The Bleeding Heart

The Bleeding Heart

By Lidia Boque Gousgouni
22 Nov 2017

The Bleeding Heart has been a favourite plant in many gardens for a great number of years.  One thing is now different with this plant - its name.  Known world-wide for a great number of years as Dicentra spectabilis, this plant is now called Lamprocapnos spectabilis.   

This plant has soft foliage and delightful pink and white heart-shaped flowers during the spring.  This is a clump forming plant that will die down and go dormant during the summer, never fear though it comes back beautifully by the following spring.  This is a woodland type of plant and it needs a moist, rich soil in partial shade.  If you’re lucky enough to have a shady spot and rich soil – woodland plants are varied and incredibly interesting.

The Bleeding Heart will grow to about 1 metre tall and about the same in width.  If you want to grow your own they can be propagated from seed and division of the clumps is another option.  Divide the plants when the leaves have died down.

The Bleeding Heart provides great texture and form in the garden and is known to attract butterflies.  There is one major downside to this plant – it is toxic to animals, including dogs who will experience side effects if they eat it.  This explains why it is listed as a rabbit resistant!

If you have dogs but still want to grow the Bleeding Heart you’re lucky because it grows well in containers.  In a pot it can be grown in a shade-house or other shady spot (away from your animals) and then put out on display when it’s in flower.  This way you still get to have this beautiful plant but you also protect your animals.

If you’re after woodland type plants there are many beauties.  A few other delightful choices include Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola, (Golden Japanese Forest Grass), Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ and Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot).


A Sustainable Living Festival Plant and Garden Event.  26th November – Our Native Garden Nursery tour.  11.00am – 12.30pm.  Learn about native plants and how they can thrive in your garden.  Our Native Garden is a not for profit, volunteer run native plant nursery dedicated to developing balanced ecosystems.  This is a free tour, but you do need to book your spot.  Ring 0418579331.  This tour will meet at the waste transfer station, 29 Kane Road Wodonga for the tour.



The delicate flower on the Bleeding Heart – an unusual plant to grow and display.