Dicentra spectabilis or Bleeding Heart is one of the first plants to emerge in late spring and has arching sprays of dainty, rose-pink, heart-shaped flowers above fern-like, fresh green leaves.
It is extremely easy to grow and as long as the ground is moist it will thrive in full sun or partial shade and it looks great planted in groups towards the front of a shady border or as part of a cottage garden scheme.
Dicentras are happy in any good garden soil that is fertile but not too heavy. Enrich the soil with plenty of leaf mould before planting and apply a mulch in autumn too. A light fertilising in March will also help.
Clumps of dicentra remain compact for many years and do not need dividing however they have brittle roots and so do not like disturbance – instead, try taking root cuttings in spring.