Lamprocapnos Species, Old-fashioned Bleeding Heart, Lady-in-a-Bath, Lady's Locket

Lamprocapnos spectabilis

Family: Papaveraceae (pa-pav-er-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lamprocapnos (lam-pro-KAP-nos) (Info)
Species: spectabilis (speck-TAB-ih-liss) (Info)
Synonym:Dicentra spectabilis
Synonym:Cyanaeorchis spectabilis
Synonym:Corydalis spectabilis
Synonym:Diclytra spectabilis
Synonym:Dielytra spectabilis
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Full Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:



24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Jasper, Alabama

Montevallo, Alabama

Anchorage, Alaska

Seward, Alaska

Phoenix, Arizona

Bay, Arkansas

Hot Springs Village, Arkansas

Malvern, Arkansas

Castro Valley, California

Citrus Heights, California

Elk Grove, California

Fremont, California

Hayward, California

Lake Forest, California

Lompoc, California

Merced, California

Oak View, California

San Leandro, California

Santa Cruz, California

Clifton, Colorado

Colorado City, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado(2 reports)

Denver, Colorado

Erie, Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado

Littleton, Colorado

Pueblo, Colorado

Severance, Colorado

Centerbrook, Connecticut

Danielson, Connecticut

Glastonbury, Connecticut

Madison, Connecticut

Meriden, Connecticut

Milford, Connecticut

Old Lyme, Connecticut

Oxford, Connecticut

Winsted, Connecticut

Wilmington, Delaware

Fort Lauderdale, Florida(2 reports)

Fountain, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Melrose, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Nicholson, Georgia

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Boise, Idaho

Soda Springs, Idaho

Victor, Idaho

Belleville, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois(3 reports)

Collinsville, Illinois

Des Plaines, Illinois

Hampton, Illinois

Hinsdale, Illinois

Machesney Park, Illinois

Oak Lawn, Illinois

Palatine, Illinois

Rockford, Illinois

Washington, Illinois

Wauconda, Illinois

Waukegan, Illinois

Austin, Indiana

Bloomington, Indiana

Farmersburg, Indiana

Greenfield, Indiana

Hammond, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

Logansport, Indiana

Macy, Indiana

Middlebury, Indiana

Nashville, Indiana

Noblesville, Indiana

Clarion, Iowa

Council Bluffs, Iowa

Inwood, Iowa

Iowa Falls, Iowa

Nichols, Iowa

Urbandale, Iowa

Olathe, Kansas

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Wichita, Kansas

Corbin, Kentucky

Ewing, Kentucky

Georgetown, Kentucky

Hebron, Kentucky

Henderson, Kentucky

Lancaster, Kentucky

Abbeville, Louisiana

Broussard, Louisiana

Deridder, Louisiana

Hammond, Louisiana

Prairieville, Louisiana

Biddeford, Maine

Durham, Maine

Litchfield, Maine

South China, Maine

Adamstown, Maryland

Cumberland, Maryland

Lanham, Maryland

Lusby, Maryland

Pikesville, Maryland

Rockville, Maryland

Silver Spring, Maryland

Valley Lee, Maryland

Amherst, Massachusetts

Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Clinton, Massachusetts

Dracut, Massachusetts

Halifax, Massachusetts

Needham, Massachusetts(2 reports)

New Bedford, Massachusetts

North Billerica, Massachusetts

Reading, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Saugus, Massachusetts

Sterling, Massachusetts

Winchester, Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts

Wrentham, Massachusetts

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan

Eastpointe, Michigan

Galesburg, Michigan

Grand Blanc, Michigan

Mason, Michigan

Novi, Michigan

Owosso, Michigan

Pinconning, Michigan

Plymouth, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan

Saint Clair Shores, Michigan

Braham, Minnesota

Buffalo, Minnesota(2 reports)

Circle Pines, Minnesota

Hamel, Minnesota

Isle, Minnesota

Lake Elmo, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota(4 reports)

New Prague, Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Greenville, Mississippi

Olive Branch, Mississippi

Brunswick, Missouri

Piedmont, Missouri

Bozeman, Montana

Cut Bank, Montana

Helena, Montana

Omaha, Nebraska

Reno, Nevada

Sparks, Nevada

Auburn, New Hampshire

Berlin, New Hampshire

Brookline, New Hampshire

Franklin, New Hampshire

Hooksett, New Hampshire

Merrimack, New Hampshire

Munsonville, New Hampshire

Plaistow, New Hampshire

Asbury, New Jersey

Brick, New Jersey

Denville, New Jersey

Far Hills, New Jersey

Forked River, New Jersey

Freehold, New Jersey

Jersey City, New Jersey

Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey

Millville, New Jersey

Morristown, New Jersey

Neptune, New Jersey

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Alden, New York

Binghamton, New York

Brooklyn, New York

Cooperstown, New York

Crown Point, New York

Elba, New York

Himrod, New York

Kingston, New York

Mechanicville, New York

New York City, New York

Niagara Falls, New York

Penn Yan, New York

Saratoga Springs, New York

Schenectady, New York

Southold, New York

Windsor, New York

Asheville, North Carolina

Brevard, North Carolina

Burgaw, North Carolina

Clayton, North Carolina

Clemmons, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Hillsborough, North Carolina

