Growing Guide: Dicentra – Bleeding Heart

A perennial with many different popular names. Obvious­ly the flowers appeal to people’s imagination.


In half-wild plantations in partial shade; also in borders.


Humus-rich, nutritious soil.


By division or from cuttings.

Dicentra formosa: Height 20-30 cm; erect-growing flower stalks with pale-red flower clusters from early summer to mid autumn; tripinnate foliage. The easiest cultivated species combines well with purple and grey and has a pro­longed flowering season.

Dicentra spectabilis

Dicentra spectabilis: Height to 1 m; flowering season mid spring to early summer. The flower clusters are more pendent than in the previous species; the broken hearts hang straight down. The double three-fold foliage is blue green in colour. This species does not have such a pro­longed flowering season and, after flowering, quickly becomes unsightly; it is therefore less suitable for the border. Beware of night frost.

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