Cuor di Maria - Dicentra spectabilis


Dicentra spectabilis is a rhizomatous perennial plant of small size native to China and Japan. It has small thin leaves, composed, light green; in spring it produces long scapes from which hang many very particular flowers, of dark pink and cream, in the shape of a heart, from which the common name cuor di Maria; the alba variety produces completely white flowers. It is grown as an annual variety in those places where winters are very cold and cold and the plants are planted in the ground.


Regarding the best exposure, usually the ideal place to cultivate the Dicentra spectabilis is semi-shaded, but in areas with not particularly hot climate it can be placed in full sun. In mild winter areas it is cultivated in the open ground without any protection; in areas with harsh winters it is grown in containers, so that it can be sheltered, even in a cold greenhouse or under a roof; in general, however, it is good to cover it with non-woven fabric, so that any persistent frosts do not damage the leaves. The plants of the heart of Mary do not bear temperatures close to zero and can come hopelessly in the event of frosts if they are not adequately protected.

If you cultivate the plants of the heart of Mary in the open ground, beware of caterpillars and snails, very fond of its leaves. Sometimes the aphids ruin the buds, compromising the flowering.
For this reason it is advisable to intervene at the end of the winter season with a broad-spectrum pesticide product that protects the specimens from possible attack. In case you notice the presence of these parasites it is possible to prepare a natural compound based on 3 liters of water in which two heads of garlic will be boiled. After filtering the liquid, it will be vaporized on the affected plants. It is also possible to use a nettle-based preparation which will be vaporized to eliminate the problem.