It's official, I've LOST it! Bleeding Heart not Columbine

happygardener_2006June 15, 2011

Jeez Louise, my previous post asking about Columbine, should have been about Bleeding Heart!!

They are together, the Columbine is fine, it's the BH that I should have inquired about.

So can I cut it back? When to transplant, worry about the taproot.

Blessed are the cracked for they let in the light!

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TulsaRose, Tulsa OK(7a)

Blessed are the cracked for they let in the light! This could be my theme song! lol!

Lots of good info at the link below for your BH. You can probably browse around there and find info for the Columbines, too. :-)


Here is a link that might be useful: Bleeding Heart Care

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 8:23AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Which bleeding heart? The old fashioned spectabilis should be going dormant soon anyway. I would not cut it back.

I cut and pull my native ones back often because they are rather aggressive here.

I'd move in early spring.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 11:11AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

good luck happy.. keep up with those plant ID's... lol

been there.. done that.. made fun of myself too ..


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 6:52PM
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Our several bleeding heart, which we inherited with the home we bought, have self-propagated all over our garden. This past spring, my husband decided (against my better judgement) to move some of them to the front of our slightly raise gardens. We left for six weeks, and upon our return this week, they have more than flourished to the extent that nothing behind them in our Hosta gardens are visible (and that takes a lot!) We are having a party this weekend, and I feel that the gardens look very sloppy with all those huge and gangly BH overgrown and overhanging the edges of the gardens. What will happen if we should cut them back part way ie. give them a haircut? Will it kill them, or just slow them down next year? We plan to move them to the back of the gardens next year.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 12:42AM
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terrene(5b MA)

My Dicentra spectablis has already gone dormant and been cut down for several weeks now. I would think it's safe to cut back once the foliage has mostly yellowed.

It's my understanding that the best time to transplant are when plants are as close to dormant as possible - but am not sure they would be okay with a mid-summer transplant. Perhaps if you kept well-watered.

Several times I've divided and transplanted in early spring when the shoots are poking up an inch or two, and the plants took very well to that treatment.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 4:34AM
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a2zmom(6a - nj)

I'm thinking of add bleeding heart to the shady portion of my garden. I'd be curious to see how people plant so that the hole once the plant goes dormant isn't evident.

Also anyone grow the cultivar 'Valentine'. It appears to be a true red. Is it? How is it for vigor?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 7:43AM
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a2zmom, I know many times BH do go dormant but for our situation neither of mine is even yet close to 'disappearing'. This first picture, taken today is of Dicentra spectabilis. I had cut it back significantly over a month ago as it was so large (and had finished flowering) and as you can see it has grown back doesn't look even close to dormancy.

The second shot below is "Valentine". I planted it late last season. It grew vigorously but didn't give nearly as many blooms as did "spectabilis" but this may well be due to this being its first full season in the ground. And again as you can see it is nowhere close to 'shutting down' and it is almost August.

Re the flowers that did come. They were not the red as advertised. I would say a dark pink (darker than "spectabilis")

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 11:22AM
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a2zmom(6a - nj)

the flowers that did come. They were not the red as advertised. I would say a dark pink

I knew it was too good to be true!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 1:31PM
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a2zmom - I have bleeding heart/Dicentra spectabilis, both 'Alba' (white) & the common pink form growing in my garden. The pink plants grow here (& self seed) no matter what the conditions, in everything from full-sun to full-shade so I'd guess they're tough as nails. My DIL has one in full shade that's closer to the size of a mature rhododendron than a medium-size perennial.

My own D. spectabilis 'Alba' is growing in full shade in my hosta bed, surrounded by Carex/Japanese sedge 'Ice Dance' as well as hosta, Japanese painted fern, Tricyrtis hirta/toad lily, columbine, hellebore, Cimicifuga racemosa/black snakeroot, astilbe & other shade lovers. Once the BH goes dormant, there are lots of other things that conceal the dying foliage.

happygardener_2006 - I've never bothered to cut back the foliage on my BH plants since it dies back naturally on its own. If you need to move the plant, just do it later in the season when conditions aren't so hot/dry. Spring & fall are generally the best times to move things--those that bloom in spring should be moved in fall so they have time to acclimate to their new location before bloom season rolls around again.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 7:48PM
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a2zmom(6a - nj)

gardenweed, your hosta bed sounds lovely. I'd love to see a picture.

A bh the size of a rhodie! Sounds like the plant is extremely happy where it is.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 8:32PM
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