Reader question… “In your article about bleeding hearts, you mentioned seed pods and baby plants. Is it possible to collect and plant bleeding heart seeds? I know the seed pods must come after the flowers, but I have never seen any on my bleeding hearts. Could you tell me what they look like?” –Pat K.

The seed pods appear very quickly after the flowers fall off. At first the seed pods will be a bright green and look like tiny green beans. They grow fast and soon you will be able to see the shape of the seeds inside. At this point if you opened a pod, the seeds would be perfectly round and clear or white in color.

green bleeding heart seed pods

After a few more weeks, the seed pods become dry and turn brown, and the seeds inside turn black. Within a few days the pods will open and the seeds will fall to the ground. If you want to collect the seed for planting, or collect the seed so you don’t end up with a multitude of baby bleeding hearts where you don’t want them, don’t leave any opened pods on the plant. Seeds should be allowed to dry on the plants before they are collected, though, if you want to plant them.

bleeding heart seed pods starting to dry on the plants

Apparently not all bleeding hearts are heavy seed producers, but any that I have grown certainly are. I thought I had picked off all the seed pods last year while they were still immature and green, and yet in the last few weeks I have been finding literally hundreds of small bleeding hearts grouped under the mature plants.

bleeding heart seedlings

Bleeding heart seeds need to experience temperatures of 41°F or less for at least six weeks… three months is even better. Plant the seeds in the fall and give your seedlings soil that is rich in humus and is moist but well-drained, and they should thrive and flower within a few years.

Or… let them seed themselves and next spring you will have more bleeding heart seedlings than you will know what to do with!

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THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I’m doing a project in science about bleeding hearts and your article helped a lot!

Dottie N.

I just discovered your site. Looks very interesting, so I shall be coming back often. I have a question re bleeding heart seedlings. Do you know how many years from seedling to blooming? I’m thinking of giving some seedlings away.

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Dottie, thank you!

I have never found this information anywhere, but from my own experience I can tell you that I have a group of seedlings that are full of buds this year… I know they are either two or three years old.

Hope this helps!

Mary Ann

thanks, my mom had a bleeding heart and just collected some seeds and didn`t know if I could grow from seed


This was very helpful, but my husband bought roots to grow from Walmart, and they have been planted since around the 15th of April and little sprouts are showing and I dont know what the little sprouts are suppose to look like. I dont want to think there other flowers or weeds that blew in my pots and by accident pick them out. Thank you again.

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Hopefully this will help.

You are very welcome!!!


I know from personal experience where the bleeding heart grows and the strength of the plants that the seeds came from determines how long it will take them to bloom. For instance, I had a nice garden out front and put a couple of the seedlings from my mothers garden in it. I also put some out back. Fertilized them every Sunday morning. The ones in the front bloomed and went to seed themselves in the first year. The ones in the back in the second. My mother’s seedlings however still haven’t bloomed in the front garden.

ken w

good info, iam starting to grow from seed all info is great thanksi live in nova scotia,canada on the ocean,fluctuating weather,but good for most growing.

thanks ken


I was wondering if there is a particular age a bleeding heart must be for it to produce seed pods. I have one in my front yard that I bought last year, this year it grew twice as big. I never noticed any seed pods tho. Any help would greatly be appreciated. =)

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Kenny, if your bleeding hearts have blossoms, there should be seed pods after the blossoms fall off. The seed pods look like TINY green beans and could be easy to miss, but they should be there if the plant has blossomed.


I wonder if some kinds of bleeding hearts are sterile? I’ve had mine (the classic pink blossoms) for over 15 years, and it has never gone to seed. Your picture was amazing to me because mine has never done that! The blossoms just die and fall off. I have divided it at least twice through the years because it gets so big, but I’ve never had seed pods so I’ve never had seedlings. From the pictures I’m sure that it isn’t something that’s happened and I’ve just not noticed. I know my plant has never had anything that looks like those pods. This is very interesting! I love your articles.

Joyce G.

Thank you for letting me know that bleeding heart seeds must experience 41 degrees or less for best up to 3 months. I wanted to plant the seeds in the house, but if fall is the best time to plant I guess the garden is the best choice. When my seeds fall into the garden I get a seedling occasionally, but not that often. I have 6 plants.

Bryn J.

This article was very informative for me.

A neighbor gave me a handful of seeds and suggested that I look on the interweb for information about how to plant them.


I never would have known to plant seeds in winter. Can’t wait to try.