The bleeding heart plant grows in partial to full shade to a height of 2 to 3 feet, according to University of Illinois Extension website. You should cut back this plant annually; the best time to do this depends on a variety of circumstances.
A bleeding heart plant blooms in late spring or early summer. Cutting back should not occur until after this blooming period, when the foliage turns yellow and the plant goes dormant, according to Cornell University. This often occurs in the summer.
The bleeding heart goes dormant earlier if the soil remains excessively dry for an extended period of time. If this occurs, simply cut the plant back to ground level.
If you keep the plant very well watered through the hot summer weather, a bleeding heart plant may not go dormant until fall. The soil should be moist but not waterlogged, according to the University of Cornell.