and my hydrangea and lilac bulbs got hit pretty hard. The leaves on my hydrangea were black all summer. Dreadful!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 8:45PM
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Flora, thanks for your help on this. I will remove it from the pot next week. By the way, is there a safe way to take it out of the terracotta pot so I don't damage the roots? Thanks again for your help.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 8:49PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Hi cadence - can't think of any special tips. Just water it first then tip the pot on its side and jiggle it about a bit and hope the root ball loosens from the pot but stays in a clump. If the pot is small enough tip it upside down while holding your hand over the soil so it turns out into your hand like a sand castle..... you hope.... good luck. p.s. my BH is now 3 ft tall and in full bloom. They really are lovely plants.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 5:06PM
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Hi Flora, thank you. Your tips are really appreciated. I never would have thought of watering it first. Your BH sounds awesome. Last year, this bleeding heart got to be about 3' tall too. It was sooooo pretty. I hope grows nicely again this year. I'll just be patient and careful when I remove it from the pot. Thank you Flora.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 6:59PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Here you are, cadence, just to keep you going until yours is in bloom.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 6:26AM
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Wow, what a lovely garden Flora. Your bleeding heart is stunning in there. What are those pretty flowers in front of the bleeding heart? The one's that have sort of a burgundy colored rounded petals? Those are really pretty.

My garden faces north, so I'm wondering when the bleeding heart is finished what can I plant there that would come up in front of the bleeding heart. I'm not sure how this is done? I bought a hosta, (Hosta tardiana 'Halcyon' would that work? Should I plant it right in front of the bleeding heart? I looked at my bleeding heart today and it is growing all kinds of new sprouts. Yipppeee!

Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden with me.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 1:29PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

They are Hellebores, cadence. They been in flower for over 2 months and they gradually fade.

I can't grow hostas because of the slugs and snails. I have Pulmonarias instead which have simliar shaped and patterned leaves but are rougher textured. The hellebore leaves also grow up and fill in some space. Plus I have lots of self sown Meconopsis cambrica, common but useful in shade bed.

This is the same bed last month:

And here it is last May (looking at it from the other direction):

And this is it in September:

I have a tiny little garden. This bed is the shady side and there is another bed opposite which is only slightly brighter. I only grow stuff which is easy and dependable so I can let it look after itself most of the time. Sounds as if you could grow most of what I can in my climate. Nice 'talking' to you. Good gardening. Flora.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 2:05PM
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You have a very beautiful garden Flora. I can only 'dream'.
Thank you.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 10:43PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

No dreaming required. Just make a lot of homemade compost, find the plants that suit your garden and cram them in as thick as you can. I don't bother with anything fussy and nearly everything is perennial and tough.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 12:55PM
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Flora, thank you for your suggestions, and most of all for your encouragement. Happy Gardening!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 11:00AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

FYI you should rough up the roots when you plant it. You don't want to put potted plants right into the ground without roughing up the roots and snipping off any really thick ones that are growing in a circle. You want the roots to grow out into your soil not continue round and round like they are still in the pot.

Lovely garden Flora for sure. :)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 12:33PM
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Thanks BorS.
Yes, I will rough them up a bit. Should you do this with all plants? Sometimes the roots on a plant are really tightly bound, should you use a knife to serrate the roots somewhat?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 1:38AM
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nancyd(5/Rochester, NY)

I wouldn't worry about damaging the roots. I've divided bleeding heart many times and have not harmed it. I didn't read all these posts, but I'd dig up the entire plant. If the plant survived and has started growing you can see a small leaf spaced evenly along the tap root. If you cut the root at each of the spots, you can start another plant. Works for me every time. It's hard to kill bleeding heart. However, I would not do this until the growing cycle has begun.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 12:49PM
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cadence - I have variegated Japanese sedge grass 'Ice Dance' growing on the north side of my garage in front of my white bleeding heart. The sedge gets a haircut in March just as the bleeding heart is emerging. By the time the BH has finished blooming, the sedge grass has new growth on it and hides the deteriorating BH foliage. The sedge is a well-behaved ornamental grass that grows just 14-16 inches tall and about 20-24 inches in diameter.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 2:46PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Cadence, Yes, all plants and especially if the roots are tightly bound. They won't straighten out on their own. They can keep growing in a circle and choke the plant to death. You always want to tease them out straighter and may need to cut some off.

All of the various bleeding hearts do really well here in the PNW. They are all somewhat behind this year which has been horribly wet and cold even for here. I think I have over a dozen cultivars between spectabilis and formosa and eximia the three species.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 12:50PM
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How long do bleeding hearts stay in bloom? I'm a little south of Houston, Tx and have been wanting one, but DH says they don't bloom long enough. I've been eyeing the purple and red ones.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 5:56PM
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Not to mess with a marital conversation, but what is "long enough"? They don't like really hot weather, and will melt away into to dormancy. Even in New England that happens. It happens quicker when a hot spell comes too early. But they sure last longer in heat than daffodils or tulips which blast in one day.

For a few bucks, why not see for yourself? Then you can decide if you're getting a satisfactory return (for you) on your investment.

Good heavens, the plant barely costs more than a six pack of beer, and that is very short lived satisfaction!


    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 9:32PM
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WOW ~ love this thread & what a treat to see Flora's Oasis!!!

