How To Trim Bleeding Hearts


The delicate heart-shaped flowers of the bleeding heart make it a very attractive and romantic looking plant. Bleeding hearts grow best in cool, moist conditions and generally bloom in the early spring. The flowers can be yellow, pink, red or white. Depending on the variety, a bleeding heart may grow anywhere from 6 inches to 2 feet in height. While bleeding hearts are relatively easy to care for, strategically timed trimmings can help to improve the growth and appearance of these plants.

Step 1

Watch for yellowing and wilted foliage and trim this back. With common bleeding hearts, this will occur about midsummer. Fringed bleeding hearts will begin to yellow around frost time.

Step 2

Stimulate the growth of blooms by deadheading the flower. To do this, snip off stems with faded flowers. This technique is especially useful for fringed bleeding hearts which may lose some of their luster around midsummer.

Step 3

Trim the entire plant back to the ground after the foliage has died. Leave just an inch or two above the soil line. This usually occurs in late fall with the first frost.

Step 4

Separate bleeding hearts into smaller plants every four or five years. Dig up the entire root system in early spring. Gently pull the plant apart to create clumps approximately 6 inches around. This will prevent large and unwieldy plants and keep your bleeding hearts to a manageable and attractive size.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shears
  • Shovel


  • Yardener: Caring for Bleeding Heart
  • Miller Nursery: Plant Care Database
  • National Gardening Association: Bleeding Heart
Keywords: bleeding heart, trimming plants, plant care

About this Author

Mandi Rogier is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about a wide range of topics. As a previous employee of Walt Disney World, she enjoys writing travel articles that make use of her extensive knowledge of Orlando theme parks.