Lucama, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina(2 reports)

Belfield, North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Medora, North Dakota

Bucyrus, Ohio

Cincinnati, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio

Dublin, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Hamilton, Ohio

Reynoldsburg, Ohio

Swanton, Ohio

Westerville, Ohio

Enid, Oklahoma

Greater Sudbury, Ontario

Blodgett, Oregon

Gresham, Oregon

Klamath Falls, Oregon

Lake Oswego, Oregon

Portland, Oregon(8 reports)

Salem, Oregon

Silverton, Oregon

Springfield, Oregon

Tillamook, Oregon

Vernonia, Oregon

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania

Coal Center, Pennsylvania

Dover, Pennsylvania

Emmaus, Pennsylvania

Friedens, Pennsylvania

Greencastle, Pennsylvania

Hershey, Pennsylvania

Lansdowne, Pennsylvania

New Kensington, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania

Sayre, Pennsylvania

Scranton, Pennsylvania

Vandergrift, Pennsylvania

Hope Valley, Rhode Island

Summerville, South Carolina

Belle Fourche, South Dakota

Camp Crook, South Dakota

Clinton, Tennessee

Crossville, Tennessee

Hendersonville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Lafayette, Tennessee

Lenoir City, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Cypress, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Gilmer, Texas

Lipan, Texas

Mc Kinney, Texas

Nome, Texas

Pipe Creek, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Santo, Texas

Magna, Utah

Ogden, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah(2 reports)

Tremonton, Utah

Big Stone Gap, Virginia

Chantilly, Virginia

Coeburn, Virginia

Falls Church, Virginia

Fancy Gap, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Mechanicsville, Virginia

Springfield, Virginia

Woodbridge, Virginia

Anacortes, Washington

Bremerton, Washington

Chewelah, Washington

College Place, Washington

Langley, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Orchards, Washington

Puyallup, Washington

Sammamish, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

Great Cacapon, West Virginia

Shepherdstown, West Virginia

Appleton, Wisconsin

Balsam Lake, Wisconsin

Ellsworth, Wisconsin

Kendall, Wisconsin

Marinette, Wisconsin

Mauston, Wisconsin

Merrimac, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mosinee, Wisconsin

Pewaukee, Wisconsin

Spooner, Wisconsin

Superior, Wisconsin

Verona, Wisconsin

Watertown, Wisconsin

Cody, Wyoming

Ranchester, Wyoming

Sheridan, Wyoming

Thayne, Wyoming

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 10, 2017, ibrakeforgardens from Kitchener,
Canada wrote:

I'm from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada - Zone 5.
I have clay soil.

I love Old-fashioned bleeding heart (formerly called Dicentra spectabilis).
In fact, seeing this plant for the first time is what really sparked my interest in gardening so many years ago!!

I'm pretty sure to keep your bleeding heart from going dormant in the summer is to keep the soil a little bit moist (not wet, just moist - it likes woodland conditions) throughout the summer.
I just dump a little bit of water on the soil most morning's from my dog's water dish, to try and create damp woodland-like conditions.
It's Sept 10 now and my bleeding heart is still standing tall (3' by 3'), however it is yellowing now and has been for a few weeks now.


On Feb 15, 2016, Ancolie88 from Innsbruck,
Austria (Zone 6b) wrote:

Lamprocapnos spectabilis is for shure a favorite plant in my spring garden. It blooms for three month here in Austria


On May 11, 2015, ZombiShakespear from Clayton, NC wrote:

This is one of my favorite plants for a shady spot. Even after the flowers are finished, I think the plant's form and foliage are still beautiful. I have mine planted in good, rich soil near the back of the flower bed in between 2 small azaleas. I've had no trouble with pests or diseases. I'm right on the border of Zones 7b and 8a, if that helps.


On Mar 16, 2015, wakingdream from Allentown, PA wrote:

I received a specimen of Dicentra in a plant swap from a young mother whose colony of bleeding hearts was rampantly spreading. It had not been divided or reined in for many years. The piece I transplanted was very successful immediately, no waiting for blossoms. It is located at the base of a deciduous tree and a nearby large shrub, in 3/4 shade. It also benefits from being at the base of a slight incline, bringing adequate moisture to the area. I like Dicentra's spring show of delicate blossoms. I have not been lucky enough yet to catch the seeds before they are dropped. It does disappear in the heat of summer but is totally forgiven for this behavior in light of its earlier beauty.