I planted my White BH in the front border, of the bed, many years ago w/o thinking of its hgt amongst Astilbes & H Serratas in the back. It has gotten 2.5ft & wide & has given me little babes. I think I need to move her to another site & show her off more as her white string of blossoms seem to light up the dark ~ she was first to bloom along w/ Daffies ~ as Marie said Daffs & Tulips are gone & BH still looking great ~ do I have to wait after the blooms are gone to move her?
BTW Flora thank you for posting your lovely perennial treasure!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 6:00PM
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Leytonlady(NE Ohio 6)

I have a similar question to ditaz'. I'm new to this forum and have a bleeding heart that is about 2.5 feet across (when blooming) and is tucked in near an air conditioner (facing East). I would like to divide it and leave part of it where it is as it seems to like it there, and plant 1 or 2 parts elsewhere. When is the best time for dividing it, what is the best way, and will it take to facing North in almost total shade? I'm not experienced with bleeding heart as it was inherited along with my in-laws home.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 10:01AM
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Hello L~l - I havent't yet dared to relocate my BH as her blossoms are still going good & the babies are growing. I'm afraid to try to move the little ones as I'm not familiar w/ the root system of this pretty perennial ~ I fear hurting the roots of the established mother plant. My Pink one did not survive years ago ~ don't want to lose this white one!

I still await response to our ?? ~ I hope a few in this thread will chime in! Ll ~ is your plant still in bloom?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 4:21PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I have divided D. eximia and formosa cultivars but never spectabilis.

D. spectabilis is the one that only blooms in spring and then goes dormant in summer heat.

D. eximia and formosas usually keep on blooming and stay green in summer.

This is 'King of Hearts' and it blooms for a long time and does not go summer dormant

'Luxuriant' also blooms for months and doesn't go dormant

This is D. spectabilis 'Gold Heart' which only blooms a month or so and then goes dormant

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 8:36PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Pretty Dicentras, buyorsell. I would like to have that 'Luxuriant' and the gold one is pretty too.

I divided and transplanted a couple Dicentra spectablis last fall (around early November). They were completely dormant, so it's hard to find the plants, but some old shoots were still visible. Also you can put a marker next to the plant when they are going dormant.

Fall seems to be a good time to dig them as they responded beautifully this Spring. I've also transplanted in early Spring when the shoots are just popping up and that works well too. Mine are in mostly shade, but I suppose they could take full shade, with fewer blooms.

Here's the plants that were divided and moved last fall -

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 9:31PM
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Bos ~ Thanks for posting photos of your D collection ~ to drool over ~ I'll check them out for hgt so as not to make mistakes again.

Are those Lamiums in Photos #s2&3 ~ love the nearly, fully silver w/ just a thin edge of green. I have *L Pewter Pink* but she's so petite. & I made a mistake of planting *L Arc Angel* (sorry to say a thug, to have such a name) ~ have to patrol the site closely!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 10:20PM
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WOW terrene ~ all these from just a couple you divided?! Beautiful ~ I'll have to get a pink one now ~ lost mine years ago!!! Do your pinks also self sow?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 9:50AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Yes, Lamiums and weeds....I planted a bunch of them last year after having only 'Pink Nancy' for years.

One can barely see a white dicentra to the far right in the photo with 'Gold Heart' it has blue gray foliage and blooms for months. Has worked it's way all through that part of the bed. Don't know it's name, have had it for at least a decade. It isn't a spectabilis.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 7:08PM
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Thanks for your reply ~ do you happen to remember the name of this particular Lamium? I need to dig up a couple of Undulata Hostas (I suspect HVX Issue) & wish to just cover the area w/a few more silvery looking Lamium. BTW Is the *Gold Heart* boosted up or really a tall BH?

The one & only I have, is the white spectabilis that keeps her string of hearts for a long time & is still doing great ~ she produced her hearts at the same time as the Daffodils flashed open. Some of the earlier heart are turning to seed pods now as well! I have a 3 babies around the mother - I suppose I could relocate them at this point right?


    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 11:01PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Yes, Gold Heart is really that tall, this year. We've had extraordinary amounts of rain, even for PNW and it is taller than ever. It does seem to be more vigorous that the regular one. I have one near it and it is half the size and always sort of spindly. I've killed Alba several times, but I assume you can relocate seedlings safely now.

I can't identify which Lamium that is without flowers on it.

I can't tell the foliage apart except for the one not in the picture that has yellow on it too. I have four of the silver ones that all look alike except for the flowers.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 11:14AM
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I'm in zone 5b and have Lamium (Dead Nettle) under a Norway Maple which has become a dry shade spot. The Pink Nancy even thrives there under probably one of the worst conditions.
I'd say it's the only thing really that performs there at all.
Three cheers for Lamium.
I have Sweet Woodruff as an underplanting with the Common Bleeding Heart. It helps shade the roots and looks nice

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 8:11PM
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My bleeding heart plant is already 3 feet tall (it's April 29th) with beautiful flowers and leaves and strong stems. After about a week of beautiful dark pink flowers, they started turning white, and after a few days dissappearing!! I have hollies and rose of sharon nearby with curled leaves that I suspect are being eaten by aphids, so I'm wondering if aphids are eating the bleeding hearts too. And if so, what to do about it. Lyd in NJ

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 2:24PM
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The longevity of flowers is dependent on pollination. If a flower becomes pollinated(fertilized), then there is no reason for a plant to keep it longer. Ants love to spread seed of BH. In my case they transported thousands of them into my greenhouse.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 3:10PM
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Hello, I just cut back my bleeding heart because it was beginning to yellow. I probably should have done it earlier, but I'm not sure. It was lush and green until last week. Any thoughts?


    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 1:21PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Letting the plant keep its leaves until they are yellow allows it to put energy into the tubers and make for a stronger plant the next year. They most often yellow as the weather gets hot. With the rain and cool weather we have had this year mine are still green.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 1:28PM
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