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seniorballoon

Dicentra Scandens, climbing bleeding heart

SeniorBalloon
2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

Does anyone grow this in the PNW. From descriptions it seems it would like our weather. Anyone having experience with it here?

Comments (20)

  • SeniorBalloon
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    From what I've gathered it does grow in this region, and there are some seed sellers on Etsy. I am only concerned whether it will seed around. If it's like our Brunnera, which gives us 2 or 3 new plants a year, that would be fine, but if it's seedy that would just be introducing another garden chore.

  • SeniorBalloon
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    It doesn't appear that many here have experience with this plant, so I bought some seed off of Etsy. We shall see if I can germinate them.

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  • Jay 6a Chicago
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I haven't grown it, but I've tried growing the related native vine Capnoides sempervirens. It's a biennial, and I had one plant that looked healthy in it's 1st year, but then it failed to return the next spring. I want to try growing it again. This Dave's Garden link has stories by people that grow Dicentra/Dactylicapnos scandens.

    https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1391/#b

    SeniorBalloon thanked Jay 6a Chicago
  • peren.all Zone 5a Ontario Canada
    2 months ago

    Jay I think the one you tried growing is Adlumia fungosa (Allegheny Vine). I have grown Capnoides sempervirens and it is lovely but is not a climber.

  • SeniorBalloon
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @Jay 6a Chicago I found that Dave's link the other day and it is why i decided to give them a try. They'll arrive next week, which is good timing for winter sowing.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    2 months ago

    I haven't tried the dicentra but I have tried climbing nasturtium, Tropaeolum speciosum, after seeing it growing at Heronswood. TBH, any red flowered vine would have been fine but one that was somewhat shade tolerant was even better!!

    I planted it from a start and and had high hopes for hummingbird attracting flowers all summer. It only grew a few feet, produced only a handful of flowers and never showed up the next season! 😪 Believe the literature when they say it is slow or hard to establish!

    SeniorBalloon thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
  • SeniorBalloon
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    I've learned to be wary of pretty things I see (or saw) at Heronswood or Far Reaches. I remember seeing an Abutilon on one of my first visits and said "holy moses I want one of those!" only to discover it was not hardy in the foot hills where I live, and in fact was marginal at Heronswood.


    Do you think your issue with Tropaeolum speciosum was a zonal hardiness issue?


    From the thread at Dave's people are growing Dicentra Scandens in cooler climes than ours. Some had no trouble germinating others no success at all. Bad seed? Wrong germination conditions? The germination description from the Etsy site was warm, cold, warm, similar to Actea. But Plant World, based in England, was simply sow in winter, cover lightly and wait till spring. This is what I'll do, but like the Actea seeds that I've had sown for a bit over a year, I will keep at it for at least two seasons.


    I once got a peony seed to germinate after 2 years, then lost it to a sudden and surprisingly sunny day when it got to warm in the greenhouse. :o(


  • Jay 6a Chicago
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Thanks for the correction Perenn-all! It's been years since I tried growing Adlumia fungosa, and I forgot the name. I bought a couple tubers of a Tropaeolum species a few years back and they never thrived, nor put on much growth. I figured it was because of the intense, summer heat and humidity. The red speciosum and the blue flowered species have been on my dream list of plants to grow, and seed germination is a very long and complicated process. I wasn't able to germinate any. I'm surprised to hear that speciosum didn't do well on the west coast. I'm sure it wouldn't do well here in the midwest either. 😥

  • SeniorBalloon
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Here's some confusing instructions for germinating dicentra scandens:

    " Sow the seeds in moist, well drained compost and cover lightly with vermiculite. Do not cover as the seeds as they need light to germinate. Keep the tray at 18 to 22°C for 2 to 4 weeks. Then move seeds to a fridge at 4°C (39°F) for 4 to 6 weeks then bring the tray back up to 5 to 12°C (41 to 53°F) for germination. Seeds are slow and erratic to germinate, taking from 30 to 180 days."

    This is from this site:

    https://www.plantsofdistinction.co.uk/climbers/climbers/dicentra-scandens-1469b

    Based on the Plant World instructions I am planning to lightly cover with some clean, fine sand. I've never covered any seed that said it needed light to germinate.

  • SeniorBalloon
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Apparently it's not really a dicentra,, rather it's a "Dactylicapnos Scandens", common name

    "Athens Yellow". I found a few pictures of the full size plant and it's really big. Amazing that it dies back to the ground every year as some of the pictures I saw it covered an area 8-9 feet wide and as high. I haven't found a description of what kind of root system it creates and if and or how much it will spread. One site did say it can be divided so it's some sort of clump.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    2 months ago

    Dicentra is the old genus name for these plants and is still considered an accepted synonym. So still is "really" a dicentra if one prefers :-) And the common name is just climbing bleeding heart.

