How to grow Bloodroot Flowers: Sanguinaria canadensis

What is Bloodroot Flower? Bloodroot is a perennial flowering plant. The botanical name of bloodroot plant is Sanguinaria Canadensis. It belongs to the Papaveraceae family. Bloodroot is a beautiful white flower with a yellow core. It grows on the tip of 1 foot high plants. This plant is native to central and north America. It was a very popular plant among American Indian tribes. They use it for the treatment of many skin and dental disorders. Although today it is popular mostly for its beautiful early spring bloomers.

It is very easy to grow Bloodroot flowers anywhere in the United States. It is a native species so it can easily adapt to most climatic conditions throughout the country. Bloodroot plants can grow in full sun though they prefer a light shade of an adjacent bush or a tall tree. If you like this flowering plant then prepare a healthy light soil mix with good drainage. Bloodroot plants can grow in any container or garden space with very little support. It is one of the first flowering plants to start blooming in late winter to early spring.

How to grow Bloodroot Flowers: Sanguinaria canadensis
How to grow Bloodroot Flowers: Sanguinaria canadensis CC.

Check out: How to Grow White Radish From seeds in Containers?

Bloodroot Sanguinaria canadensis Plant Info

  • Common Name: Bloodroot
  • Botanical Name: Sanguinaria Canadensis
  • Plant family: Papaveraceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial herb
  • Origin: Bloodroot plant is native to North and Central America. It grows as wildflowers in Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Nebraska, and Manitoba.
  • Hardiness: It can grow anywhere from USDA hardiness zone 3 through 9.
  • Growing Season: Late Fall to early Spring.
  • Sunlight: Although bloodroot plants can survive in full sun, it usually prefers light shade to grow and bloom. 4 to 6 hours of bright indirect sunlight is good for bloodroot plants.
  • Plant Structure: The Bloodroot plant can grow 10 inches to 1 foot high. It has slightly curly leaves and a partially branched stem structure. The roots contain a central rhizome along with a fibrous root structure.
  • Flowers: Bright white multi-petal flowers with a yellow core are identification of bloodroot plants.
  • Soil Preferences: The Bloodroot plant prefers slightly acidic soil with 5.5 to 6.5 soil ph. Moist light soil is ideal to grow bloodroot flowers.
  • Propagation Methods: You can grow Bloodroot flowers from seeds, root division, and rhizomes. Though bloodroot seeds are not easily available in garden stores.
  • Usages: Decorative plant and chemical processing in cosmetic and Toothpaste industry.

Where to grow Bloodroot Plants?

Bloodroot plants prefer part shade to grow and thrive. Grow them adjacent to small plants or bushes to provide little cover from direct sunlight.

You can grow bloodroot lant anywhere from USDA hardiness zone 3 through 8. It can adapt to a variety of soil types. Though you should use healthy soil with good drainage especially for container gardening. These plants are ideal for containers as well as hanging baskets.

Although you should grow these out of reach of your kids and pets as it can cause some problems.  The bloodroot plant is not like other garden plants. It is not meant to play as you may get skin rash or irritation problems by getting in contact with the red sap. The plant gets its name due to this red plant sap. It is dangerous for pets as well as kids. Even you should not touch it with your bare hand while planting.

Altogether Corner of the garden or backyard is the right place to grow Bloodroot flowers. There you can enjoy the display while keeping a safe distance for you and your pets and kids.

Propagation methods of the Bloodroot plant

A Bloodroot pant can be propagated from its seeds, as well as root division. It contains a rhizome structure as the central root. The rhizome can grow, bulge, and divide into new plants with subsequent growth. You can divide these new bloodroot plants to grow them in a new location. It is a pretty easy and affordable propagation method. A single bloodroot plant can divide into 8 or more plants before dying.  Plants grown from rhizome division can take 6 to 8 months to bloom.

Seeds are another common propagation method for bloodroot plants. The plant develops a small seed pod at the end of the flowering season. These seedpods contain many small dark seeds. A mature seed pod dries and opens up to spread the seeds in the ground. You can collect these seeds before they fall off. Store the seeds in cool dry storage. Sow the bloodroot seed early in the fall or spring and wait for the plant to grow and bloom. Seed-grown bloodroot plants usually take 12 to 18 months to mature before they can bloom.