On Nov 28, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A fantastic perennial for deciduous shade in the north. Generally goes dormant when the weather gets hot, though in moist shade in the north the foliage may stay in good condition as late as September. You can cut this down to the ground any time after flowering is finished and fill the gap with annuals, if you're careful to avoid damaging the brittle roots.

I find occasional self-sown seedlings. The white form comes true from seed if isolated, but is less vigorous than the pink.

If you pick a flower and turn it upside-down, you'll see why this was once called "lady-in-a-bathtub."

This species does not like the hot humid summers and brief winters of the US southeast, and is often unsuccessful south of Z7. Those reporting rebloom and those report... read more


On May 12, 2013, Mike_W from Sterling, MA wrote:

I absolutely love this plant! The only problem I have is planting them from bulb form. The fleshy roots tend to be very brittle and I find the more they break, the less likely the bulbs are to sprout. I started with 8 and only one sprouted. Fast forward about 5 years and my one pink bleeding heart plant is massive! It looks stunning in my shade garden among the ferns. I decided to buy my mother a red flowering variety for Mothers Day and I hope it does as well as the pink one has.


On Apr 19, 2012, MarcoPlo from Sudbury , ON (Zone 4b) wrote:

Very successful plants here! I have a white, a pink & a red! All do well, they are in mostly shade with some light morning sun. The pink has been transplanted nearly half a dozen times! They rebloom often when we have a cool damp season. The Red is my fave.


On Feb 20, 2012, Gascoigne from Shawnee Mission, KS (Zone 5a) wrote:

does amazingly well on the northeast side of my house in Kansas. My dicentra is about 2 ft. in diameter and blooms 2x a year, spring then fall. consistent moisture is key, along with shade from the little redbud tree adjacent to it.


On May 24, 2010, madgrace from Hershey, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

We have one in almost complete shade on a slope surrounded by pachysandra and do nothing for it. It has flourished with our benign neglect! We have another one in a flower bed that gets more sun that has been setting out seedlings and spreading. They put on a lovely spring show of flowers. Ours are not vines. They're almost like tender shrubs with no woody growth, but impressive spread-- to almost 3-4' wide.


On Apr 15, 2010, Qortni from Binghamton, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

My favorite shade plant, Bleeding Hearts are an elegant "must-have" for the northern gardener.

My mum has two enormous Bleeding Heart plants, and mine are getting bigger with each year. Mine are planted along a boarder hedge which receives shade and dappled shade until evening, when it finally gets some sun. I always look forward to the blooms each spring. I highly recommend this plant to anyone and everyone whose summer days aren't blistering - as they will wither and die in hot, direct sun.


On Feb 26, 2010, pgcarroll from Belleair, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

It took us a while to find just the right spot for our bleeding heart - a cutting from friends in Boca Raton. Once we planted two specimens on either side of an arch in our sunny back yard, they took off. The only thing that stops the blooming (which occurs in cycles throughout the year) is our rare freeze - just like this year (2010). I've cut them back to the ground and fully expect that they will rebound. This is a lovely vine (although with no tendrils, it does need a little "encouragement" to twine around our arch) and blooms repeatedly for us. We had such a nice thick set of vines last year that cardinals built a nest and raised two young at the apex of the arch.


On Oct 19, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

All agree this is a spectacular plant, but some have problems growing it. I have had good luck in the Pacific Northwest, and allow our native bleeding hearts (much smaller, the formosa variety) grow along with the big ones for a nice combo. Some years it lasts through the summer without going dormant, although usually it disappears by August. My grand daughter insists on calling them 'bloody hearts'


On Jun 16, 2009, nford from Hot Springs Village, AR (Zone 7b) wrote:

I ordered 2 from and planted them next to each other in a shady area (zone 7b). One came up nicely and the other, not at all. The one that came up had flowers right away. SpringHill is supposed to be sending a replacement for the dead one.


On Apr 29, 2009, KaylyRed from Watertown, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

My trick to keeping dicentra spectabilis looking decent year-round (at least in northern climates) is to cut it back hard after it blooms. Cut the plant back by about 2/3rds to the fresh basal growth. If this is done early enough, you'll most likely be able to avoid the summer dormancy that makes d. spectabilis look ratty from July on.

By cutting the plant back, I've even managed to get a few stalks to rebloom in the summer. Those who know the plant are usually pretty impressed to see mine blooming in mid- to late-June!

