Forum home Problem solving

Creating a bed for planting dicentra

I recently bought a couple of dicentra plants to put in a small previously unused bed that is right next to my house in my back garden. However when I dug the hole to plant them in, I found the layer of soil to be quite shallow, about 15cm, under which is a 25cm layer of grey shale like substance, and under that is clay! I'm assuming that the 2 plants would not survive being planted in this environment.

I wondered if I dug out enough of this bed, say 60cm deep x 30cm x 30cm for each plant, and filled it with top soil and potting compost, would that be a suitable environment for my two dicentra plants?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Many thanks.


  • IamweedyIamweedy Posts: 1,364

    Dicentra seems to grow anywhere. OK for shade and in  almost any soil. I have a lot because they seed well and fill in gaps in borders until you decide on something else. A very pretty and useful plant.

    RHS say


    Moist but well-drained, Poorly-drained

    Soil Clay, Loam, Chalk

    pH Alkaline, Neutral which suggests don't worry about too much digging.

    I usually look up the RHS site for info about a plant I do not know.


    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,646

    I don't think you would need to dig that deep. My garden is on limestone and part of it was a farmyard. We added earth and manure but it isn't as deep as that and I grow a lot of perennials. Bits of it have rock about a foot down. My big dicentra is in a clay bit.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Thanks for all the feedback, my main reason for digging that deep would be to get past the shale/rock like substance which would help with drainage and also give a bit more space for the roots.

    Thanks once again, much appreciated.

Sign In or Register to comment.