Botanical Name: Clerodendrum thomsoniae
Origin: West Africa
Height: If not pruned, Bleeding Heart Vine can grow to heights of around 1.8 m (6 ft).
Soil: A good, well balanced potting mix will be adequate for this plant.
Light: Indirect, but bright light is required to keep the Bleeding Heart Vine healthy.
Humidity: This house plant requires, moderate to high humidity, so levels may have to be raised to accommodate the plant.
Temperatures: Average to warm temperatures of approximately 18 to 29 degrees C (65 to 85 degrees F), throughout the year will keep this plant happy.
Water: During the growth and flowering period, Bleeding Heart Vines need to be watered enough to keep the soil evenly moist. In winter, it will require less water, but should still not be allowed to dry out altogether.
Fertiliser: Dilute a liquid, high-phosphorus fertiliser in a 1:1 solution with water and feed to the plant every two weeks during spring and summer.
Propagation: The Bleeding Heart Vine can be propagated quite easily from 8 cm (3 in) stem tip cuttings taken in spring and rooted in an equal parts mixture of perlite and all purpose potting mix.
Description and Care Tips
Covered in attractive oval, deeply veined leaves, the tropical Bleeding Heart Vine can be trained on a trellis, pruned back or grown however the owner may prefer.
Blooming profusely from spring right into autumn, the plant produces an abundance of glorious, snowy white, heart-shaped calyxes from which bright red flowers, each carrying long stamens, emerge.
Requiring warmth, indirect bright light and fairly high humidity throughout the year, this plant needs to be repotted only when it has outgrown its container completely, as it blooms best when slightly root bound. Repotting should be done in spring, and the new container should only be one size larger than the previous pot. Drainage holes in the pot will help to prevent soggy soil.
Spring is also the best time to prune this vine. Pruning should be done using clean, sharp pruning shears, which will prevent diseases and jagged tears. Cuts should be made just above leaf nodes (where leaves join the stem). pruning will not only keep the plant trim and under control, it will also encourage more blooms.
Keeping humidity levels up will help to prevent spider mite invasions. It is important to look out for theses pests, especially during the winter months, when rooms tend to be drier.
While the Bleeding Heart Vine is an evergreen perennial, growth will slow down and flowering may stop from autumn and through winter. During this period, the plant should be watered less and no fertiliser should be administered to give the plant a good rest. Fertilising can be resumed when new growth begins to appear with the onset of spring.