For what it's worth, I've also had the best luck with morning sun and afternoon shade. The biggest and prettiest plant I ever grew had a north-eastern exposure and was up against the foundation of our house.


On Apr 27, 2009, leelynne from Dover, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love bleeding hearts. They add color to my shady spots. I have 3 of these...2 pink and 1 white. The one pink I've had for 3 years and transplanted 3 times, every year it's come back bigger and better. The other pink and white I just got and have high hopes that they will do as well as my first one.


On Oct 13, 2008, eliasastro from Athens,
Greece (Zone 10a) wrote:

A beautiful plant, but doesn' t really flourish in the mild winters of Athens (i think it needs cold frosty winters like Peonies).
It usually flowered in the first year, but then it gradually died.
Also, it never grew really tall as it could.
My summer is extremely hot, but i 've seen it thrive in the continental climate of Northern Greece (zone 8), despite their very hot summers.


On Jul 31, 2008, ravenskies from London, Ontario,
Canada wrote:

I bought a 2 gallon pot this spring, and the plant grew so well in my partially shady, zone 5 location that I have had to cut it back twice so far, and it has only been planted for 3 months. It is still sending out flowers on a regular basis, and it is August now.
Only problem that I have had is that the plant was forked at the base, and split one windy afternoon. I staked the broken half, and so far 3 weeks later, it looks quite healthy. I'll post next year with an update.


On May 4, 2008, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

I too have tried this beautiful plants in my garden multiple times. I finally resolved, the summer heat is too much for these beauties.


On May 2, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I would say this plant is difficult for a beginner - many may die because of bad locations or not watering it regularly but a few will success - the main thing is to keep watering - the first few plants may take years to flowers - the more you add, the more they will self seed and becomes more of a weed than a perennial and blooms quickly from seedlings as they resent transplanting so will sulk for a few years (3 to 4 years for me) but flowers in 2 to 3 years from seedlings if left alone. Their seedlings which I sometimes pull because of their weedy habits and difficult to move comes up with two seedleaves and then they have trifoliate for their first true leaves. The taproot is generally single and orangish brown. After that they will grow rapidly and by the second year they may be mov... read more


On May 2, 2008, minnasnowtan from Braham, MN (Zone 3b) wrote:

I planted two of these wonderful plants in my front shade garden - one in 2006 and one in 2007. They are both thriving and have bloomed well into the summer. They have required, nor recieved, any special care.
I want to divide them and plant some in the back of my yard, but am a little worried about harming the original plants. It would be a shame to lose what has easily become the highlight of any of my gardens!


On Apr 26, 2008, djmanny from New Bedford, MA wrote:

Well to start out with,I have three of these plants 1- Pink & 2- white ones. I've had them for 6 yrs and all are doing well.The 2 in the backyard are about 12" tall & about 16 in" wide.There in light sun in the morning & shade in the evening and do well. The Pink one is in the front of my house & is my pride of the three.It's Grows 24" to 36" high, and 18" to 24" spread And I do very little care to this flower and I think it is a easy flower to grow. So far it comes back every year and looks and feels stronger I let it die till the end and what is left I pull out of the ground. I grab the dead branches I pull them.It should come out very easy. ( note ) By the way they where the frist plantes I got for a house warming gift


On Apr 22, 2008, outdoorlover from Enid, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is the 3rd year for this plant and each prior year, I thought it died. However, each spring it comes back bigger and stronger. No flowers yet that I recall. It is planted in full shade, with pH of 7.3 to 7.6. I'm still hopeful.


On Apr 14, 2008, SarahSanuth from Hooksett, NH wrote:

Plated in shady area, though that they weren't doing well because of the conditions and just replanted in my backyard. Didn't think that they would even regrow. To my amazement, they are currently growing at great speed.

Also planted in an area in my front yard then I thought that it might be too hot there because it gets full sun. Thought it would not grow back this year. Was going to replant somewhere else. Changed my mind when it came back this year. Not big right now because it is still semi-cold here. But grows great no matter where I put it.


On Mar 17, 2008, rosewood513 from Lanoka Harbor, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

I first saw this plant at a friends house and fell in love with it, that was in zone 7A.
I purchased some for my zone 7A for my front walkway, it gets some sun in the afternoon and has greeted me daily with the lovely hearts for a few years now. Just beautiful and no trouble to grow and I neglect it.


On Feb 8, 2008, krissy_p from Pipe Creek, TX wrote:

I bought a huge bare root bleeding heart from and I planted it about a month ago. Now it is blooming already! It is the first thing to bloom in my whole garden (early Feb.), and it is so beautiful!


