#YouShouldGrowThis: Bleeding heart not old-fashioned

CBC gardening columnist, Lyndon Penner, explains why you should grow bleeding heart in your garden.

CBC gardener Lyndon Penner says traditional bleeding heart still has a home in a modern garden

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      Bleeding heart – Dicentra spectabilis

      A much loved, old fashioned perennial adored by both new and experienced gardeners. Growing two to three feet tall, bleeding heart flowers in late spring or early summer and has beautiful, pendant flowers that are quite heart-like and arranged in graceful, arching clusters.

      The flowers are normally pink, but the white flowered form is exquisite.

      Bleeding heart is long lived, very showy, and attractive to both bees and hummingbirds.

      It likes rich, moist soil but is quite adaptable. Despite the fact that it is usually recommended for shade, bleeding heart will grow largest and flower best if it has at least half a day of sun.

      It dislikes a windy location but it's very adaptable and never troubled by pests or disease. Since it establishes quickly and flowers over a long period, this is a good plant to recommend to a friend who is new to gardening. 

      Note: Like lily-of-the-valley, this plant is very poisonous if eaten. 

      #YouShouldDoThis: Top 3 list for May 28

      1. Pump it up: Make sure the tire in your wheelbarrow is properly inflated — very annoying when you are hauling compost around and then suddenly you are not hauling compost around.

      2. Fill it up: Is your rain barrel in place in the garden? It should be! 

      3. Cover it up: Do you have frost blankets? We often get a frost the last week of May or the first week of June. If cold temperatures loom, how will you protect your newly planted plants? Going to Value Village or another thrift store and buying old towels and blankets to keep in the shed is a good idea. Then you can easily cover plants up if you need to. Buy some garden pins to hold blankets/towels in place. They won't do you any good if the wind blows them off during the night!

      Did this work for you? Have more questions? Let us know on Twitter @CBCSask or Facebook and use the hashtags #YouShouldGrowThis and #YouShouldDoThis.

      About the Author

      Lyndon Penner


      Lyndon is a gardening expert and columnist with CBC. Follow him on Twitter at @CBCgardener.


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