How to Care for Bleeding Heart Plant?

The sign of love and shape of the heart makes everyone happy and excited. You can now grow ‘hearts’ in your own home or give it to a loved one.

Bleeding heart plants produce heart-shaped flowers sometimes up to 20 or more of them at one time! Display your love by growing these beauties at home.

How to Care for Bleeding Heart Plant

Bleeding heart plants (dicentra spectabilis) have beautiful drooping heart-shaped red, pink, and white flowers hanging from arching stems. They are native to Japan, Northern China, Siberia, and Korea.

The official name of the Bleeding heart plant is ‘Lamprocapnos spectabilis.’ Some other common names are ‘Asian bleeding heart’ or lyre flower. The name ‘spectabilis’ means spectacular.

The plant gives arching flower stalks that emerge in the mid to late spring and bloom in a single file.

Bleeding heart plants are perennials, going into dormancy after spring. Well established plants can grow for many years when properly taken care of.

Advantages of growing Bleeding hearts plants

Bleeding heart plants are easy to grow, low maintenance plants. The plants are best suited for USDA hardiness zones 3-9.

You can grow them indoors or outdoors. However, it’s best to keep the plant indoors if the weather gets hot and sunny often.

If you do want them in your porch, yard or balcony, keep them in partial shade or full shade areas.

Bleeding hearts plants are perennials. With a little bit of care, you can make your bleeding hearts plants bloom every year.

Bleeding hearts flowers are eye-soothing, displaying a mesmerizing line of hearts in an attractive color of pink, reds, or whites.

The plant is an excellent companion for ‘Hellebores,’ ‘Pulmonaria,’ and ‘Brunnera.’ All of them produce flowers at the same time, putting up a beautiful display.

Begonia and impatiens are some shade-loving perennials that can be grown alongside the Bleeding Heart plant.

The different varieties of Bleeding hearts plants

There are hundreds of varieties to choose from within the Bleeding heart plant. Breeders have crossed them to domestic plants, producing many hybrid types.

The scientific name of the bleeding heart is Lamprocapnos Spectabilis ( previously known as Dicentra Spectabilis)

Among the different varieties, some have heart flowers in a line, while some have heart flowers arranged in clusters.

Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘ Alba’ and ‘pantaloons’

Alba and Pantaloons produce white flowers and look quite similar. The white shaped flower has white or cream droplet underneath them.

Alba’s are ideal houseplants as they prefer full or partial shade. Pantaloons tolerate direct sun. Both Alba and Pantaloons are quite famous and are readily available.

Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Gold Heart’ or ‘Golden Bleeding heart.’

The name gold heart or golden bleeding hearts is a misnomer and this plant blooms with rose and pink flowers.

The foliage has a vivid gold color with an underlying greenish tinge.

The gold heart is a slightly wide variety of Bleeding hearts plant and has a mounding habit.

Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Valentine.’

The Valentine plants are an attractive species of the Bleeding heart plant. They have crimson heart-shaped flowers with tiny white droplets, grey-green foliage, and bright red stems.

The ‘Valentine’ plant is highly cherished but is not readily available. The reason being that this plant is a patented cultivar.

Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Fire island.’

Fire islands have pink heart-shaped flowers and purple-tinged droplet tips.

The foliage is blue-green.

Fire islands are hardy species and produce flowers for a long time. They grow well in a full shaded environment.

Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘ King of hearts.’

King of hearts is a semi-dwarf variety of Bleeding heart. It has hot pink flowers with a hint of white at the base.

The King of hearts like a bit of sun for a while and does well in part sun.

Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘ Burning hearts.’

The burning hearts are another dwarf variety of Bleeding hearts. They grow to be around 10 to 12 inches tall at maximum height.

Burning hearts have red-colored flowers that bloom for a long duration.

Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘fringed leaf.’

The fringed leaf is also among the dwarf variety of bleeding hearts plants. It has delicate lacy leaves that appear fringed.

Fringed leaf gives out red flowers and can grow to be a maximum of 10-12 inches tall.

Care guide for Bleeding hearts plant

Bleeding heart plant do not require a lot of care. Here are a few steps you need to follow to easily maintain this plant and help them bloom year after year.

 How to water Bleeding heart plant?

Bleeding heart needs a moist environment to thrive.

Watering once a week is sufficient for these plants. Make sure the top half-inch feels a little dry (but not completely dry) before watering.

Keeping mulch on top of the soil helps them from drying out too fast. Pine needles are a good option for mulch. Too much drying can kill Bleeding heart plant.

How much Light should the Bleeding heart plant get?

Mostly, Bleeding heart plant like partially shaded areas. However, there are some that like lots of sunlight.

