Dec 2, 2005

bleeding hearts

Anyone know anything about helping Bleeding Hearts make the transition from garden to houseplant? Do they need to be dormant in the cold? Is it too late for them now that we're having our first howling wind and snow tonight? Will they be able to return to captivity after a summer of unfettered growth?

Will my annoying question format drive all my blog friends away?

If you know anything about these little guys, please help! I usually adopt a survival-of-the-fittest attitude to the garden, but I really want to take these with me when I go.


Blogger Kathy said...

You won't drive me away, but I can't give you an answer, either. Trust me, you don't want my advice. 100 dead houseplants can't be wrong. :)

Have you tried Google?

Blogger Kristy said...

(I am assuming that you are planning to dig the plant from the garden and nurture it until you get to your new home....If I am wrong, send me an email. I love the bleeding hearts.)

In my experience, bleeding hearts are pretty hardy. If there are still flowers on the plant, pinch those all off and snip off any obviously dead or yellowing foliage. Then, I would suggest digging the plant up with a large clump of the surrounding dirt and putting them in a pot in the garage or some other sheltered place for a few days before bringing them in the house. (sort of the baby step method. Warm up slowly. Do you have snow or frozen ground right now in PA?) Anyway, after a day or two, go ahead and bring it inside. Keep it in a consistent temperature and not near to a fireplace or heating vent (benefit from my mistakes) and don't keep the soil too wet, just damp, and not too much sunlight. Until you are ready to replant it outdoors, just treat it like any other houseplant...maybe with a little extra TLC.

When you and the bleeding heart get to your new home, wait until late May or early June (depending on the weather - make SURE you are past the possibility of frost) and then replant outside and water really well for the first couple of weeks it is outside.

Don't worry. When you bring the plant inside, some of the foliage will probably yellow considerably. Just snip or pinch it off if it gets to the point of looking dead. Don't let the yellow scare you. When it is back in the ground, it will flourish again. Bleeding hearts have very robust root systems.

Blogger Ashley said...

Kristy is obviously a bleeding-heart genius, and has said everything I was going to say. But I absolutely second the baby-step method: Garage to cellar to main house.

Good luck digging them up amidst the snow and howling wind... :)


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