Growing Bleeding Heart From Seed
You can grow a bleeding heart from seed if you have access to a greenhouse or a sunny window sill. You’ll need to start the seeds indoors at least six weeks prior to planting outside. Once the plants are large enough to handle, transplant them outdoors.
To propagate a bleeding heart from the seed, you’ll need to collect the seeds from mature blooms. Gently rub off the petals and place the seeds onto moistened paper towels. Keep the seeds in a warm shady location until germination occurs.
Germinate the seeds in a dark environment, such as a refrigerator. After two weeks, remove the paper towel and keep the seeds in a cool, dry location until they sprout.
Bleeding hearts are beautiful shade plants that produce lovely flowers. They can be grown from seed, which requires more time and patience than buying plants. However, you’ll enjoy watching the plants grow and bloom.
Let’s learn more about this plant!
When Should You Plant Bleeding Heart Seeds?
You should start planting bleeding heart seeds in late summer, which is when they are harvested from the plant. By doing this, you give the seeds plenty of time for germination and provide the cold period they need during the winter months.
If you can’t plant your seeds right away, try storing them in the freezer for several days to kill off any pests and bacteria.
Then place them in a damp medium at room temperature until they sprout. Once they sprout, you can move them to a warmer location where they can continue growing.
Once you’ve planted your seeds, wait patiently for them to sprout. After they have sprouted, you can transplant them outdoors once the weather warms up.
Plant your bleeding heart seeds in early spring, when the soil is warm enough to support growth. Be patient; it takes several weeks for them to sprout and grow roots.
After they have grown strong roots, you can transfer them to larger pots of soil and enjoy watching them bloom throughout the summer.
Cultivation & History
They were originally brought to Europe and North America in the mid-19th century. Bleeding hearts are now commonly found throughout Europe and North America. They are especially common in urban settings where they tend to grow well in containers.
Although not native to the United State or Europe, L. Spectabilis has not been considered an invasive species in either region due to its brief blooming season and slow growth rate.
You can easily propagate bleeding heart seeds using cuttings in the propagation mat. Simply remove the stem at the base of the plant and insert it into the soil. You’ll notice that the leaves begin to wilt within 24 hours. After two weeks, the cutting should root itself and start growing roots. Once the roots reach 1/2 inch long, you can put the cutting onto fresh well-draining soil.
You can buy seeds at any nursery or gardening store, but if you’d rather wait until springtime, you can harvest your own seeds right now. Just let the flowers mature and collect the seeds inside the flower heads.
Once you’ve collected enough seeds, place them in a paper bag and refrigerate them for four to six weeks. Afterward, you can plant them outdoors in early spring.
Transplants or Divisions
First, you’ll want to find out whether your plants are ready to be divided. Look at the leaves and stems. Are they starting to grow? Do they look healthy? If yes, then you can start planting your new plants.
Next, dig a hole where you plan to plant your new plants. Fill the hole with potting mix and tamp down firmly. Add water and wait for the mixture to drain completely.
Afterward, remove the old plant from its container and gently separate the roots from the stem. Cut the roots into pieces approximately 2 inches long.
Place the cuttings in the prepared hole and cover with additional potting mix. Water thoroughly and wait for the new plant to establish itself.
Tips For Growing Bleeding Heart
You can keep your bleeding hearts in the garden year-round, but you should give them plenty of sun and space to thrive. They prefer to grow in moist, organically enriched soils.
For growing in containers, consult our container care guide.
Find companion plants that bloom right after your bleeding hearts lose their brittle leaves. These include hostas, daylilies, and peonies.
If your bleeding hearts won’t flower, try consulting this guide for troubleshooting ideas.
Pruning & Maintenance
You should also cut back the foliage as it begins to become brown and unsightly. Bleeding heart varieties can sometimes get ragged-looking and you can shear them back to their basal growth. Don’t worry about removing the spent blooms at this point. Just leave them where they fall.
Refrain from deadheading (the removal of spent blooms) if your intention is to encourage flowering later in the season. Instead, let the flowers go to seed. This will give you another opportunity to enjoy the beauty of bleeding heart flowers during the winter months.
Pests and Diseases
There are two main pests that attack bleeding hearts. One is called the leaf miner. These insects lay eggs inside the leaves of the plant. As the larvae hatch, they eat away at the leaves until they die.
Another pest is the whitefly. Whiteflies suck the sap from the stems and leaves of the plant. They cause damage to the plant if left untreated.
To prevent these problems, keep your plants healthy. Keep the soil moist, especially during dry periods. Remove any dead or diseased leaves. Also, avoid using pesticides near your plants. You should also remove weeds from around your plants.
Other herbivores include rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, raccoons, skunks, opossums, mice, rats, moles, voles, gophers, and birds. These animals are less likely to bother your plants if you keep them away from your vegetable gardens.
Bleeding heart plants are incredibly hardy and pest-resistant. You won’t find any major problems with insects on them. However, if you notice any signs of insect infestation, you should remove the affected leaves and destroy them.
To prevent aphids from spreading, you should try to keep them away from your plants. One of the easiest ways to do this is to purchase an insecticide spray. Some sprays come with a guarantee, meaning that if you spray once and the problem doesn’t disappear, you won’t have to pay anything else. Other sprays require multiple applications.
How To Take Care Of Bleeding Heart?
