Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba'
Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
| ||Common Name: Bleeding Heart-Old Fashioned|
Common Name (Alternative): Common Bleeding Heart
Every bit as charming as the pink form, D. s. 'Alba' forms large, bushy clumps of powdery-light green foliage comprised of cut or lobed leaves on fleshy stems. In late spring, chains of puffy, white, heart-shaped flowers dangle beneath the arching, leafless stems. These racemes make delightful additions to fresh bouquets, lasting about 2 weeks in a vase. In cooler climates with adequate moisture, the bloom time may be extended into early summer.
After putting on this fantastic display, Old-Fashioned Bleeding Hearts usually go dormant until the following spring. However, if plants are kept well-watered during the spring, dormancy may be delayed until late summer or early fall. Other bushy perennials, such as Hosta, Geranium, or Sedge, should be planted nearby to fill in the resulting gaps.
Origin: Native Cultivar
Sun or Shade?:
Part shade (4-6 hrs. direct sun)
Full shade (< 4 hrs. direct sun)
Wet or dry?:
Average water needs
Consistent water needs
Want to see wings?:
Need critter resistant plants?:
How fast should it grow?:
When should it bloom?:
How's your soil?:
Sweet or Sour Soil?:
Acidic Soil (pH < 7.0)
Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)
Alkaline Soil (pH > 7.0)
What's your garden style?:
Dicentra is most at home in woodland settings. It likes rich, loose soil that is evenly moist but also well-drained. At planting time, add lots of compost, humus, or peat moss to the soil to enhance its water retention capabilities. Plants will not grow well in heavy clay soils.
Dicentra should be planted in locations that are protected from high winds and early frosts, such as the edges of woodlands or on the north or east sides of buildings. It may be propagated by division in either spring or fall, taking great care to keep the fleshy roots intact when transplanting. If spent flowers are not removed, small pods develop and drop their seeds when mature and dry. If these seeds are left undisturbed, they will germinate the following spring. The resulting plantlets are easy to transplant while they are still small.