On Dec 31, 2007, jamaicawi from Belleville, IL wrote:

I bought 2 of bleeding heart vines last spring. Kept them in pots in a partial-shaded area and both did very well with growth but they did not bloom. I wasn't certain if I should be expecting blooms for this season since the plants were young when I'd bought them. Right now they're in the basement and new growth are sprouting.


On Oct 1, 2007, mbhoakct76 from Winsted, CT wrote:

Its a lovely flower but the foliage goes dormant in summer, here in northern CT by mid june- its completely died down to the ground.
Remeber where that plant was and dont go diggin it up and calling it dead- cause it might be back.
I have had bleeding hearts thrive in the past - but they were planted in full sun, although its known to be shade plant. my neighbors also have this thriving as a full size plant in full sun.
I planted 3 last year in a shade garden - so far only 1 returned.


On Sep 26, 2007, Maece from Colorado Springs, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

I just bought this plant, a dormant root, and placed it in my new shade garden underneath a large elm. That was in August - I know that it is supposed to go dormant after spring, which is why I am surprised that it is growing NOW. No buds or flowers, just stem/leaves (about 6 inches tall right now). I hope that the winter frost is not going to do any permanent damage since it is growing out of season.

Anyway, I think it should be very well adapted to my climate, and I hope it doesn't become too invasive (though I have some friends to share with).


On Aug 28, 2007, alicealger from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

In Augusta, Georgia, I have tried with three plants. One is barely surviving, no blooms. I think it doesn't take heat well -- certainly not the 100+ degrees of a Georgia summer.


On Jul 10, 2007, Opoetree from Oak View, CA wrote:

It is early July in southern California and my lovely plant has been sleeping since May. I surely do hope that it is a sleeping beauty and will awaken to the kiss of springtime again next year. This is my first attempt at trying to nurture this plant. On of the most unusual plants I've ever of those things more special than fiction.


On Jun 26, 2007, Glama from Georgetown, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

When I was a little girl the house up the street from us had a bleeding heart plant and I thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world, I used to sneak up the street to look at it through their old iron fence, it was so delicate and the colors was wonderful. Now I have my own and I love it. I have it in the morning sun and afternoon shade and it has thrived very well from a little stick two years ago. The pink one lived but the white one died. I'm going to plant two more in my shade garden and see they do. The pink seems to do much better then the white, tougher stuff I guess. I do love mine, easy to grow and much reward.


On Jun 19, 2007, lightningbug from Buffalo, MN wrote:

Lightning bug in Rockford, MN

I bought one of each color three years ago and they are still the same size and they've only bloomed once. I have them in light shade and are watered regularly.


On Jun 18, 2007, dicentra63 from West Valley City, UT (Zone 6b) wrote:

My dicentras are as happy as clams at high tide, despite the non-acidic, nitrogen-poor soil and their continued exposure to the herbicide-laden leaves from Ailanthus altissima. They are in a shady spot and in this Zone 6 they do die back in July from the heat. But in late spring, they're incredible. I've had them for 7 years now, and they get better every year.

I have tried without luck to grow Astilbe and Hostas in this same spot. The Hosta struggles from being snail-bitten and the Astilbe can't handle something in the soil.


On May 17, 2007, sjhelene from New Kensington, PA wrote:

I have a sunless wet corner where the house and the addition meet. I picked up this plant as an afterthought because they said it would grow well in the shade. This is the beginning of the third season, the weather here has been yucky and cold almost through May. We've managed to get our 1st whole warm week, and nothing has managed to grow yet except my coral bells and hostas. Last summer we got a new puppy and the dogs DESTROYED this poor plant. Yet, I went out to see if it had started sprouting the other day, and it's already a good 2 1/2 feet high, 4 feet across, and flowering! It sits in the worst place in my yard and it's the best plant I have. My husband even leaned the old sliding glass door screen over it against the house! I'm going to try to spread it down the rest of the shade b... read more


On May 11, 2007, bsimpson1972 from Chicago, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:

Well, the same, everybody has to add: Not too much shade, not too much sun, a little bit of a diva.... When established, keep weeds or other "Aggressors" in check, and you'll have one of the most beautiful and easy to care for perennials! Loving it! HIGHLY recommended! You'll need a cold winter, though.... I guess, it won't do too well in the warmer areas!


On Mar 31, 2007, baileykat from Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Die back to the ground in the summer heat. Sprouted back, blooms first, no foliage whatsoever at the end of winter/early spring, the foliage soon follow. A very cute plant. The blooms are a hit with young children.


On Dec 15, 2006, jhiller from St. John's,
Canada wrote:

Grows well in Newfoundland, Canada,


On Nov 18, 2006, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

I love it! I've been growing Bleeding Heart (Pink variety) for many years. I've been growing the White one for several years. I let them go to seed and I get free volunteers! I get so excited to see the new ones!

