How to Cultivate Seeds From a Bleeding Heart Plant


Bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) is named for the plant's pink heart-shaped bloom and the tiny drop-like protuberance suspended from the bottom of the bloom. In its natural environment, bleeding heart is a woodland plant that grows under the shade or dappled light of tall trees, and is prized by gardeners for its ability to thrive in shady or semi-shady spots. If you have access to a bleeding heart plant, save a few seeds for planting. By spring, you'll have several new bleeding heart plants.

Step 1

Prepare a planting spot for the bleeding heart seeds ahead of time. Choose in shade or partial sunlight with well-drained soil. Bleeding heart won't do well where rain water tends to pool. Use a hoe or garden fork to cultivate the soil to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. Mix an inch of compost into the top of the soil.

Step 2

Allow several bleeding heart blooms to wilt and die when the bleeding heart plant is finished blooming in mid-summer. When the blooms are completely dry, they will fall off, leaving a seed pod remaining on the plant.

Step 3

Wait for the seed pod to turn dry and brown, which will take a few weeks. Pinch the dry seed pods from the stems. Split the pods open over a paper plate and let the small, round seeds fall onto the plate.

Step 4

Plant the bleeding heart seeds in the prepared spot immediately, while they're fresh. Plant each seed about 1/2 inch deep in the soil. Water the area with a watering can or a garden hose with a spray attachment. Be careful not to wash the bleeding heart seeds from the soil.

Step 5

Keep the soil damp until the first frost. The seeds will germinate when the weather warms in spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe or garden fork
  • Compost
  • Paper plate
  • Watering can or garden hose


  • Michigan State University Extension: Dicentra spectabilis--Bleeding Heart
  • Hill Gardens: Bleeding Hearts - Something Nice For Shade!
  • Choosing Voluntary Simplicity: What Do Bleeding Heart Seeds Look Like?
Keywords: bleeding heart plant, bleeding heart seeds, bleeding heart, Cultivate seeds from a bleeding heart plant

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.