Bleeding hearts are literally spring-loaded. They practically sprout from the soil with their dangling arch of blossoms all breathless to pop. Convincing bleeding hearts to make blossoms is not an issue. In fact, the only challenge with this plant is trying to wedge the immense network of rhizome-like roots into a container.
You’ll need something large to balance out the top growth because bleeding hearts just don’t read unless you get a fairly hefty mass. Obtain your bleeding hearts as early as possible, before they begin to sprout or when they’re just emerging from dormancy. Pot them right away and let them recover before the flowers peek out. Then find an east or west window to display the plant and leave it alone to do its thing.
Pictured: Treat Old-fashioned Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis [syn. Dicentra spectabilis]) 'Gold Heart' like a temp in your home. Buy a budded plant, tuck it into a great container, and enjoy the show, then send it out into the garden.
Excerpted with permission from The Unexpected Houseplant: 220 Extraordinary Choices for Every Spot in Your Home by Tovah Martin (Timberland Press, $23).