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 typically grows to 2 or 3 feet in height. The tiny blossoms, up to 20 on each stem, appear in spring, and by mid-summer the foliage often goes dormant. 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 and pets|
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. 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
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.
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.
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.
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.