How to Prune Bleeding Hearts


The bleeding heart is a spring-blooming perennial plant that produces branches of heart-shaped hanging flowers. The plant is available in old-fashioned varieties, which grow to a height of 3 to 4 feet, and hybrid varieties, which grow to a height of 12 to 18 inches. Bleeding heart plants respond to drought conditions by dying off early in the summer season. The plant can be pruned at any time after blooming is complete, as the root crown creates energy stores early in the season for winter survival.

Step 1

Prune to remove flowering branches once the flowers have died off after blooming in spring. Remove the branches at the plant stem by cutting them off with a hand pruning clipper. This will stimulate new bloom growth and extend the flowering season.

Step 2

Prune foliage branches once they begin to turn yellow in the summer months. Remove the dying branches by cutting them off at the stem with a hand pruning clipper. Water the plant well to keep the foliage green as long as possible.

Step 3

Prune the bleeding heart plant to the ground once the foliage dies off and turns yellow in color. Remove all remaining plant foliage by cutting it with a hand pruning clipper at ground level. The plant will wilt and collapse to the ground if left to dry on its own. Some varieties will die off during late summer and others not until fall.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruner
  • Gloves
  • Paper envelope


  • Yardener: Caring for Bleeding Heart
  • White Flower Farm: Deadheading, Pinching, and Pruning Perennials
  • Miller Nursery: Plant Care
Keywords: prune bleeding heart, grow bleeding heart, bleeding heart cutting

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.