How to Plant Dicentra

Dicentra are known as bleeding hearts because of the flower's shape. image by Laura Shreck/


Dicentra plants are better known as Bleeding Hearts. They grow arched stems where beautiful hanging flowers in the shape of hearts bloom. They are originally from China and there are many varieties available. Generally all varieties can be planted in the same manner and should be planted in either the spring or fall.

Step 1

Select a location that is cool and moist, ideally near a water source, ferns or wooded areas. Dicentras do need some light. A couple hours a day will suffice, but they can be planted in light shade if desired. They should also be planted in soil that has good drainage.

Step 2

Plant your Dicentras between 6 inches and 2 feet apart. This will depend on the variety you have, so read over the planting instructions that came with your plant.

Step 3

Dig holes that are approximately 12 to 15 inches deep; the root ball should reach the top of the soil. Each hole should be twice the width of the plant's current container. Take each Dicentra out of its container and place it in a hole.

Step 4

Mix some compost in with the soil before filling back in the hole. This will make the soil more rich and loose for good drainage. Push the soil down with your hands to fill in any air pockets.

Step 5

Keep your Dicentras evenly moist during the growing season. Place two inches of mulch around your plants and cut them back to the ground before the first frost.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Water


  • National Gardening Association
Keywords: bleeding hearts, grow dicentra, plant bleeding heart

About this Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Photo by: Laura Shreck/