How to Grow Sanguinaria Plants

Guide to Growing Bloodroot, Tatterwort

Sanguinaria is a hardy perennial that makes an ideal plant to grow in woodland gardens or shady parts of the garden.

Common names include Tatterwort, Indian Plant, Bloodroot, and Woods poppy.

They flower in the spring carrying flat or double white flowers atop of a stout stalk.

The foliage is grey green and the leaves lobe shaped.

Sanguinaria canadensis
Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot) by wackybadger.

Sanguinaria Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: Bloodroot, Red puccoon root, Tetterwort, Pauson, Indian Plant, Woods poppy.
  • Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
  • Height: 8 to 20 inches (20—50 cm).
  • Native: Northern America.
  • Growing Region: Zones 3 to 9.
  • Flowers: Spring.
  • Flower Details: White. Eight to twelve petals. Yellow stamens. Flat or double.
  • Foliage: Herbaceous. Grey-green. Multi-Lobed. 4.5 inches (~12 cm).

  • Sowing:Cover seed. Autumn. Germination time: one to three months. Temperature: 50°F (10°C).
    Seeds should first be sown into flats. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist and to check if seedlings have emerged. Remove the covering once seedlings have emerged. Transplant to their final location in late summer or early autumn. Space at 10 to 12 inches (25—30 cm).
  • Requirements and care: Full sunlight, partial afternoon shade my be required in hot areas. Deep, cool soil. Soil pH 5 to 7. Regular watering during dry periods. Water during prolonged dry spells. Regular watering during periods of growth. Towards the end of winter supply a top dressing of manure. Plants die back completely once blooming has completed. Propagate: by dividing at the end of summer.
  • Family: Papaveraceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Poppies.
  • Miscellaneous: Genus contains one species: Sanguinaria canadensis. Traditionally used as an emetic and as a red dye by Native Americans. Used in tooth hygiene products.

How to Grow Sanguinaria

Sanguinaria seeds should be sown in peat pots and sank into a shady part of the garden in the autumn.

The seeds should be lightly covered with top soil, and then the pots covered with glass.

Check on the Sanguinaria plants every now and again to ensure that the soil stays moist. Germination should take from one to three months, once it has occurred, the glass can be removed.

You can also start off indoors first, sow in peat pots about 10 weeks in advance. Ideally the plants will be transplanted in September so sow in June or early July.

Once growing, space the Sanguinaria plant seedlings about 30 cm (1 foot) apart, in a sunny or partially shaded part of the garden. Ideally the soil should be deep, organic and of pH 5 to 7.

Caring for Sanguinaria

Sanguinaria species are easy to grow and maintain. Once established, supply manure at the end of every winter. They should be well watered in the summer and during other dry periods.

If you require more plants, then they can be propagated by division at the end of summer.

Common Questions

How many members does the Sanguinaria genus have?

The Sanguinaria genus consists of a single species, Sanguinaria canadensis, commonly known as Bloodroot.

Do members of Sanguinaria make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Sanguinaria canadensis, or Bloodroot, is appreciated for its early spring flowers and is a good addition to woodland or native plant gardens.

Which Sanguinaria species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The only species in this genus, Sanguinaria canadensis, or Bloodroot, is popular among gardeners for its bright white spring flowers.

Are members of the Sanguinaria plant genus fragrant?

The flowers of Sanguinaria canadensis are not typically fragrant.

What is the perfect location to grow Sanguinaria?

Sanguinaria canadensis prefers partial to full shade with rich, well-drained soil. It does well under deciduous trees or in woodland gardens.

Is Sanguinaria invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Sanguinaria is not considered invasive in the USA. Always verify with local regulations for accurate information.

How do I remove Sanguinaria plants from my garden?

To remove Sanguinaria, dig up the plant, making sure to remove all roots to prevent regrowth.


The Sanguinaria plant genus (Bloodroot) is a perennial plant native to North America. It is known for its white, star-shaped flowers that bloom in early spring, and its distinctive leaves that wrap around the flower stem.

To grow Sanguinaria, plant rhizomes in autumn in a shaded or partially shaded location with well-drained soil. They prefer humus-rich soil and require regular watering, particularly during dry periods. As woodland plants, they are well-suited to a woodland or shade garden.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Sanguinaria plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Matilija poppy and Glaucium plants.