Thursday, February 17, 2011

'Gold Heart' Bleeding Heart

Blooming Desert Landscape's Top Plant Picks for 2011

Number Four - 'Gold Heart' Bleeding Heart
Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart'

This is a refreshing alternative to an old classic. 'Gold Heart' offers dramatic, chartreuse foliage from spring through fall. The striking perennial can reach 24"-36" tall and 18"-24" wide. The heart shaped flowers are quite similar to the standard bleeding heart variety, but the contrast in colors really makes those flowers pop! I always consider foliage color and texture with the flowers when designing a landscape. Bend's growing season is so short and the blooms simply don't last as long as those in New England, California or wherever else you see those beautiful photos in garden magazines. So, I rely on foliage interest for variation in the garden in between blooming times.

Suitable for zones 4-8. Click here if you want to know what zone you are in. Grows best in moist soil and full to partial shade. The 'Gold Heart' can be susceptible to powdery mildew, slug and rust west of the Cascades. These problems are not usually seen in the High Desert because of the colder nights and drier climate.

I love planting 'Gold Heart' Bleeding Heart with deep green conifers, rhododendrons or burgundy ajuga. It can really brighten up a dark spot in your shade garden!

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