  • SeniorBalloon
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    The site I got Athens Yellow from also said common names were climbing bleeding heart and Yellow Bleeding Hearts vine. I liked the ring of Athens Yellow, it has more pizzazz. :0)

  • Jay 6a Chicago
    2 months ago

    Dicentra is easier to remember and rolls off the tongue better. Same goes with the herbaceous Asian Bleeding Heart which I always have to look up and spell correctly. :(

  • rosaprimula
    2 months ago

    I don't have much luck with t.speciosum, GG, although I have grown a couple of other tuberous tropaeolum. Like meconopsis grandiflora et al, they seem to thrive in a peaty, acidic, moist soil with cool summers (so Scotland and the NWUK). I have a t..ciliatum currently not doing much at all (hoping to set it free to cover our shipping container, along with the largest of my ramblers). Am pretty certain I have tried t.azureum with zero success, but t.tricolour are easy in a pot and fun for winter colour.


    I have planted plenty for customers but dicentra (or lamprocapnos never really did much for me...in terms of thriving or aesthetics, probably because I have been able to maintain a degree of shade denial. I never really got those corydalis with pink flowers...or those tuberous blue ones. I quite like ochraleuca as an easy going filler and I like our native purple ramping fumitory (purpurea) although it doesn't seem as common as it used to be.There is a horrible climbing version which always makes me feel a bit queasy - . ceratocapnos.claviculata - sometimes reminds me uneasily of bunches of vine weevil larvae

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    2 months ago

    The standard bleeding heart - what used to be known as Dicentra spectabilis - never did much for me. But before I came to my aesthetic senses, I had a shady-ish area in a previous garden planted up with golden foliage/pink flowered plants (don't ask me why....I have no excuse). Ribes sanguineum 'Brocklebankii', Hakonechloa 'Aureola', Bergenia 'Tubby Andrews', 'Pink Pearl' hyacinths and of course, Dicentra 'Gold Heart'. I think there was a gold elderberry close by as well.

    That was an experiment I have never repeated :-) While I still appreciate gold or chartreuse foliage, you would have to look hard to find anything pink!! A very satisfactory replacement for 'Gold Heart' is 'White Gold'. I've also grown several of the native dicentras and their hybrids. I find these to be good choices for even dry shade. And they don't come in glaringly strident colors either :-)

  • SeniorBalloon
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Not a big fan of pink myself, but the foliage of that Bergenia 'Tubby Andrews', would be worth it. :o)

  • katob Z6ish, NE Pa
    2 months ago

    I don't think I've yet to come to any kind of aesthetic sense, since my garden keeps veering off the tracks with more and more yellow-foliage, but the yellow and pink of 'Gold Heart' never won me over... yet...

    This is far from the PNW but the yellow bleeding heart vine does well enough here in Pa. A fairly tame patch of vine (for several years) which scrambles over its neighbors in a friend's shade garden, here it flowered from seed the first year but was then smothered by construction over the winter.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    2 months ago

    " Not a big fan of pink myself, but the foliage of that Bergenia 'Tubby Andrews', would be worth it. :o) "

    You could always do what I do.......cut off the flower spikes as they appear :-) I do this with heucheras and hostas as well, as IMO their flowers are their least appealing aspect. I grow all three of these plants primarily for their foliage.

    In that same garden I explored that bizarre chartreuse and pink combo I also grew Magic Carpet spiraea (different area). I would shear the shrubs back as soon as they set flower buds as I could not tolerate the Pepto Bismol pink flowers. They would respond with a flush of bright new bronzy-coral foliage..........much better!! I just had to do this several times a season.

  • SeniorBalloon
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: last month

    Ha! we've been watching Wednesday on Netflix and your comment gave me a big Morticia vibe. :o) The original owners of our place (they lived here for 2 years before we bought) had planted mostly pink flowering Rhodies. Most of them have some issue producing any flowers, which is ok considering the color. I've posted about their issues in another thread. Only one blooms and it blooms so prolifically, and the pink is a softer tone, that I've learned to like it.

    My dislike of pink started years ago when we planted an assortment of tulip bulbs with a willy nilly disregard for their color. A Pink and an Orange pair popped up side by side and it made both my wife and I nauseous. Been a bit more careful after that.

    We do have some pink phlox, a volunteer, a bit more pastel than hot pink, and some pulmonaria that are early bloomers which provide a bit of nice color and the bees love them, so they get to stay.