The Q&A Archives: bleeding heart pruning

Question: I was given a piece of a bleeding heart, which I planted last spring. It has since grown quite large. Can I cut it back without killing it, and how do I trim it?

Answer: Dicentra, or Bleeding Heart, typically dies back on its own in summer so no pruning is usually necessary. Since your plant is relatively new, I'd recommend allowing it to grow at will (all that foliage will transport energy to the roots which will encourage a good root system). A few minor pruning cuts shouldn't hurt the plant, but I'd allow as much foliage as possible to remain until it dies back on its own.

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