They are both (Pink and White) so beautiful and wonderful in the Spring! A joy to see, smell and to touch!

I have a few 'new fashioned' Bleeding Hearts too (with the fringy leaves), as well as the 'old fashioned' Bleeding Hearts.


On Aug 12, 2006, Sherlock221 from Lancaster, KY wrote:

This is a lovely, interesting plant. As one other person noted, I too have had it die back completely in summer, especially during drought periods -- however, it always comes back the next spring, even though it appeared to have died. So don't give up on them too early! Somone else mentioned that when they die back, they leave a big empty space in the garden. I recommended planting them with astilbe and ferns like I did -- those plants are slower to start in spring and are getting larger as they bleeding heart dies back, so they hide it and then fill in the space it leaves. Plus the different textures of the three look very nice together. Mine is growing in a fairly shady area that gets a little bit of filtered sun. It's growing beneath a huge Cornelian Cherry Dogwood and right agai... read more


On Aug 8, 2006, miraclepixie from Far Hills, NJ wrote:

My 92 year old neighbor just had her yard landscaped. 2 bleeding hearts were installed and have begun to look peakish and yellow. I heard about DG and decided to sign up and check it out. It looks like she has normal plants in NJ. We had a hot spell in late July, and I think it took it's toll on her plants. I will let here know that DG had good information! We'll be patient and wait until next spring to enjoy the plants when they bloom again. SQ.


On Jul 17, 2006, sandy4 from Reading, MA wrote:

I have about 30 of these plants in my yard. I have noticed the white variety stands up to summer heat a lot better than the old fashioned pink variety. Mine grow fine just about anywhere in my yard. Some are even growing in sand between my patio blocks. The older plants tend to die back completely early once it gets too hot but they always come back the following spring if the ground isn't disturbed. They grow very well in shade under pine trees. Once the plants are established drought will not kill them easily. Young plants should be watered more often.


On Jun 3, 2006, SummerRain from Naperville, IL wrote:

I have a bleeding heart planted in a shady garden right under a tree. It puts on a spectacular show in the spring and is a sight for sore eyes after a long winter.

It does get a bit unruly after blooming but I start to trim back the foliage in late May/early June. I plant impatiens underneath the plant because by July the bleeding heart has pretty much died back and gone dormant.

It's neighbors are lilly in the valley, a pink astilbe, hostas and a fern. As the bleeding heart begins to die back, the astilbe goes into bloom giving the garden its second show.


On May 28, 2006, staceysmom from (GayLynn) Appleton, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Planted this little beauty in a shady spot in my backyard last year. It grew beautifully and blossomed then something chewed through the stalk and it was gone. Was going to buy another to replace it this spring but found it was coming up again. Sure enough something ate it again. But it's a fighter. It has come up a second time this spring. It is now about a foot tall and doing great. Guess as long as nothing happens to the roots it will keep coming back.


On May 26, 2006, JoieM from Portland, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

This puts on a big, dramatic show from April to June here and it is amazing and beautiful, BUT it spreads like crazy and after it is done blooming, the foliage, which I don't find all that attractive, remains way too long and starts to get a little funky. Then it dies back for the rest of the year and I have a very conspicuous bare spot.


On May 21, 2006, bunnytut from Sammamish, WA wrote:

I remember my grandmother growing this plant in her
Spokane, WA garden, she even potted them and grew them as a house plant in a sunny window during the winter.. I'll always remember she called them "Lady in the Bathtub" plant...if you take a blossom and invert it, gently pull apart the two outer petals and you'll see why. So I now live in Sammamish WA and Iv'e got about a dozen of very healthy Dicentra here and there in my yard, quite a variety actually. Evey time I walk by one I remember my sweet Grandma that makes them very special to me.....OH and my grandchildren are as intrigued by "Lady in the Bathtubs" as I was as a kid!


On May 20, 2006, Pashta from Moncks Corner, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

Success on my seventh attempt to grow this plant! I grow them in memory of my grandmother, who could always make things grow just by looking at them. She had them in a wildflower garden in Massachussettes, with paph's and some other hard to grow beauties.

This is the first one I have ever gotten to bloom, much less to leaf! I am so excited! It grows on my front porch in a container, gets partial sun in mid afternoon, and is well watered. The first blooms are a little scrawny, but I attribute that to either the first bloom or young growth that has not reached its full size yet.

If it really is invasive, as I have read, then I will rejoice, and plant it everywhere, in the hopes that it will choke out the Nandina which is driving me insane. For those of you who... read more


On May 17, 2006, tybrut from Plaistow, NH wrote:

This plant was one of the first perrenial that I planted next to my bench when I moved to my home 11 years ago. It is absolutely stunning at its peak. It does get ratty once it becomes very warm but the plant goes dormant in the summer. At that point, I just give it a hard cut and my other flowers are there to take over.
I do wish this plant was invasive in my yard as the previous writer......instead I get creeping charlie amongst other less desirables.


