How to Plant Bleeding Heart


Bleeding heart is also known as Dicentra. It is a popular plant among growers. Its unique, fragile appearance makes it a perennial favorite. The red, heart-shaped blossoms that are accented with white tips seem to hang off the flower stems like teardrops. While bleeding heart is delicate in appearance, it is a hearty plant that can grow to be 2 feet tall and 20 inches wide. It transplants easily when divided and adapts to newly transplanted areas nicely.

Step 1

Locate an area where you would like to plant your bleeding heart. Choose a site that is in partial shade and that has a shelter source, such as a building, tree line or shrubs. This shelter source will protect the plant from strong winds.

Step 2

Dig a hole 4 to 5 inches deep for each plant. Bleeding heart should be planted 8 to 12 inches apart.

Step 3

Put on gardening gloves and place your bleeding heart into the hole. Backfill the hole with dirt. Gently tap down the newly packed dirt with your palms. This will ensure that any air holes that may be surrounding the roots are removed. If air holes are allowed to remain, they can quickly dry out your plant's roots.

Step 4

Water your newly planted bleeding heart. You should plan to water the plant whenever your area goes without rain for more than a week. Water every few days if you are going through a summer drought.

Step 5

Add a thin layer of compost around your bleeding heart to help it retain moisture.

Tips and Warnings

  • Bleeding heart can be poisonous to humans and animals if ingested and may cause minor skin rashes. It is best to wear gloves when tending the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade or small shovel
  • Gardening gloves
  • Bleeding heart plants
  • Water
  • Compost


  • Bleeding Heart -- Plant Biology

Who Can Help

  • Symptoms of Poisoning if Bleeding Heart Is Ingested
Keywords: plant bleeding heart, Dicentra, water bleeding heart

About this Author

Wendy Jackson is a writer/editor for print/online markets. She has been freelancing for over 15 years. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Front Porch Syndicate, as well as being picked up by health/education professionals and groups such as the American Chestnut Foundation. Jackson pursued an English major/psychology minor beginning at Pellissippi State.