How To Trim Bleeding Hearts
Bleeding heart, (Dicentra spectabilis), is a shade-loving perennial flower, reminiscent of cool, woodland paths and old-fashioned gardens. Although the bleeding heart flower, with its heart-shaped bloom and tiny hanging protrusion, is available in both white and pink varieties, pink bleeding hearts are the most familiar. As long as bleeding heart is planted in a cool, shady area and gets enough moisture, the plant is nearly care-free. However, an occasional pruning will keep the bleeding heart plant looking its best.
things you’ll need:
- Sharp pruners or garden shears
- Cut back the foliage of the bleeding heart plant when the leaves ripen and turn yellow, usually in mid-summer. Use sharp pruners or garden shears to cut the bleeding heart plant down to the ground. A drastic pruning won’t hurt the bleeding heart plant, and it will grow back the following spring. Throw the wilted foliage on the compost pile.
- Deadhead, or pinch off the bleeding heart blooms as they fade. Deadheading will stimulate the bleeding heart plant to continue blooming, instead of directing its energy toward producing seeds.
- Cut bleeding heart blooms for bouquets as desired. Cut the blooms, along with long stems, in the morning when the air is cool and the bleeding heart plant is well-hydrated. Place the blooms, along with long stems, in a vase filled with lukewarm water, and keep the bouquet in a cool room. Bleeding heart bouquets will last several days. If the vase has been used, scrub it with a solution of nine parts water and one part household bleach. Rinse the vase thoroughly before adding the bleeding heart blooms.
Tips & Warnings
Bleeding heart plants will benefit from being divided every four years, to prevent the roots from becoming overcrowded. Dig up the bleeding heart plant, along with the roots, with a shovel or garden fork. Separate the plant into smaller sections, and be sure each section has a healthy root system. Plant the newly divided bleeding heart plant in a cool, moist area, in well-drained soil.