Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra) Indoors?


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Hey all!

I was thinking today about how amazing the flowers of Dicentra were. I used to grow them, but our family has moved and I've not picked it back up since.

However, I was thinking about the short blooming time of these plants and thought about how nice it would be to have blooms year round.

My thoughts: there are dwarf varieties that only grow to be about 9-12" wide, so I could grow these in tall 15" pots. Let them grow and bloom, and then move them to much lower light, watering schedule, and temp (40-50 F) for a month or so to trigger the dormancy. Then bare root and fridge them for 2-3 months. Then bring out the ones that have been sitting in the fridge while the other plants have been in bloom and plant them in fertilized soil with excellent drainage. Wash-Rinse-Repeat. :)

I'm not sure how much experience people have with caring for perennials like this, but do you all think that this would work? I figure there is no surefire way to know until you try, but I figured I'd run it by some more experienced growers before I gave it a shot. Also, I could give them a longer dormancy by having three or even four groups in the cycle. How long do you think they need to be dormant to be healthy? I have read about forcing bleeding hearts, but I couldn't find anything about out-of-season growing on a long term scale.

Also, having different varieties cycling in and out of dormancy would always keep it interesting! :)

Let me know what you think!


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this would work no problem as long as the required dormancy was respected, it would take a pretty big endeavour to get this down exactly as in permanently flowering dicentra, as you would need high numbers of plants to get it right, plus the facilities to fridge and pot up etc, ive grown these plants by the hundreds in the past but as its in my nursery ive never given them much attention up and above there turnaround,

they are however a stunning but disappointingly short display, the person who can breed in a much longer bloom period may well make a decent sum of money, I could write a huge list of plants I bare root for dormancy, I have ten year old plus cannas and dahlias dry root in my dry store right now, some of the dahlias are bigger across than a barrow.

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Thanks Paul!

Do you think 3 months is appropriate? Or should the dormancy be closer to 4 or 5 months?

I have a small dorm fridge that should work if I bare root the plants. Any advise on keeping them healthy during dormancy?

Like I said, I'm more interested in keeping the plants alive and well long term rather than having a one time display.

Thanks for the quick reply.


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I have a few dicentra in the garden they appear mid april to may they are gone by august and I don't see them again till the following year, im no expert on these plants, I ran a few hundred through the nursery a few years back I will have to check my books to find out how, could have been seed, cutting or from plugs.

id get say 100 plants and start experimenting keep a constant control group and go from there

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