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How to Cultivate Seeds From a Bleeding Heart Plant

By M.H. Dyer ; Updated September 21, 2017
Cultivate seeds from a bleeding heart plant.
wet bleeding heart image by Michael Cornelius from Fotolia.com

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


Things You Will Need

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

About the Author


M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.