Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Bleeding Heart:

            Why is it called Bleeding Heart? The picture should give you all the clues you’ll need.



            Bleeding Hearts are one of the first perennials to show their flowery face in the early spring. It is a dense shade to sun loving bulb plant that flowers in red with a white drip, or white with a white drip; some claim there is a pink, but I think what they are seeing is red flowers just past their prime. It gets around a foot and a half tall but is more horizontal in its flower production.

 
            The growing characteristics are more like a tulip; they pop out of the ground long before other perennials, flower out, and then the whole plant starts to yellow and die. It would be a good idea to plant this perennial behind something like a Hydrangea that leaf’s out a little later; or behind some taller perennials like Garden Phlox, or Delphinium, they too start a bit later.

            Like the tulip, it needs to die back some; this process is draining life back into the bulb. You may cut it down when the whole plant is yellow.

            The fact that it flowers early would be the only selling point our winter weary eyes would need. But add to that the bright red, or the clean white, the uniqueness of the heart shaped flower, and you have the perfect “Welcome to Spring” ambassador.

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