No, bleeding hearts (Lamprocapnos spectabilis, also known as Dicentra spectabilis) are deciduous plants—meaning they go dormant in the winter months and their foliage dies back when temperatures cool.
The beautiful heart-shaped blooms of this plant generally come out in early spring, and last until midsummer. After the initial bloom period, the foliage dies back and the plant goes dormant for the rest of the season.
However, as temperatures start to rise, the foliage will begin to re-emerge and continue to grow for the remainder of the summer season.
Do bleeding hearts go dormant?
Yes, most varieties of bleeding heart (Dicentra) go dormant during the summer and fall months. This dormancy, which is triggered by the shortening of days and generally begins in late summer, is characterized by the plant’s foliage turning brown and dying back.
This process is completely natural and helps the plant conserve energy. During the summer, these kinds of plants should be kept in areas with bright dappled sunlight and moist, well-drained soil. As fall approaches, reduce the water gradually until the foliage has died back, then stop watering and let the plant go dormant.
Once the cold winter months pass and temperatures begin to rise, prune any dead stems and new leaves and blossoms should begin to appear, signaling that the plant has emerged from dormancy.
Do bleeding hearts come back every year?
Yes, most varieties of bleeding heart plants are perennial and will come back every year. These plants are easy to care for and will typically require very little maintenance. They should be planted in an area that is well-drained, receives partial to full shade, and has access to plenty of water.
Throughout the growing season, it is important to water regularly to keep the soil moist and mulch to help the soil retain moisture. Generally, bleeding heart plants will begin to bloom in the late spring and bloom continuously throughout the early summer.
After the blooming period, the foliage will begin to die back and the plant will go dormant until the following spring.
When should I cut back my bleeding heart?
Cutting back a bleeding heart should be done in late winter or early spring. This will usually take place after the first frost. In order to do this, use shears to trim away all of the stems back to a point just above the soil.
This will help to reduce the size of the bleeding heart and improve its overall shape and vigor. However, be sure not to cut the stems too short or the plant may not grow back properly. Furthermore, you should avoid pruning or cutting back any of the cultivated varieties as this may damage or kill the plant.
It is best to prune the plant only when absolutely necessary.
Should you cut back bleeding heart after it blooms?
Yes, cutting back bleeding heart after it blooms can help it to rebloom later in the season. When the plant has finished blooming, deadhead the blooms and remove any dead or yellowed leaves. Prune the plant back, leaving 3-4 inches of stem attached to the plant.
The plant will naturally rebloom in a few weeks or months, depending on the variety and growing conditions. However, if you prune too aggressively, or if your plant is at the end of its life cycle, it may not rebloom as well.
If possible, divide the plant in the spring or autumn to ensure a healthy, vigorous plant capable of flowering again.
How long do bleeding heart plants bloom?
Bleeding heart plants have showy and distinctive heart-shaped flowers and they typically bloom from late spring through mid-summer. The bloom period can last from two to four weeks, depending on the variety and the climate.
Some varieties may even bloom intermittently throughout the summer. After flowering, the foliage may die back somewhat, usually in late summer or early fall. The plants often resprout in early spring, providing another season of colorful blooms.
What to plant after bleeding heart dies?
Once the Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) has finished its blooming cycle, it is time to decide what to plant after it has died. When the foliage starts to look tired and the flowers have ceased, the plant should be completely removed, including the roots.
Annuals and biennials are an excellent way to fill the space left by a Bleeding Heart. Examples of annuals that could be planted in place of a Bleeding Heart are sweet peas, marigolds, cosmos, and impatiens.
Annuals grow quickly and bloom profusely, but do not overwinter. Examples of biennials that could be planted in place of a Bleeding Heart are hollyhocks, foxgloves, and sweet william. Biennials bloom in their second year, overwinter, then die.
Perennials are another good choice for replacing a Bleeding Heart. Many perennials bloom for weeks and come in a variety of colors. Examples of perennials you could plant in place of a Bleeding Heart include black-eyed Susan, Russian sage, Shasta daisy, phlox, and clematis.
When selecting a plant to replace a Bleeding Heart, it is important to consider the amount of light and the amount of water the plant will need. Picking the right plant for your space will ensure that it thrives and provides long-lasting beauty.
Are bleeding heart flowers perennials?
Yes, bleeding heart flowers (Dicentra spectabilis) are perennials. These flowers are native to eastern Asia, but have been cultivated in the United States since the 1700s. The flowers range in color from light pink to white and grow in dense clusters along arching stems.
They’re most commonly grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9 and bloom from early spring to mid-summer. Bleeding heart flowers prefer shade to partial sun but can tolerate full sun if kept moist in warmer climates.
The plants are also drought tolerant, preferring soil that stays moist but not soggy. The foliage of this perennial may die in fall, but the flowers reappear in the spring. The bleeding heart flower blossoms beautifully from year to year without needing much maintenance.
Should bleeding hearts be cut back after blooming?
Yes, it is a good idea to cut back bleeding hearts after blooming. Pruning the plants before their leaves wilt and die helps them focus their energy on developing larger blooms the following year. Cutting bleeding hearts back to the base of their old growth will also help keep the plants looking healthier and more attractive.
It’s important to prune carefully and take care not to damage emerging shoots or delicate stems. If a gardener notices that their bleeding heart plants are thinning or becoming sparse, they can thin out entire sections of their plants to thin and shape them.
Pruning also encourages stronger and thicker stems and can be used to reduce the height of the plants, if desired. Finally, a little trimming after the blooms fade helps encourage a longer blooming period and a neat, attractive garden.
Why are my bleeding hearts dying?
You may have chosen a spot with an unsuitable climate or environment for the plants. Bleeding hearts prefer dappled sun or partial shade, and too much sun or consistent dryness can both lead to them wilting and dying.
It is also important to provide sufficient water to bleeding hearts to keep them alive and healthy. They should be watered regularly, but be sure to not over water. Do not allow soil to become soggy, or remain wet for long periods of time.
When planting, Bleeding Hearts should be planted in slightly acidic and well-draining soil. Adjust the pH of the soil if needed and be sure to use soil that does not stay damp after watering. Additionally, it is important to provide them with a complete balanced fertilizer every couple of weeks.
Inspect your plants for any signs of disease or pests, as these can both contribute to the death of your bleeding hearts. If present, it is very important to act quickly to remove and destroy any affected plants, as well as to treat for pests and disease.
Finally, be mindful of any sudden changes to the environment in which your bleeding hearts are planted. Even small fluctuations in climate or soil composition can lead to death of your plants.
What does bleeding heart look like in winter?
In winter, the Bleeding Heart plant appears dormant, with little to no foliage present. The stem and leaves of the plant will die back and brown, and the flower clusters will be completely absent. The foliage that does survive the winter months will appear dull and beige in color.
The root structure of the plant will remain intact, however, and when warmer weather arrives, the plant will begin to bloom again. Bleeding Hearts are hardy perennials and will survive in cold, winter climates with an adequate layer of mulch to insulate the root system.
The plant usually returns to its full glory in the spring when temperatures begin to warm and the foliage and flowers show their vibrant colors and alluring blooms.