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Bleeding hearts are real highlights in the garden. Since it is annoying when they are attacked by pests or diseases. Then it's time to act quickly.The Bleeding Heart is a hardy perennial that is resistant to most known plant diseases. Pests also rarely attack the robust plant. You should nevertheless pay attention to the plant and take a closer look every once in a while. Occasionally, care mistakes can occur. Aphids and voles are also a danger to the perennial.
Wrong care - miserable growth
Too much and too little water - both the bleeding heart bothers you. If you pour too abundantly and the soil is heavily compressed, waterlogging will form. That does not like perennial. The bleeding heart then reacts with a delayed growth. In the worst case, however, the rootstock begins to rot. Countermeasure: Dig out the plant, divide the root ball and improve the soil before putting it back on. In a loose, humus-rich soil, the Bleeding Heart thrives best.
Dry, hanging leaves indicate a lack of water. Pay attention to the time: From July / August, the drying is normal, because then the plant prepares for the fall. From late summer, the perennial pulls back into the ground. If you notice the miserable leaves beforehand, change the casting rhythm. It is ideal if you always keep the soil slightly moist. With a thick layer of bark mulch you can also 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 stinging nettle with which you spray the plant regularly (instructions here). A lubricating soap solution is also very effective. Add about a tablespoon of soap to a quart of water and spray the plant regularly until the aphids are all gone. Her soap lays like a film over the aphids causing the respiratory organs to stick together and suffocate them.
What is not: Often it is recommended to spray plants with aphid infestation with the garden hose. The Bleeding Heart has delicate branches that break quickly. So better not use the hose. In contrast, ladybirds, lacewings and parasitic wasps, which are considered natural enemies of the aphid, are favorable.
Voles love roots and tubers
The rhizomes of the perennial are a coveted vole feed. Under the soil, the voracious rodents work until the bleeding heart visibly suffers and atrophies. The vole infestation can be recognized by the entry holes in the corridors, which can spread over the entire garden. The problem: voles are hard to fight. As an immediate measure, but also to protect the Bleeding Heart in the future, you should put the plant underground in a very large clay pot. Make sure that the roots can spread enough. The clay pot then serves as a barrier against the voles.