On May 14, 2006, herbmoxie from Annandale, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is a beautiful plant in May...but looks really ratty in August. That hasn't stopped me from keeping them because they are one of the earliest to come up in the spring. Unlike the other negative commentary...who said they couldn't get them to grow...they have become invasive in my yard. I can't get rid of one section that has rooted under my fence and must have had 20 seedling this spring. Once they get going, you can't get rid of them. I think they can grow from a single molecule left in the ground. HM


On May 5, 2006, sumer64 from Austin, IN (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have found that this plant grows in my area (southern Indiana) much better if it has more shade then sun. I planted it once in part shade/sun and lost all but the roots, but then planted it next to my deck under a tree with more shade and it is doing wonderful this year. It has doubled in size and the flowers are perfect, no problems with the leaves either, moderate water.


On Apr 21, 2006, massgardener from Worcester, MA wrote:

I transplanted 2 small, spindly bleeding hearts from a friend's shady back yard here in Worcester, MA, where they were growing more or less wild between the rocks of an old stone wall. I tucked them into a shady corner of my own yard and they grew beautifully into thriving bushes with very little fuss or special care -- my children love the heart-shaped blossoms and the little "crystals" that hang from them. They come back vigorously every spring and bloom until June. They're a very easy and very rewarding plant to grow.


On Apr 17, 2006, joylee68 from Pleasant City, OH wrote:

I bought one last spring at a small store, and brought it home and planted in a shady spot on my bank in the shade, behind a heartshaped sandstone, and this spring, it is taking off beautifully. It's only about 12" high, but hope for it to grow bigger.


On Apr 5, 2006, gee_oh_nyc from New York, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

I live in New York City and have a very small garden in the back of the building. In the shady nooks of my garden where nothing else has been able to grow this plant thrives. I bought one plant at a Farmer's Market 3 years ago and have been able to divide it each year to fill in another spot. It dies off (pretty much completely) during the summer... but what a great feeling to see it push back the soil in the spring each year.


On Mar 26, 2006, quilt from Olive Branch, MS (Zone 7b) wrote:

Purchased 2 plants last spring and planted in my semi-shade garden. Lost both plants and do not know what the problem was, not a lot of sun and proper drainage and water. The plants were healthy when planted but never did well---


On Mar 9, 2006, billyporter from Nichols, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is my absolute favorite spring bloomer. Mine is planted on the north side of a garage so it gets enough water running off the roof to live all summer. It reseeds better than the white ones. I've had mine since 1988 and they're huge!


On Feb 21, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Easy; hardy; self sews; loves shade; hates 'wet feet', Nice!


On Jan 26, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

The may be the easiest perrenial I've ever grown. I planted two cuttings in an Azalea bed, and I haven't done anything else except water when it gets really dry.


On Jan 25, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love bleeding hearts. The flowers look more like a little girl's charm necklace than a real, living plant. It is just so fascinating. They may die back in the heat of summer, but come back in spring. Stratification in a moist medium aids germination of seeds; they are slow to germinate. Blooms April-June in my garden.


On Nov 17, 2005, admodeva from Dutton, AL (Zone 7a) wrote:

I love this plant, but have tried 3 different plants in 3 separate locations and can't grow it. A lot of plants are listed that they will grow in zone 7, and the summer heat kicks in, and they die, no matter the water, shade, etc. I think it's too hot for this plant here.


On Jun 17, 2005, llebpmac_bob from Zephyr,
Canada wrote:

Very impressive while it's with you- as one other poster said they can get to be about 4 feet across- but they do leave an awful hole in the garden when they go dormant for the year. I stick a couple of containers full of annuals in the space they leave. If you don't like the empty space you might try the smaller D. eximia. Mine stay all year. and you get a choice of pinkish or white flowers depending on the variety.


On May 21, 2005, sanity101 from Dublin, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I would recommend spacing them farther than is listed. Once established, these can have a lateral spread of 4' or more, and mine are crowding each other significantly. Most impressive spring plant in my garden. Does die back by mid-June, though I've yet to find a good plant to fill the space.

Establishes quickly, though may take a few years to reach full size. (plants referenced are in clay/loam soil in partial shade under deciduous trees and get watered regularly with the rest of the bed) It seems that plants with more sun will last somewhat farther into the year than those in shadier locations.


On May 19, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

In my area, this plant grows well in shade and moist soil.


