Heart-shaped Plants | Midwest Living

Heart-shaped Plants

Love may not grow on trees, but it will grow in your garden if you try these heart-shaped plants.
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Bleeding heart
Who can resist perennial blooming hearts dangling from shade-loving stems? Plant Dicentra spectabilis for spring blooms and D. formosa, the fringed bleeding heart, for blossoms that last through much of the summer. Pink is the valentine choice, but white 'Alba' is gorgeous, too.

Caladium
Place this tropical plant, grown for its exciting heart-shaped foliage, in bright, but indirect, sunlight. Caladiums come in many combinations of green with white, red, pink or lavender.

Climbing hydrangea
Blooming for about two weeks in early summer, the white flower clusters of this perennial vine (Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris) emit a sweet fragrance atop shiny, green heart-shaped foliage. Nearly maintenance free, the vine attaches with holdfasts to arbors, trees and garages, in full sun or shade.

Epimedium
The heart-shaped leaves of this shade perennial emerge red or bronze in spring, turn green throughout the summer, then give another color show in the fall. In very early spring, you have to look closely to see the airy sprays of nodding blooms resembling tiny columbine flowers in white, yellow, pink or lavender. Epimediums grow well in dry areas such as under trees and shrubs.

Hosta
While some varieties of this shade-loving perennial grow with lance-shaped leaves, many are heart-shaped. Some have love-theme names: 'Heart's Content', 'Heartsong', 'Love Pat' and 'Sweetie'.

Lilac
Breathe in spring's fragrance from blooms in a wealth of shades of pink, white, purple and yellow. Heart-shaped green leaves persist the rest of the year on shrubs that take many different forms.

Morning glory and moonflower
Both annual climbers, these members of the Ipomoea family grow with heart-shaped green leaves and shine during two different times of the day. Morning glories last through the daylight hours. Once evening falls, the 6-inch-wide alabaster blooms of moonflowers (I. alba) unfurl, carrying a fragrance unrivaled by French perfume.

Redbud
The heart-shaped green leaves of the Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) look pretty all season, often turning bronze or yellow in fall. The plant grows 20 to 30 feet tall, with reddish-purple flowers that turn rosy pink in spring. They're hardy to Zone 4.

Siberian bugloss
This perennial (Brunnera macrophylla) stands out in the shade, thanks mainly to its heart-shaped leaves. Tiny sky-blue flowers in spring resemble forget-me-nots. Try 'Jack Frost' for its shiny silver leaf, with deep-green margins and veins.

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