What should I do with the foliage of my peony and bleeding heart plants once the blooms are gone?
The Gardener’s Answer
Spring bloomers are finished for the year, but if the foliage still looks healthy, it is best to leave them alone and allow them to absorb nutrients for next year’s blooms. In some cases, peony foliage can look bad especially if powdery mildew is an issue. If this is what you are dealing with, go ahead and cut back/discard the foliage.
Bleeding Heart (Dicentra) does not like the summer heat and typically dies back on its own, but we have not had extreme heat so far. The foliage adds interesting character to the shade garden, so enjoy it as long as it’s still attractive. Otherwise, you can remove it as well.