The Q&A Archives: Bleeding Hearts

Question: I have 3 Bleeding Heart plants that do well until around June when they start to die. They get full sun during the day. Do I have to cut them back every June? They have come back for the last 2 years. I don't know why they won't last the rest of the summer.

Answer: Dicentra (Bleeding Heart) is a spring blooming perennial that naturally dies down when the weather begins to warm in the summer. When the stems and leaves begin to wilt you can cut them down to ground level. The plant roots will rest all summer and winter, then produce new sprouts and flowers the following spring. If there's a bare spot in your garden once you've cut the foliage down, you can plant tall growing annuals under your bleeding heart plants. By the time the bleeding hearts are finished for the season, your annuals will have grown tall enough to fill in the gaps. Try growing snapdragons, border dahlias, cleosia or zinnias along side your bleeding hearts for a continuous display of color in the bed.

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