En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

More on bluebonnets
February 17, 2005 - We live on a farm and have recently had a cow that was deathly sick, then finally got better. We also had a couple of calving problems with the cows. I was reading about how toxic tailcup lupine is to...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for a slope in PA
April 16, 2011 - I've got a steep southeast-facing slope near the house that is mostly overrun with day lilies. It gets plenty of morning sun. I've had some luck with goldenrod and New England aster along the steps ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Iris native to Louisiana
May 19, 2005 - A friend of mine has discovered white iris growing alongside of a swampy habitat in southeast Louisiana where there are blue, yellow and copper/red irises. We presume it is wild because it is in a na...
view the full question and answer

Butterflies attracted by Pink Evening Primrose from Burnet TX
July 30, 2012 - I see information on Pink Evening Primrose that says it attracts 'many butterflies' Please tell me which butterflies and name them? I've looked everywhere and am just exhausted and frustrated with...
view the full question and answer

Is Annual Rye Choking Out Wildflowers in Austin?
January 15, 2011 - We live about 3 miles from the wildflower center on 3 acres and there is a natural area on our property that gets a lot of wildflowers. Last winter we threw out annual rye seed to have some greenery ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center