What does a bleeding heart look like when it first comes up?

Answered by Jason Smith

When the spring arrives and the temperature starts to warm up, the bleeding heart plant begins to emerge from its winter dormancy. It is truly a magical sight to witness the first signs of life after a long, cold winter. The bleeding heart plant has a unique appearance that sets it apart from many other plants.

As the bleeding heart starts to come up in the spring, you will notice fat “shoots” growing under or through the leaves. These shoots are the new growth of the plant and serve as the starting point for the beautiful foliage and flowers that will follow. The shoots are often pale green in color and are quite thick and robust, displaying the plant’s vigor and vitality.

One of the distinguishing features of the bleeding heart plant is the presence of small buds or “eyes” that form on the crown of each root in the fall. These eyes remain dormant throughout the winter and give rise to the shoots in the spring. When the shoots first emerge, you can actually see these eyes as small, swollen bumps on the crown of the root. It’s almost like the plant is awakening from its slumber and preparing for its grand entrance into the world.

Each eye on the bleeding heart root will develop into a thick shoot with several growing points. These shoots start off small and gradually elongate as they reach for the sunlight. The shoots are often covered in a thin layer of fuzz, which adds to their delicate and charming appearance. They have a tender and slightly translucent quality, giving them a sense of vulnerability and fragility.

It is truly a delight to observe the bleeding heart plant as it first comes up in the spring. The combination of the fat shoots growing under or through the leaves, the small buds or eyes on the crown of the root, and the emergence of the thick shoots with multiple growing points creates a captivating display. It’s as if the plant is unfurling its beauty and grace before our very eyes, reminding us of the wonders of nature and the cycle of life.

In my own gardening experience, I have eagerly awaited the arrival of the bleeding heart plant every spring. I remember the excitement of spotting those first shoots pushing through the soil, signaling the start of a new growing season. It always brings a sense of joy and anticipation, knowing that soon the plant will be adorned with its signature heart-shaped flowers.

So, if you have a bleeding heart plant in your garden or are thinking of adding one, keep an eye out for those fat shoots growing under or through the leaves in the spring. Take a moment to appreciate the small buds or eyes on the root crown and watch as the thick shoots with multiple growing points emerge. It is a truly enchanting sight and a testament to the resilience and beauty of nature.