The Q&A Archives: Can a bleeding heart plant do well in large container

Question: Dear experts; I have worked with flower container gardening on my apartment decks on 2nd floors. I do roses, annuals in long planters and several different sized plant containers for a mix of lots of varieties. I have never had a bleeding heart plant. It is on the east side(coolest and shadiest); but gets strong morning sun. Blossoms seem to be frying a little and dropping. Can I plant it in very large container for plants with 2 smaller(no names right now) perennials? Could it work well for this plant, and small cover of 2 plants, white and blue; in large or extra large container? I somtimes have difficulty with keeping perennials healthy and happy;Please advise. Thank you. If planted in ground in fall for a friend, could they come back? Should I bring container into house, or basement for winter and water occasionally? I thought it bloomed all summer and was hardy enough for my zone. I now have learned those 2 factors, are mistaken, Comment, please.

Answer: Bleeding hearts are graceful woodland plants that do best in light shade in well-drained soil. Their ferny foliage appears in early spring, followed by pink or white flowers that are arranged along the stem like little hearts. The key here being "woodland", meaning cool, shady conditions. Bleeding hearts go dormant in the summer, when temperatures get hot. So, after flowering has finished, expect the leaves and stems to wilt down to nothing. It's best to leave the plant in the container for the winter months rather than take it indoors. It will be sleeping and won't make an attractive houseplant. It will sprout new stems and foliage in the early spring.

Whether you're growing annuals or perennials in your containers, the key is keeping them hydrated. Plants in containers need to be watered more frequently than the same plants in the ground; direct sunshine on the pots can overheat the roots, causing stress. Try grouping your plants so help shade as many of the pots as possible, or setting something on the sunny side of the pots to deflect the heat.

Hope this answers all your questions!

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