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How to Transplant Bleeding Heart Plants

Bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) is a graceful woodland beauty with heart-shaped blooms dangling like jewels from arching, pale green stems. Although pink bleeding hearts are most common, bleeding hearts are also available in shades of red, yellow and white. Bleeding heart can be transplanted in early spring before new growth emerges, or after the foliage dies back in autumn.

Prepare the ground where the bleeding heart will be transplanted. Cultivate the soil to a depth of 8 to 10 inches, then work 2 to 3 inches of compost into the top of the soil. Remember that bleeding heart should be planted in partial shade where it will be protected from hot afternoon sunlight.

Cut the bleeding heart's foliage down with garden shears, leaving just a few inches in place. Trimming the foliage will allow the bleeding heart plant's energy to focus on developing new roots.

Dig up the bleeding heart plant. Start a few inches from the plant, then dig around the perimeter of the plant. Lift the bleeding heart plant, along with the attached soil, and move it carefully to the new planting site. If the bleeding heart plant needs to be divided, this is the perfect time to do it. Bleeding heart plants will benefit from division every three to five years. Just pull the plant apart with your fingers, teasing the roots apart, and re-plant.

Move the bleeding heart plant to the prepared location. Dig a hole deep enough to accommodate the bleeding heart's root ball, and plant the bleeding heart at the same depth in the soil that it was planted previously. Tamp the soil down around the root ball.

Spread a 1- to 2-inch layer of organic mulch around the bleeding heart plant. Mulch will help to maintain an even soil temperature and will retain moisture.

Water the bleeding heart well, and water it daily for the first month. After that time, resume normal watering.

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