This delicate-looking perennial plant bears heart-shaped pendant blooms that appear to have a drop of blood on the tip of the bloom, this is why it’s named bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabillis).
Bleeding heart, also known as Lady’s Locket, Lady-in-the-Bath, and Lyre Flower, is a spring garden favorite and will be finished blooming by mid-summer. It’s easy to propagate a bleeding heart from a cutting. Use these tips for successful propagation of this attractive and interesting flower.
Prepare The Container
Have the container ready before taking a cutting from the plant. Use a clean, small 4-inch (10cm) container that has a drainage hole in the bottom.
Fill container with potting mixture that contains peat, sand, or perlite to ensure good drainage. Water the mixture well, then allow water to drain through.
Take A Cutting
Immediately after plant has finished blooming is the time to take a stem cutting and start a new bleeding heart.
Take a 3-5 inch (7.5-12.5cm) softwood cutting – new growth that is still pliable and doesn’t snap when you bend the stems. Take the cutting in the morning when the plant for best results.
Strip the leaves from the bottom half of the stem after cutting it from the plant.
Plant The Cutting
Create a hole in the center of the potting mix with your little finger or a pencil. Insert the cut end of the stem into the hole, then firm the potting mix gently around the stem to remove any air pockets.
The cut end of the stem can be dipped in rooting hormone powder before planting if desired.
Cover the entire top of the container with a clear plastic bag to create a warm, humid environment for the bleeding heart cutting. Place plastic straws around the inside perimeter of the container to prevent the plastic from touching the cutting.
Place the container in a bright location that receives indirect sunlight and remains consistently between 65-75 F. (18-24 C.). Don’t allow the room temperature to drop below 55 F. (13-16 C).
Direct sunlight will cook the cutting and temperatures below 55 F (13C) is too cold for it to survive.
Caring For The Propagation
Check the cutting daily and water if the potting mix is dry. Poke a few small ventilation holes in the plastic.
Remove the plastic when you notice new growth, which should be in 2-4 weeks.
Transplant the newly rooted bleeding heart plants into larger containers or to a partially shaded outdoor location 1-month after new growth appears.
Keep soil moist at all times.
|Common name||bleeding heart, lady’s locket, lady-in-the-bath, lyre flower|
|Soil type||clay, loam, sand|
|Soil drainage||moist but well-drained|
|Height x Width||1-3 x 1-3 feet (30-90 x 30-90 cm )|
|Flowering seasons||spring, summer, fall/autumn|
|Plant hardiness zones||3 – 9|