How to Grow Common Bleeding Heart Indoors

bleeding hearts

The Spruce / K. Dave

Common bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) is a spring-blooming herbaceous perennial plant that grows arching stems from rhizomatous roots and produces sprays of small heart-shaped flowers of pink and white. The plant is a fast grower that typically reaches 2 or 3 feet in height within 60 days or so. Though it flourishes best outdoors, growing it indoors is entirely possible and rewarding.

Common bleeding heart contains isoquinolone alkaloids, which can be toxic to humans and some animals.

Botanical Name Lamprocapnos spectabilis (formerly Dicentra spectabilis)
Common Names Common bleeding heart, bleeding heart
Plant Type Herbaceous perennial flower
Toxicity Toxic to people, toxic to pets
closeup of bleeding hearts
The Spruce / K. Dave
bleeding hearts
The Spruce / K. Dave
Lamprocapnos spectabilis, bleeding heart or Asian bleeding-heart is a species of flowering plant in the poppy family, native to Siberia, northern China, Korea and Japan.
Vadim Zhakupov / Getty Images
Lamprocapnos spectabilis 'Gold Heart'
Lamprocapnos spectabilis 'Gold Heart'  

Can You Grow Common Bleeding Heart Inside?

The need for partial or full shade, as well as the plant's love of moderate to cooler temperatures, makes this a fantastic option for growing indoors. An ambient temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit or less is ideal. Though it might grow faster outdoors, the use of excellent potting soil and proper placement away from windows will help it grow. Give it the proper conditions and you won't have to give it much attention beyond regular watering. Keep in mind that it will need a larger pot, at least 12 inches in diameter, to truly thrive.

How to Grow Common Bleeding Heart Indoors

Sunlight

Grow this plant in partial shade to full shade. In partial shade, Lamprocapnos spectabilis will need approximately 6 to 8 hours of sunlight. It will tolerate some sun, especially in cooler climates. Watch to make sure it does not become overheated. This could result in a lack of flowering.

Temperature and Humidity

The bleeding heart likes relatively cool conditions and will not do well with too much sun, especially in the southern part of the hardiness range. It tolerates a wide range of humidity levels. The ideal growing temperature for common bleeding heart is 65 degrees Fahrenheit; this makes them especially well-suited to the indoor environment.

Watering

Keep the soil moist but the foliage dry. These plants need a full 1 inch of water each week. However, do not allow the roots of bleeding heart to soak in water, as this can lead to rot.

Fertilizer

Mix compost or peat moss into the soil before planting, then feed each month with a slow-release, granular fertilizer mixed into the soil around the base of the plant.

Pruning and Maintenance

No pruning is required for common bleeding heart. Cut back dying foliage for a better appearance. When stems die, cut them down as close to the base as possible. Keep in mind that the plant might go dormant, even under the best of indoor conditions, but it will rebloom.

Container and Size

Since common bleeding heart can reach several feet in height, it is imperative to pot it in a container that accommodates the growing roots. Start with a container at least 12 inches in diameter. The material doesn't matter as long as the container has good drainage.

Potting Soil and Drainage

Moist, well-drained soil with a high-level of organic humus is best for this plant. It prefers a slightly acidic to neutral soil pH.

Potting and Repotting Common Bleeding Heart

Common bleeding heart can grow for four or five years in a large pot until it must be divided and repotted. When repotting, make sure to leave 2 to 3 inches of growing room around the root ball and fill the pot with fresh soil.

Moving Common Bleeding Heart Outdoors for the Summer

Bleeding heart can easily move outdoors during the summer months. Keep in mind, however, that the optimum growing temperature is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit; this means springtime is great for moving it outside, but the summer months might be warm enough to make the plant go dormant.

Considerations

Ensure that your plant is kept in partial to full shade. When the temperature ticks up beyond 65 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant might go dormant. Watch the sky to ensure the plant doesn't receive too much water.

When to Bring Common Bleeding Heart Back Inside

Before bringing the plant inside, make sure it is free of garden pests. Though there is no need to acclimate it to the indoor atmosphere, keep in mind that if it was subjected to temperatures higher than 65 degrees Fahrenheit while outside, it might go dormant regardless of the care you give it indoors.

FAQ
  • Is it easy to propagate common bleeding heart?

    To propagate, dig up the roots in the early spring, and divide them into pieces. Discard any dried pieces, then replant the segments.

  • How do you force common bleeding heart to bloom indoors?

    It should bloom easily in the right conditions, including indirect sunlight and good humidity levels during the winter season. Keep in mind the life cycle of the common bleeding heart means it will go dormant during cooler weather.