Blooming and pruning is one of the most important developmental mechanisms of the biological brain in the first years of life, enabling it to adapt its network structure to the demands of the environment. The mechanism is thought to be fundamental for the development of cognitive skills. Inspired by this, Chialvo and Bak proposed in 1999 a learning scheme that learns from mistakes by eliminating from the initial surplus of synaptic connections those that lead to an undesirable outcome. Here, this idea is implemented in a neuromorphic circuit scheme using CMOS integrated HfO2-based memristive devices. The implemented two-layer neural network learns in a self-organized manner without positive reinforcement and exploits the inherent variability of the memristive devices. A combined experimental and simulation-based parameter study is presented to find the relevant system and device parameters leading to a compact and robust memristive neuromorphic circuit that can handle association tasks.