Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba'
Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba'

Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba'

SKU: S27738
1 for $16.95
Quick Facts
Common Name: Bleeding Heart
Hardiness Zone: 3-8S/9W Exposure: Part Shade
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Blooms In: May-Jun
Mature Height: 30-36" Spacing: 24-30"
Read our Growing Guide Ships as: BAREROOT
Deer Resistance: Yes
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Shipping Details Shipment begins in early March 2024, depending on your zone. See shipping tab for details
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Product Details

Product Details

Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba' is a white-flowering variety of the old-fashioned Bleeding Heart. Blooms are exquisitely delicate, and the white gives an entirely different character to the plant. Like so many white varieties, it is slightly less vigorous than the species, which doesn't diminish its garden value a bit.

About 15 species make up this genus of perennials native to Asia and North America. The common name derives from the unusual heart shape of the flowers and protruding inner petals. Most Dicentras prefer evenly moist soil, and little or no direct sun. Some varieties, including a selection of Fern-leaf or Western types, offer a greater tolerance of sun and heat, their foliage and blossoms persisting for an extended period where moisture is steady.

For more information on growing Dicentra, click Growing Guide.




The size of the plants we ship has been selected to reduce the shock of transplanting. For some, this means a large, bareroot crown. Others cannot travel bareroot or transplant best if grown in containers. We ship these perennials and annuals in 1 pint pots, except as noted. We must point out that many perennials will not bloom the first year after planting, but will the following year, amply rewarding your patience. We ship bulbs as dormant, bare bulbs, sometimes with some wood shavings or moss. Shrubs, Roses, vines, and other woody plants may be shipped bareroot or in pots. The size of the pot is noted in the quick facts for each item.


We ship our bulbs and plants at the right time for planting in your area, except as noted, with orders dispatched on a first-come, first-served basis by climate zone. We also ship a wide range of containers and planters, tools, supplies, fertilizers, garden wear, garden decor items, as well as indoor decorations like wreaths and dried bouquets when available. Estimated dates for shipping are indicated in the green Shipping Details box for each item. Please supply a street address for delivery. Kindly contact us with two weeks notice, if you'll be away at the expected time of delivery.


We guarantee to ship plants that are in prime condition for growing. If your order is damaged or fails to meet your expectations, we will cheerfully replace or refund it. Please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-503-9624 or email us at [email protected]. Please include your order number or customer number when contacting us.



Average Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (6 Reviews) Write a Review

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A real show stopper

It did well the first year I planted it, however this year (the second year) it looks amazing!!!! Its huge and full of graceful, long, arching blooms. It is the main performer of my front garden in mid to late spring! I highly recoment this one.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no

Not doing well in zone 7

I bought 3 of these and planted last year. All 3 came up lovely in April, but now in June they look terrible - 2 of the 3 look like they are burnt, with yellow stalks and brown curled leaves. We are in zone 7, and the location gets morning sun only, then shade the rest of the day. It has also been one of the wettest Junes on record, so its not for lack of water. Guess I would only recommend for cooler zones like 5. Its a shame since they had such promise early on.

24 of 32 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no

A Shy Beauty

I have 3 of these under a Shadeblow (aka Serviceberry) tree near my front door, and in the shade of the house. It has grown very well under these circumstances. While a good size it doesn't announce its presence, but when I point it out everyone exclaims "Oh what a beauty". It is mixed in with ferns and primrose. The only problem I've had is when something crushed one plant to the ground last year and it didn't come back. So I'm ordering a replacement from WFF.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no

Impressive floral show!

We planted D. spectabilis 'alba' in a shady spot by the front door late last spring. It promptly died back. This spring, however, it was an early emerging plant, and quickly put up robust stems and began blooming prolifically. As of late April 2012, in Zone 6a, the blooms are starting to give way to seed-pods (but everything started early this year). The deer don't touch it, the white blooms against the bright green foliage are gorgeous, and it thrives in shade -- all of which make me very happy.