Direct sunlight for a long duration can burn the plant. Keep them in an area that gets partial sunlight for four to five hours. Make sure they are in a shaded area for the rest of the day.

Do a complete survey of your home and find out where it can receive partial sunlight. Make sure the plant is protected by a structure or a fence or sheer curtains when placed in direct sunlight.

Soil requirements of Bleeding heart plant

An organic soil with compost is ideal. It will give proper water retention and also drain off the excess water. The compost will also ensure adequate nutrients for the plant.

Excess of water leads to root rot. The addition of loam and clay/chalk to the soil is another option. Always plant the Bleeding heart plant in a slightly bigger pot about one size larger than the container it came in.

Bleeding hearts require a pH range of 6 to 7. Neutral pH works very well for this plant. If the soil pH gets too high, add peat moss. If it gets too low, add limestone.

Temperature requirements of Bleeding heart plant

The ideal temperature for Bleeding heart is 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is sensitive to frost and cannot survive in extreme cold. Use a winter mulch that is four-inches deep on top of the root mass to give pleasant warmth in the cold months.

Place your bleeding plant in a cool dark place during fall and winter to help them blossom well in spring. An ideal temperature for their dormant phase is 13-16C (55-60F).

Do Bleeding heart plants require humidity?

Bleeding heart likes moist soil environments and thrives well in humidity. Miss them daily with a spray bottle to increase moisture in the air. Do this every day in spring and summer.

However, as the temperature increases, the plants will begin to turn yellow naturally.

Keep it in an area having good air circulation and ventilation as they are prone to fungal disease.

Fertilizer requirement of Bleeding heart plant

The addition of compost in the rich soil makes the plant easily absorb nutrients. A slow-releasing granular fertilizer with a ratio of 15-30-15 in the spring can give spectacular flowers!

If you can’t find the correct proportions, use a balanced liquid fertilizer and add bone meal.

Fertilize once every two weeks during spring. Use half-strength written in the manufacturer’s instructions. After spring, fertilize monthly and do not feed during dormancy.


It is best to prune the Bleeding hearts in summer when the flowers become yellow or brown. Aggressive pruning will help the Bleeding hearts to stay healthy.

Prune out all the browned or yellow foliage. Do not prune the green foliage. Wait for it to turn brown.

Do a final pruning by late October or early November. Cut back all old growth to help the plant ease into the dormant phase.

Do not worry. The flowers will grow back next season on new growth as long as the root is healthy.

Problems encountered while growing Bleeding heart plants

Bleeding heart plants can irritate sensitive skin. Always wear gloves and wash your hands after handling the plants.

Pets or children should not ingest the plant as they are known to cause stomach indigestion issues.

They are also susceptible to Aphids. They are also vulnerable to scales.

Aphids are present on the underside of the leaves. The scales look like bumps on the stem of the plant.

Wipe both Aphids and Scales with an insecticidal spray like neem oil. You can also grow neem as a companion plant to keep the aphids away from bleeding heart.

Also Read: How to Kill Aphids on Indoor Plants?

Bleeding heart plants are sensitive to soap-based products. Apply a soapy water solution on a few leaves before using a soapy water spray.

If you want to dab on alcohol solution, apply a little on a cotton swab in one place and see the reaction before using on all infected parts.

Bleeding heart plants are susceptible to fungal infections. One of them is Powdery Mildew on leaves. They appear as whitish, grayish, or pink colored dust. Powdery Mildew can be treated easily with Neem oil.

Fungal leaf spot is another common fungal disease of Bleeding hearts. There are brown or black dots on the leaves that are eventually destroying the leaves by preventing photosynthesis.

Use a copper-based fungicidal spray to treat the fungal leaf spot problem.

Copper fungicides also work quite well in the case of Botrytis (also known as grey mold). The plant turns mushy and has masses of grey or silver spores on it.

There are also soil-borne fungal diseases that have no cure. Some of them are verticillium wilt, fusarium, and pythium. The plant affected by these diseases should be removed and destroyed.

Prevent fungal diseases by placing the Bleeding heart plant it in a well-ventilated area with good air circulation.

Also, avoid overwatering the plants. Let the top half-inch dry up a bit (not entirely) before watering your plant.


Show the love inside your heart to the world by growing Bleeding heart plants next spring.

They do not require a lot of care and give you a display of fantastic colors in your home.

The bleeding heart blooms from mid to late spring and goes dormant the rest of the time. You can plant other shade-loving annuals, such as begonias or impatiens with the bleeding hearts to keep the area lively when the bleeding heart is dormant.

Give them adequate sunlight, shade, and keep them in slightly moist soil. Enjoy your Bleeding hearts!

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