Bleeding hearts are real highlights in the garden. It is annoying when they are attacked by pests or diseases. Then act quickly.Waterlogging can harm the plant The bleeding heart is a hardy perennial that is resistant to most known plant diseases. Pests also rarely affect the robust plant. You should still pay attention to the plant and take a closer look at it from time to time. Care errors can occasionally occur. Aphids and voles are also a threat to the perennial now and then.
Improper care - poor growth
Too much and too little water - the bleeding heart resents both. If the water is poured too lavishly and the earth is heavily compacted, waterlogging forms. No perennial likes that. The bleeding heart then reacts with a delayed growth. In the worst case, however, the rhizome begins to rot. Countermeasure: Dig out the plant, divide the root ball and use the opportunity to improve the soil before reinstalling. The bleeding heart thrives best in a loose, humus-rich soil.
Dried, drooping leaves indicate a lack of water. But pay attention to the time here: From July / August drying up is normal, because then the plant prepares for autumn. From late summer, the perennial then retreats into the ground. If you notice the poor leaves beforehand, change the pouring rhythm. It is ideal if you always keep the floor slightly damp. With a thick layer of bark mulch you can additionally protect the soil from drying out. Otherwise here are a few more care tips.
The annoying aphids are mainly found on the undersides of the leaves. To combat them, prepare a nettle slurry with which you then spray the plant regularly (instructions here). A soft soap solution is also effective. Add about a tablespoon of soap to a liter of water and spray the plant with it regularly until the aphids are all gone. The soap covers the aphids like a film, causing the respiratory organs to stick together and suffocate.
What is not possible: It is often recommended to spray plants with aphid infestation with the garden hose. The bleeding heart has delicate branches that break quickly. So it’s better not to use the hose. In contrast, ladybirds, lacewings and parasitic wasps, which are considered natural enemies of aphids, are cheap.
Voles love roots and tubers
The rhizomes of the perennial are a popular vole feed. The voracious rodents work underground until the bleeding heart visibly suffers and atrophies. You can recognize the vole infestation by the entrance holes in the corridors, which can spread over the entire garden. The problem: voles are difficult to control. As an immediate measure, but also to protect the bleeding heart in the future, it is best to place the plant underground in a very large clay pot. Make sure that the roots can still spread sufficiently. The clay pot then serves as a barrier against the voles.