Trim bleeding hearts by choosing the right time, inspecting the plant regularly, pinching off wilting flowers as they occur, removing flower stems once they are free of flowers and trimming the yellowing foliage down to the basal growth. You need a pair of pruning shears.
- Trim at the right time
Trim bleeding hearts twice a year. First, they need to be trimmed immediately after flowering for aesthetic reasons. The second trimming needs to occur during its dormancy period for next year's plant growth.
- Inspect the plant
Inspect the plant regularly. Trim the foliage before the plant produces seeds, which concentrates the energy of the plant into reproduction instead of growth.
- Pinch off wilting flowers
Once a flower on the plant starts to wilt, pinch it off just behind its head. Only remove the wilting flower, not all of the flowers when the first one begins to wilt.
- Remove the stem
Once all the flowers on a single stem have wilted and been trimmed, use the pruning shears to remove that stem at its base. Doing so redistributes energy to other portions of the plant.
- Trim the foliage
When the plant goes into dormancy during midsummer, the foliage starts to yellow and wither. Use the shears to trim the foliage down to the basal growth.