Bleeding hearts are not only beautiful, but they are also easy to grow and take minimal maintenance. Their graceful blooms look like tiny little hearts hanging from a string and light up a shade garden like no other at this time of the year. They are the quintessential, classic addition for shade gardens and wooded areas and even though they look delicate and dainty, don’t let them fool you; they are really quite hardy.
Growing best in partial to full shade in well-drained soil, they are trouble-free and quite resilient. They generally top out at 2-3’ in height with a similar spread, and bloom in the early spring months of April-May. Their graceful leaves sway in the slightest breeze and are only trumped in beauty by their stunning red, pink, or white heart-shaped flowers that cascade off their romantic arching stems.
Many gardeners don't realize that bleeding hearts are virtually pest-free. Deer, rabbits, and other pests seem to leave them alone, likely because they are reported to be toxic if ingested in large quantities. So if you're looking for a beautiful plant that won't be devoured by pests, the bleeding heart is a great choice. Just be sure to keep it away from small children and pets who might be tempted to nibble on their leaves.
One of the best things about bleeding hearts is that they're relatively easy to care for. They thrive in dappled shade under trees or near woodland water sources. Although their eye-catching blooms are finished by late spring when the foliage will die back into dormancy after the flowers have faded, they are well worth saving space for. Once the leaves turn yellow and the plant dies down, you can cut it back hard to the ground. Don’t worry though, it will be back again next year. It works well to mix bleeding hearts in with other shade-loving perennials such as hostas and ferns. These begin to fill out just as the bleeding hearts' foliage starts to decline. That way when they die down, you don’t have an empty spot.
Without a doubt, bleeding hearts provide unmatched beauty in the spring landscape. When the garden is about to awaken from its winter slumber, bleeding hearts are a welcome sight and start the new season off with dainty yet romantic and playful exuberance. Just as this plant evokes smiles and carefree attitudes outdoors, its lengthy and unique stems also make excellent candidates for indoor flower vases and arrangements. By bringing their delight indoors you can’t go wrong.
So if you're looking for a plant that is both beautiful and low-maintenance, bleeding hearts are a perfect choice!
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