En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - April 29, 2013

From: East Meadow, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Dicentra Late in Emerging in the Spring
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I have had a bleeding heart plant that has come up for over 50 years. This year it did not come up. Is there anything I can do? Is there a chance that it will come up next year or should I assume that the life of this plant is over?

ANSWER:

It’s a wonderful achievement to have a bleeding heart (Dicentra sp.) for more than 50 years. Your heirloom plant has certainly lived a long life. As you know there are many situations that cause Dicentra to naturally go dormant after they bloom (heat and drought) but there are also some that can cause a total demise – waterlogged and heavy clay soil. Have patience and see if your plant is just delayed this spring in emerging.  If it doesn’t emerge within a reasonable time then some careful excavation around the planting site to see if there is any sign of life present in the fleshy root would be the next step. If there is no sign of life then it probably succumbed because of overly wet roots during the winter or a stem rot last fall.  There are many wonderful native Dicentra for you to try if your matriarch has left the garden.

 

From the Image Gallery


Dutchman's breeches
Dicentra cucullaria

Turkey corn
Dicentra eximia

Squirrel corn
Dicentra canadensis

Squirrel corn
Dicentra canadensis

More Wildflowers Questions

The most common wildflower in North America
January 16, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smartyplants, What the most common wildflower in North America? My friend thinks it's the oxeye daisy. Is this correct? I work for a puzzle publishing company, and am doing research for a the...
view the full question and answer

Planting time and method for bluebonnets in Leander, TX
May 13, 2010 - What month is the right month to plant the bluebonnet seeds? September or October? Is the correct way to plant is by "throwing" them on top of the ground? I have a grassy area and I like them...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of wildflower seeds
November 13, 2008 - I recently planted seeds for bluebonnets, winecups and pink evening primrose. The bluebonnets have germinated and are growing, but no sign of the other two. Do the winecups and pink evening primro...
view the full question and answer

White Bluebonnets
March 15, 2004 - Are white Bluebonnets rare?
view the full question and answer

Central Texas wildflowers
March 20, 2004 - How do I propagate specific central Texas wildflowers?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center