When to grow Bloodroot flowers?

You can sow Bloodroot seeds from Fall to early summer. Although spring is the best time to sow bloodroot seeds. Seeds sown in late spring to early summer germinate faster though caring for the seedlings is a little tricky at this time. Continuous temperature rise is not very comfortable for the bloodroot seedlings, especially in the hotter zone. Here you should choose the fall season to grow bloodroot from seeds.

Bloodroot rhizomes or plantlets can be grown both in spring and fall. If the Rhizome doesn’t have any growth n it then it will take at least 8 to 10 months to grow and bloom. Otherwise and mature plantlets can bloom in just 6 months. It is always better to plant bloodroot in the fall to get looms in early spring.

Mid-February to April is the right time to grow Bloodroot plants in the garden. Don’t worry if you miss this time, you can grow them again in Mid August through October.

Soil preparation for Bloodroot flower plants

Bloodroot plants require soft moist soil especially if you grow the rhizome instead of seeds.  Most potting soil is good to grow bloodroot plants. The soil should have good drainage with a slightly low acidic ph of 5.5 to 6.5.

If the soil is too acidic then amend it with lime or wood ash. Otherwise, you can add more compost or organic matter, sulfur, or iron to lower the soil ph.

Keep the soil soft and light with proper drainage especially for containers. It must retain enough moisture to keep the roots well hydrated.

Mix 1 part regular garden soil, with 1 part compost, 1/2 sand, 1 part cocopeat, and 1/2 part bone meal fertilizers. This soil mix is perfect to grow bloodroot plants in containers as well as in garden beds.

Temperature and Sunlight requirement

4 to 6 hours of indirect light is sufficient for bloodroot plants. The sunlight should keep the plants warm for rapid blooming. Bloodroot plants grow best at 50-65 degrees Fahrenheit. Low problem is not a big problem though a little heat can speed up blooming.

Watering Cycle for Bloodroot flowers

Keep your bloodroot plants well-watered. Never let them dry for long. Regular watering can encourage consistent blooming in bloodroot plants. The soil must remain moist but not soggy. soggy soil may cause several plant diseases and attract pests.

A minimum of 1 to 2-inch water per plant per week is required for every bloodroot flower.

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How to grow Bloodroot Flowers?

  1. Sow the bloodroot seeds in soft moist soil and let them germinate for 3 weeks.
  2. Rhizomes can be shown 2 to 4 inches below the soil surface.
  3. Keep 3 to 5-inch space between each Bloodroot plant.
  4. Water the seeds and rhizomes properly. Keep them lightly moist until they sprout.
  5. once the seeds germinate keep them hydrated and well-fed with all-purpose fertilizer twice every month.
  6. Bloodroot plants are self-seeding. They can easily reseed and spread their colony. These plants can also reproduce with roots so there is no need to plant a new batch every year.
  7. Keep the area clean and soil healthy and hydrated throughout the plant’s life. Regulate watering with the requirement, don’t overwater these plants or they may die due to root rot.

Precaution with Bloodroot plants

The bloodroot plant has beautiful white flowers. Although the plant itself is not 100% secure for pets and children. It can give you skin rash or irritation due to its active agents. The bloodroot plant contains sanguinarine, an alkaloid that gives its red color sap. This can cause skin irritation to some people. It can also cause indigestion and several other complexities if ingested in a large amount.

Therefore, take proper precautions with bloodroot plants. Wear gardening gloves and grow these plants away from pets and kids. It is better to think precaution is better than worrying.

Common Problems with Bloodroot plant

Bloodroot plants are not prone to any serious pest or plant disease. It can only get damaged by slugs or snails. Sometimes aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs can disturb you but it mostly occurs due to overwatering. So try not to overwater these plants and keep them healthy.

You can use eggshells, coffee grounds, neem oil, or soap water to deter these common insects and pests away from your bloodroot plants.


Hi, My name is Sukant. I am an I.T professional. Gardening for me is not just a hobby, it's a way of living life with nature. My Ancestors were Commercial farmers: So I personally feel attached to the green. I am not an expert, I'm here only to share my gardening experiences. It's always Refreshing.

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