How to move a bleeding heart plant

Written by shawna kennedy
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How to move a bleeding heart plant
Bleeding heart brings old-fashioned charm to your shade garden. (wet bleeding heart 02 image by Michael Cornelius from

Bleeding heart is a deciduous perennial that grows in United States Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3 through 9. Small pink and white, heart-shaped flowers bloom on graceful, arching stems in the summer. The leaves of the bleeding heart are green and deeply divided, growing yellow in the fall. These plants grow in moist, well-drained soil and partial shade. Bleeding heart grows to 3 feet tall. Divide the plant every five years.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Mulch

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  1. 1

    Wait until the early spring or fall to transplant your bleeding heart if possible. Transplanting in the spring will reduce the chance of disrupting flower production and growth. In the fall, you can transplant your bleeding heart after the foliage fades away.

  2. 2

    Dig a hole with a shovel about 18 inches wide and deep. Your bleeding heart will need an area with partial to filtered shade and moist, well-drained soil. Add 7 to 8 cups of compost to the fill dirt and mix well.

  3. 3

    Starting at least 6 inches from the stem of the plant, dig around the bleeding heart to a depth of at least 12 inches.

  4. 4

    Lift the bleeding heart carefully from the ground. Do not jostle the roots as they are brittle and may break. Place the bleeding heart in the pre-dug hole. Add fill dirt to the hole if needed, so the bleeding heart is growing at the same depth it was in its previous location.

  5. 5

    Fill in the dirt around the bleeding heart and water well to collapse any air pockets. When planting more than one bleeding heart, space them at least 24 inches apart. Keep the soil around your bleeding heart moist, but not wet

  6. 6

    Spread a 3- or 4-inch layer of mulch around your bleeding heart to help the soil conserve moisture and prevent the growth of weeds.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep your bleeding heart shaded for several days to help it recover, especially if it is transplanted in the spring.
  • All parts of this plant are poisonous.

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