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How to Plant a Bleeding Heart Bulb

By Melissa Lewis ; Updated September 21, 2017

Bleeding hearts, also known as dicentra, are thick, lush plants that can grow 2 to 3 feet tall. They bloom in clusters with flowers shaped like hearts that dangle from the plants’ sturdy stems. Bleeding hearts have tuberous roots, which are often classified under the broad category called bulbs. The bulbs (tubers) are typically grown in zones 2 to 9 and should be planted 6 weeks before the first frost.

Choose a planting site in partial shade. However, in northern areas, full sun is okay if they are watered more frequently during the hot summer days.

Amend the soil so that it is well draining and rich in nutrients. Till the top 12 inches of your soil and mix in some peat moss or compost.

Dig holes big enough so the bulbs can be planted just an inch beneath the soil. Multiple bulbs should be spaced 2 to 3 feet apart.

Place one bulb in each hole with the eye at the top and the roots pointing downward.

Backfill the soil, and lightly pat down the soil so there are no air pockets.

Water the bulbs with about 1 inch of water.

Spread mulch over the planting area, especially in cooler zones. Use a couple inches of mulch such as bark or pine needles.


Things You Will Need

  • Tiller
  • Compost or peat moss
  • Trowel
  • Water
  • Mulch

About the 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.