Planting bleeding hearts for customers after August can be hard. We have over the years planted gardens in the fall and everyone can tell it was planted in this season. You can tell because in the spring the gardens are a bit more blah, and then in the fall they are in full bloom. Luckily we have learned our lesson, plant spring flowers in the fall with the fall bloomers. The issue is that when you plant these plants, they look dead.
They look dead to our vendors, the workers, the customers, and the CEO (we just saw The Barbie movie and must clarify that we have a woman CEO), Leah Mulder, but she knows the secrets. The plants need that early dormancy to look fabulous in the spring. In the spring our bleeding hearts will burst after the long winter months and show off their delicate hearts.
DICENTRA SPECTABILIS which is also known as the GOLD HEART BLEEDING HEART is our current favorite, this is because it has such rich colors of chartreuse in our shady gardens., the best place for this plant. The GOLD HEART ends up growing much larger than its cousins (other varieties), which helps fill in the garden during the bleaker spring space months alongside the late blooming tulips and daffodils.
Bleeding hearts are die-back perennials, meaning that they showcase their beauty and then start going dormant in August, this will help the plants store their energy in the roots for the following year. Floral Bar, your friendly garden nerds, recommends you simply cut them to the ground after you notice their leaves wilting. This is not the same as grasses as mentioned in the article above. This simply takes the energy from the dying part of the plant and lets the plant nurture its roots for the following year.
The golden leaves against the stark shadowy shade garden.
For Dicentra Spectabilis specifically, it is best that they are placed in the ground in an area that gets full morning sun and then later gets shade during the rest of the day. When it comes to watering and soil maintenance they like their soil lightly moist throughout the growing season. When adding bleeding hearts to the garden make sure that the soil it is in is slightly acidic and humus-rich, or we can do that for you. With the Chicago ground being more clay-based it's important to add a soil amendment to help break up the soil we recommend cotton burr. Remember to love your plants the bottom line to a thriving garden is to keep up with the correct watering schedule.