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How To Trim Bleeding Hearts


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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.

Difficulty:
Moderate

Instructions

things you’ll need:
  • Sharp pruners or garden shears
  • Vase
  • Water
  • Bleach
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.

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