How to Winterize Bleeding Heart

Pink Bleeding Hearts image by H.B. Dean

Overview

With fern-like foliage and curving stems of heart-shaped flowers, bleeding heart is a favorite in perennial gardens. The old-fashioned variety blooms in the summer, while the fringed-leaf bleeding heart blooms from summer to frost. Part of caring for a bleeding heart is preparing the plant for cold weather.

Step 1

Deadhead, or remove, the flower stems of the bleeding heart after the blossoms fade. Cut the stems all the way to the ground.

Step 2

Water the plants regularly even after the blooming season. The soil needs to be moist, but not soggy, especially during dry periods in the spring or summer.

Step 3

Remove the foliage when it yellows and dies. The National Gardening Association recommends gardeners to cut stems back to an inch or two above soil line after the first killing frost.

Step 4

Cover the stems and area around the bleeding heart with decaying leaves or mulch for the winter.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening shears
  • Mulch or decaying leaves

References

  • The Complete Garden Flower Book; Catie Ziller, Publisher; 2001

Who Can Help

  • National Gardening Association: Bleeding Hearts
Keywords: perennials, bleeding heart, winterizing flowers

About this Author

After attending Hardin Simmons University, Kay Dean finished her formal education with the Institute of Children's Literature. Since 1995, Dean has written for such publications as "PB&J," Disney’s "Family Fun," "ParentLife," "Living With Teenagers" and Thomas Nelson’s NY Times bestselling "Resolve." An avid gardener for 25 years, her experience includes organic food gardening, ornamental plants, shrubs and trees, with a special love for roses.

Photo by: H.B. Dean