The term “bloodwort” is used as a collective name for any plant that bleeds red when the root or leaves are cut. The particular “bloodwort” that will be covered is the red-veined dock.
As with any dock, this plant can become invasive. To prevent this, remove the seed heads as soon as they have become ripe.
This perennial is hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6 through 8 but if you do not live in any of these areas, do not worry. Red-veined dock can easily be grown as an annual.
When it comes to the environmental conditions for this, it is very flexible. It loves to be planted in full sun to slight shade with a soil that is moist. One of the best places for this plant is along the edges of a landscape pond. If that is not a possibility, consider showing off the red-veined foliage in container gardens or as accents in any landscape design.
Propagating bloodwort or red-veined dock can occur through seed and division. Planting bloodwort seed is easy and should be done in the spring. It can be directly seeded into the garden or started in pots. The key is to simply sprinkle the seed on the soil’s surface and barely cover with soil, which should only be deep enough to hold the seed in place. Once the seed is sprinkled on the soil surface and lightly covered, mist with water until the soil is evenly moist. Monitor soil moisture and never let the soil dry out.
If you have purchased bloodwort plants, you can extend the amount you have by division in the spring. This propagating method is also easy to do. The process begins with removing the plant from the pot. Once this is done, you will notice that the plant is growing in clumps. The goal of the division is to separate the clumps. After you have a clear division of the clumps, cut them apart with a sterilized knife. How do you sterilize the knife? You just wipe it down with rubbing alcohol.
Once you have your divisions separated, pot in the ground or container. When potting up the red-veined dock for a landscape pond, make sure to fill the container with aquatic compost. To keep the compost intact, cover the soil surface with pea gravel.
While the flower/seed stalk is a decorative element of this plant and can be dried for indoor enjoyment, remove the flower stalk as soon as the flowers are spent. Doing this will reduce the chances of this plant becoming invasive.