There are 19 species of Bleeding Heart native to North America and Asia. The Common Bleeding Heart originally came from Japan, arriving in North America as early as 1810. Hardy from zones 4 to 7, it has become a favourite perennial garden plant. Form is deeply cut blue-green fern-like foliage appearing in mid-to-late spring, when come graceful arching stems holding rose-coloured heart-shaped blooms. There are 2 pairs of flower petals, the outer forming the heart and the inner forming the "drop of blood" as the heart spurs open to reveal the inner stamens. By mid-summer, the foliage dies back in all but the most favoured shady locations. It's best to overplant with annuals or plant other perennials nearby to keep colour throughout the season.
The Bleeding Heart is best planted in light shade (morning sun with afternoon shade) with well-drained soil generously supplemented with peat moss or leaf mould. The plant can grow to be 2 to 2 and a half feet tall. Full sun can be tolerated if the soil is moist.
To propagate, sow seed in cold frames in the fall to flower the following season. Divide the clumps every 3 to 4 years in late winter when plant is dormant.