My Bleeding Heart Eaten!

Winterville, GA(Zone 7b)

I had just planted a new Bleeding Heart plant about 18" tall that I acquired from Lowe's about 3 weeks ago. Now it's gone! Well, except for the one sprig that I managed to salvage shown in the photo I've attached. I want to root it, but need to know the best way to do it. Should I put the stem in a glass of water or use a rooting hormone (I have powder and a gel) and stick it in a rooting mix? Right now it's in a glass of water.

We have both deer and rabbits so I'm not sure of the culprit, but whatever it was also ate about 80% of all my hosta plants. Strange, but they ate all the large leaves and left the smaller leaves in the middle of the hosta plants. Does that sound like deer? I didn't see any telltale hoof prints.

Please let me know the best way to propagate my Bleeding Heart asap. Many thanks in advance.

Thumbnail by frausnow
Lula, GA

Sorry, I have never rooted a bleeding heart. Are there any roots left? You can gently poke around and see it there are any more "eyes" at the crown of the roots. This time of year, especially with the heat we have had, the plants go dormant anyway, and disappear til next Spring.
Wish you were close by......... you could come and dig some out of my gardens................... volunteers.

Winterville, GA(Zone 7b)

wholyhosta,
The roots are still in the ground, thank goodness, so I know it will be back in the spring....I hope. I was just hoping to salvage what was left of the plant itself.

Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

dunno about the hoof prints but if you see something that looks like little black jelly beans, that's deer poop. I have never seen hoof prints.

I use a spray called Deer Off and it works on rabbits and deer - it is expensive, about $20 for a spray bottle but it works. By now I know which plants they like and those are the only ones I spray. It lasts through a couple of light rains or one long heavy one.

Winterville, GA(Zone 7b)

Thanks sterhill. I've used the Deer Off in the past and I'm going to have to get some more. My tomato plants are all but eaten up! Now I've also got kudzu bugs all over my pole beans. Got rid of them on my Wisteria, but they just flew on over to the beans. The only thing that kills them is pyrethrum, but I'm afraid to use it on edible plants. Not sure if it's poisonous to humans.

Decatur, GA(Zone 7b)

Do deer eat plant roots? From the photo it looks like the foliage was left alone. Do you have voles?

Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

"Now it's gone! Well, except for the one sprig that I managed to salvage shown in the photo I've attached."

that sounds like eaten to me... the critter got full and left just the one sprig.

My friend has voles (and/or moles) and it is just awful. A big, beautiful hosta will just suddenly fall over - all the roots eaten off below ground. And they - the moles/voles - are so hard to get rid of!

Lula, GA

My solution for voles................ nearly impossible to get rid of........................ get an outdoor cat, preferably a female who had one litter of kittens, then has been spayed. Her killer instincts are activated to keep her kittens in supply of likely victims as part of teaching them to hunt. We are presented with many deceased voles, rats, mice, a few squirrels and a wild rabbit or two every season. My hostas are now safe!!!

Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I will pass this info along to her! Thanks.

Winterville, GA(Zone 7b)

back40bean, the photo is of what is left of the plant. It was about a 24" bushy plant before something ate it. The roots are OK so it should come back next spring. I rooted the sprig and it's showing new growth! So now I'll have 2 bleeding hearts....IF I can keep the deer (or whatever ate it) away from it.

Decatur, GA(Zone 7b)

OK, I see what you mean, frausnow. Sorry to hear you have a deer problem. I know they frustrate a lot of gardeners. It is so frustrating and irritating to have a healthy plant we have tended so well be attacked like that. Good luck.

Wholyhosta, there are two cats who patrol my garden, but only sporadically. One is a neutered male who lives next door and who will catch an occasional chipmunk or mole but only when he wants something to play with. There is also a larger, feral cat, don't know the gender, who lives mostly in the kudzu adjacent to my yard. I'm not sure I have voles, I haven't lost an established plant. Lots of squirrels and chipmunks, a few moles, and a variety of visitors from the kudzu.

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