On May 19, 2005, Cesca_B from Henderson, KY wrote:

After having this plant die back last year, we thought for sure that it wouldn't come back this year. Well, lo and behold, it came back with an explosion of leaves and little bleeding hearts. It's planted in the shade with some lovely hostas behind it, the color offset (and the leaf size offset as well) is very pretty.


On Jul 7, 2004, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I planted one in February, did quite well, quite large, can't wait for next early spring. Another just came up last month, waiting to see what it will do. We have been at our home for 1 year.


On Apr 29, 2004, mwhipple wrote:

I have two bleeding hearts growing on the south side of my house, under the shade of a big pine tree. I bought them 2 years ago from a local greenhouse when they were just tiny little things. Now they are HUGE!! I'm very happy with them! They are the first flowers to bloom in the spring (end of April) and they re-bloom throughout the summer. Hummingbirds buzz around them occassionally. Our soil is heavy clay but I give them lots of compost in the spring and cover the beds with bark mulch. I've had no problems with them--very easy to care for.


On Sep 21, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, TX
I have attempted to grow this plant 2 different years with no luck. After trying everything to please it, I gave up. My zone is listed as an area in which it will grow, but maybe it is just too hot for it.


On Aug 10, 2003, starshine from Bend, OR (Zone 6a) wrote:

Dicentra (from the Greek words dis, meaning two, and kentros, meaning spurs) are spring blooming. Generally, the cooler the location, the longer the blooms will last.

This plant is native to Northern China, Korea and Japan. It was introduced in England in the mid 1800's. This classic plant features pink heart-shaped flowers with a white stamen protruding from the bottom. They form an arch of "bleeding hearts" on a branch that sprouts out from the greenery beneath it.

There are many new types of bleeding hearts available now in various colours... (white, gold, red) but this lovely lady is a classic.

This plant prefers to be in the shade and in cooler climates, but can survive in hotter climates if it is kept moist constantly. It is na... read more


On Aug 7, 2003, vagardener from Springfield, VA wrote:

This is a lovely plant that I planted in a border that receives nice mid-morning sun and shade the rest of the day. It loves the location and returns bigger and stronger each year. Unfortunately, it does not last much beyond early June no matter what I try to keep it going. I grew it in Southern Connecticut in full sun and it lasted a bit longer, but it was gone by mid-August.


On Aug 6, 2003, SueP64 from Centerbrook, CT wrote:

If you plan to move this plant be certain to get ALL of its brittle, fleshy roots. I must have missed a piece (thought I had checked carefully) and found a new plant growing exactly where I didn't want it this spring. I would say Common Bleeding heart transplants very easily. The original plant (2 years old) was relocated to an area in deep shade where it grew to 48" high and around.


On Jun 6, 2003, CanadaGoose from Oakville, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

Grows well in my shade garden. Plant is currently 3 years old and about 2.5 ft tall by approximately 6 ft wide. Will divide next spring.


On Jun 5, 2003, auntgracie from Danielson, CT wrote:

This plant grows in my garden under medium to heavy shade in well-drained, composted soil. It seems to thrive there, but dies back when the summer gets too hot. It loved the extreme cold we had this last winter here in northeastern Connecticut and went nuts this spring. It's a 2-year old plant and already is about 2 1/2 feet wide by about 3 feet tall. It's quite spectacular.


On May 27, 2003, mh from Mississauga,
Canada wrote:

I have had success with this plant in a full sun location, in sandy soil, by keeping the soil moist at all times.


On Apr 15, 2003, crystal42683 wrote:

I don't know much about this flower. I live in Washington State, and it was in my backyard when I moved in. It is beautiful, and I wasn't even trying, lol!


On Jan 5, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Drought sends this plant into early dormancy; prolonged wet soil makes it die. Best in that infamous "moist, well-drained soil".

Bleeding-heart can easily be the most breath-taking showstopper in the garden when in full growth. It also makes children avid gardeners.


On Aug 31, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

Bleeding Heart, grows well in cool climate in Southcentral Alaska. The shoots start to pop up through the mulch sometime in April, and we have blooms in June. The plant never dies back in the summer and continues to bloom, though not as profusely.

Last spring I divided my 6 year old plant, leaving a large healthy section in the ground. I potted 26 gallon-sized pots and replanted another large plant to another bed... all from my 6 year plant.


On Nov 17, 2000, jody from MD &, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Grows 24" to 36" high, and 18" to 24" spread. Flowers are heart shaped and usually pink, although there are white, red, purple, and yellow varieties, as well. The white species 'alba' comes true from seed. Flowers in late spring to early summer and dies down to the ground afterwards. The leaves are very graceful. Best cultivated in light shade, humus rich, well draining soil. Propagate from division or seed. They don't flower well or grow well without a period of winter cold. Hardy zones 2-9.