35 of 35 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no

Classic stunner

I've got two flanking my front door which gets morning sun. After about noon or one it's in shade. Apparently they like this arrangement! They do beautifully here and, be forewarned, they can get HUGE when they're in the right spot. My plants are 3 years old and have been getting close to 4 feet in width for the last 2 years. Very dainty-looking flowers and the white just brightens up the area. Be prepared to put annuals or something later blooming nearby, because it will die back.

46 of 46 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no

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Growing guide

Growing guide
Print Grow Guide

Latin Name Pronunciation: dye-sen'-truh 

These delicate-looking plants are actually sturdy and trouble-free additions to the perennial border or woodland garden. An old-fashioned beauty, Dicentra spectabilis bears arching stems of pendant, puffy heart-shaped blooms in pink or white and can grow to three feet tall and as wide where happy. The longer-blooming, shorter forms boast attractive green to blue-green foliage that is lovely in the garden from spring to fall. Both types make excellent cut flowers.

Planting: Potted Dicentra should be planted with the crown at soil level. Bareroot Dicentra spectabilis should be planted with the crown 2″ below the soil line, but the crown of smaller bareroot varieties should be 1″ below the soil line.

Light/Watering: Bleeding Heart thrives in partial to full shade, although flowering is best with morning sun and afternoon shade. Some species, such as D. formosa and hybrids, are more tolerant of sun and heat. Consistent watering is preferred by all. D. spectabilis will go dormant during dry conditions in summer.

Fertilizer/Soil and pH: These plants are at their best in evenly moist, rich soil in partial to full shade. A two-inch layer of mulch will help buffer soil moisture and keep the ground cooler. A slightly acidic soil (pH 6.0 to 6.5) is ideal, but plants will tolerate a pH up to 7.5. Apply compost or a general purpose, granular fertilizer in spring.

Pests/Diseases: Dicentra is occasionally bothered by slugs and snails, but this is rarely a serious problem. If grown in poorly drained, wet soil, the crowns of the plants may rot. Avoid these soils and allow good air circulation. Keep mulch several inches away from the base of the plants.

Companions: Dicentra is lovely with other denizens of light shade such as Aquilegia, Ferns, Tiarella, Campanula, Alchemilla, Phlox divaricata, and Pulmonaria, and truly enlivens woodland gardens. Plant D. spectabilis with Hosta or spreading perennial Geraniums, or fill in with annuals when this plant goes dormant in summer.

Reflowering: The smaller varieties of Dicentra will bloom right up until frost in temperate climates, especially if old flower stems are removed. In areas with very hot summers, flowering may stop but will resume with cooler weather. D. formosa and hybrid varieties don’t go dormant and are more apt to keep their foliage and continue blooming throughout the summer until frost. Regular removal of yellowing foliage will keep plants looking fresh.

Dividing/Transplanting: If desired, plants can be gingerly divided in early spring; gently separate the brittle roots, replanting vigorous pieces from the outer edge of the plant.

End-of-Season Care: Remove dead foliage after a killing frost in autumn, or anytime it becomes unattractive. A light mulch after the ground freezes will protect from winter heaving.

Calendar of Care

Early Spring: Apply a light application of balanced or slow-release fertilizer or side-dress with compost and organic amendments when new growth appears. Water well if it is unseasonably dry, as plants prefer evenly moist soil. Divide or transplant if needed as soon as you see new growth.

Mid-Spring: Watch for snail or slug damage and treat accordingly with baits or by handpicking. Apply a two-inch organic mulch as soon as soil warms, keeping the material away from the crowns of the plants.

Late Spring: Water regularly if the season is dry.

Summer: Plant summer annuals to fill in gaps where Dicentra spectabilis has gone dormant. Groom plants to keep them attractive by removing yellowing leaves and old flower stems.

Fall: Cut foliage back to soil level, and apply a winter mulch after the ground freezes.

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