You can easily grow your own bleeding hearts at home. Just keep them watered and fertilized regularly. Once they start blooming, cut off the spent blossoms to encourage new growth.
Bleeding hearts prefer light shade, but they can tolerate full shade. You should place your plants where there are at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. If you live somewhere that receives less than six hours of direct sunlight during the summer months, consider planting your bleeding heart in a container instead.
You’ll want to water your plants regularly if you want them to grow properly. Bleeding hearts are like slightly damp soil, so make sure to water them frequently. You should water them every day during the growing season, even during summer dormancy.
However, make sure not to let the soil become completely saturated. Overwatering can cause root rot, so only clean water until the top inch of soil dries out.
You’ll want to add a little bit of compost to your garden plants bed prior to planting bleeding hearts. You can either buy pre-composted dirt or mix your own using compost and peat moss. Either way, you should dig a hole at least 2 feet deep and 4 feet wide.
Then, place the compost in the bottom of the hole and cover it with several inches of soil. Next, spread the bleeding heart seeds evenly across the surface of the soil. Cover the black seeds with another layer of soil and water thoroughly. After a week, remove the plastic wrap and keep watering until the plants start sprouting.
Temperature and Humidity
As the summer heat ramps up and the days become shorter, you’ll likely see your bleeding heart begin to slow down. During this time, the plant goes through a process called dormancy. Dormant means sleeping. Plants enter dormancy to conserve energy and prepare themselves for winter.
You can tell if your bleeding heart leaves are entering dormancy by noticing that the foliage starts to look yellow. This is a perfectly acceptable sign of the plant slowing down. Just remember not to water your bleeding heart during this time. Watering encourages growth, which defeats the purpose of dormancy.
You’ll want to fertilize your bleeding hearts if you live in an area where there isn’t enough rain. You may also want to fertilize your plants if you notice any signs of fungal disease or insect infestation.
What Are The Different Types Of Bleeding Hearts?
Bleeding hearts come in a variety of colors and flower types. There are several varieties of bleeding hearts with similar growing characteristics, such as:
- Pure white flowers
- Pink flowers and yellow-gold leaves
- Bright red blossoms with white tips and purple stems
- Cherry-red blooms with gold accents
Potting & Repotting
Bleeding heart plants do very well as container plants, especially if they are given plenty of light and watered regularly. However, conditions must be right for them to thrive. When potting, choose a large container—at minimum, a 12-inch pot that has drainage holes. Clay pots work great for this purpose.
Use a quality, well-drainage potting mix. Don’t use soil mixes that are heavy with pebbles or sand; those types of soils tend to hold onto too much water. Instead, look for a potting mix that drains quickly.
How To Make A Bleeding Heart Bloom
To make a bleeding heart bloom, you’ll need to cut off the stem at the base of the plant. Then, you’ll need to stimulate new growth by cutting down to 1 inch below the soil line. Finally, keep the plant away from direct sunlight. These steps should encourage the plant to start flowering again.
Once the plant starts to flower, you’ll notice that it produces small white flowers. You can leave the plants in place until they die naturally. Or, if you’d prefer, you can remove the dead stems and leaves after they’ve died.
You can also divide the plant every year to maintain healthy growth. Just remember to wait until the plant has established itself before dividing it.
Keep the plant away from direct sunlight, which can hinder blooms. Once the plant starts to flower again, you can enjoy watching the beautiful blossoms grow.
4 Common Problems With Bleeding Heart
Bleeding heart plants aren’t prone to any major problems if they’re given proper care. Their main concerns come from the inadequate water supply or infestation by pests and diseases.
1. Powdery Spots On The Foliage
If spots of black, gray, whitish, or pink powder appear on bleeding hearts, they may be caused by powdery mildew, which is a treatable disease if caught early enough. Powdery mildew occurs when there isn’t enough air circulation in the plant. Make sure plants get adequate water but don’t soak them; instead, let them sit in water for several hours so that excess moisture drains out. Also, keep plants away from each other so they don’t compete for indirect light.
2. Leaves With Brown Or Black Spots
If you notice any symptoms of fungal leaf spot on your bleeding heart plants, then you should treat them right away. A fungicide or baking soda treatment can prevent further damage. You can find more information about treating bleeding heart plants here.
3. Yellowing Of The Leaves
If your bleeding heart is turning yellow, then you may want to adjust the conditions under which it grows. You can either reduce the amount of sunlight it receives or add extra fertilizer to the soil.
However, if the problem persists, you might consider removing the plant and replacing it with another variety. Bleeding hearts are very sensitive to environmental changes, so if yours starts to look sickly, it probably needs to be replaced.
4. Rapid Wilting, Blackening, Or Browning Of The Plant
Plants can become diseased by viruses, bacteria, fungi, insects, mites, nematodes, and weeds. Diseases can affect any part of the plant, including roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seed pods. Some diseases are visible, while others may only show symptoms later. Symptoms vary depending on the disease.
You can prevent diseases by keeping your plants free of pests and weeds. Pests and weeds can carry diseases. To keep your plants pest-free, remove weeds regularly and apply pesticides according to label directions on the care of plants.
Hey'all I'm Amy, a born foodie and diagnosed with celiac disease 7 years ago. I refused to cave into tasteless, boring gulten free food and create my own!
On my blog you'll find info & cool facts along with recipes, all on gluten free foods!