Sunday, March 15, 2009
Bleeding Hearts by Color
Dicentra spectabilis, more commonly known as Bleeding Hearts is a perennial that I just adore. My gardens are filled with them, they bloom for such a long time in the spring. The only downfall is that their foliage dies off when the temperatures get hot so you are left with a large "dead" spot in your garden. It takes a bit of experementation but eventually you will find companion perennials that will fill in that spot later in the season.
One of the most cool things about bleeding hearts is that you can tell what color they are as soon as they start pushing out of the soil. I wish other perennials were this easy to identify!
The first photo shows the emerging shoot of a pink bleeding heart.
This is what the blooms will look like later in the spring. Aren't they magnificent?
Here you can see the color change in the emerging shoots of a white bleeding heart.
This photo was shot exactly one year ago. Aparently we are a bit behind last year as I haven't seen this in the garden yet.
Going through three years of perennial photos it was amazing to me that I could find lots of photos of the pink Dicentras but this was the only photo I could find of a white Dicentra. I grow lots of both of them so I will have to make an effort to take some better photos this year.
If you've ever wondered how to divide a Dicentra spectabilis, scroll down the right side of my blog and click on "How to Divide Perennials" under the catagory "Labels". You will see what the root system of a bleeding heart looks like. They are quite different from most perennials and so I used to think they were finicky. The truth is that they divide easily as along as you divide them early in their growth stage. In my experience, they immediately take off and bloom like nothing ever happened to them.
Another note I would make about bleeding hearts is that they appreciate more sunlight then I was led to believe. If you live in a warmer climate (I am on Long Island, just east of New York City), you might have a different experience. Here though, I've grown bleeding hearts in full sun and they grow quickly to epic proportions! The ones in the shade bloom as well but take much longer to clump up.
Off to spend some glorious time cleaning up winter debris,