How to Divide a Bleeding Heart Bush


Bleeding Heart is a great plant to have in your garden; it does well in sun or in shade, is tolerant to drought and thrives with damp feet. Although its blossoming time is short, the foliage stays green all summer long, providing texture and color to the background of your summer and fall flowers. Dividing bleeding heart is worth the effort, since it’s easy to do and the rewards are more and more bleeding heart plants to enjoy every year.



things you’ll need:
  • Garden spade
    1. Decide where you want to add new plants. Choose a spot towards the back of your flower bed; the foliage remains pretty long after the blossoms have faded. Bleeding heart is best divided in late summer (after Labor Day) so that it has time to grow roots before the ground freezes. Dig a hole at least 6 inches deep in the new locations. Remove any rocks that your spade locates.
    2. Cut all of the foliage off the bleeding heart plant so that you can see the root mound. The foliage can be thrown in the compost bin, if you have one.
    3. Make a deep circle around the root mound with the spade at least 6 inches deep. Drive the spade straight down through the middle of the root mound. You should not divide one plant into more than fourths as the plant needs enough of its roots to start over in the new location.
    4. Use the spade to divide the plant. Carefully separate the root into four new root balls. If you want to keep the original plant’s location, just leave one of the four roots and cover it back up with soil.
    5. Plant each one of the root balls into the new hole locations and re-cover the roots with soil. Water all of the new plants thoroughly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Alternating colors of Bleeding Heart (white and pink) is a great way to bring attention to your spring garden. To add texture, plant Lavender or Silver Mound in front of the Bleeding Heart plants.

  • The best time to fertilize Bleeding Heart is right after it blooms.

  • If you try to pull a Bleeding Heart out of the ground by its branches, they will break off. Use the spade to separate and pull out the root.

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