Dicentra formosa in winter: signs of life!

I have a bit more time available to me at this time of year, so I’m trying to make the most of it. As I was pootling about, attempting to bring order to all the various pots and plants, I noticed a few signs of life. Despite being the middle of winter, below is one of the Dicentras (Dicentra formosa ‘Aurora’) showing a bit of enthusiasm. Next to it is how it should look by about mid April.

That particular specimen is markedly advanced; most of the other Auroras look more like this:

Dicentra formosa ’Bacchanal’ is much more reluctant to face the coming year, the most developed individual I could find was this chap:

Don’t worry, the other Dicentras are all still fine. Dicentra formosa (sometimes referred to as bleeding hearts, along with other Dicentras and Lamprocapnos) is a sturdy perennial plant and doesn’t need any particular winter care. The other plants are probably just a bit more sensible than those intrepid souls shown above.

Corydalis news

We might be in the middle of winter, but on the whole the weather’s been kind here in Birmingham. There have been quite a few snow showers and frosty mornings, but the temperatures have climbed high enough each day to thaw things out. Corydalis temulifolia and Corydalis flexuosa ‘PurpleLeaf’ have both remained remarkably chipper through the winter, and I noticed that Corydalis anthriscifolia has joined them after the briefest of winter breaks:

With leaves that are quite different to most other corydalis, Corydalis temulifolia is a rather beautiful plant; Corydalis anthriscifolia is a new acquisition but looks rather promising; and Corydalis flexuosa ‘Purple Leaf’ is also new (last year). I had it before but it was a very sickly plant that never really thrived. After deciding to try ‘Purple Leaf’ again, I’m glad I did.

Other news

Elsewhere things are quiet, as you might expect at this time of year. There are a few seedlings overwintering in the greenhouse. Most of the seed pots stay outside to get some cold weather on them (they need a cold spell to germinate), but I’ve just brought them all into the greenhouse to give them a head start. Once they’re germinated they’ll go back out in the elements to harden off. Particularly with the bulb forming plants, I think it’s good to try and give them as long as possible to form their bulbs in the first year, hence trying to get them going early.

I think we’re now all up to date. Those Dicentras should be ready for sale (along with some Corydalis x ‘Craigton Blue’) in a few weeks time, so I’ll keep you up to date on their progress. Keep in touch!

3 thoughts on “Dicentra formosa in winter: signs of life!”

  1. Great to hear that your corydalis are doing well. If you have a Corydalis temulifolia, would you reserve one for me. I would like to see what else you have to add to the list, and have them all posted at the same time. Would that be in order?

    1. I should have C. temulifolia available in the future, but unfortunately I won’t have any for a little while yet.
      I’ll certainly sort out a list, hopefully I’ll soon have the shop added to the pages – it’s in the works at the moment! There’ll only be a few plants for the upcoming months, but there are more on the way. Thanks for your interest, I’ll keep you updated!

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