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Bleeding Heart Vine (Clerodendrum)

The bleeding heart vine, also known as Clerodendrum thomsoniae, is beloved for its clusters of heart-shaped white flowers that have a scarlet flower blooming at the tip. Once the red flower falls off, the white flowers lighten to a lavender or pink color that further prolongs the beauty it brings to your garden.

Bleeding heart vine (Clerodendrum) is an annual variety that blooms off and on throughout the year in milder climates, then typically dies in the winter if it’s not protected. It can grow in full sun and shade during the warm season.

Clerodendrum bleeding heart vines are ideal for adding vertical interest to gardens, fences, arbors, trellises, or hanging baskets. They can also be grown in containers for a stunning display on patios or balconies.

Did you know that Fairview Garden Center is actually one of the only places you can find Clerodendrum in the area? We have been propagating vines by hand for decades!

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  • Hardiness: As an annual, Clerodendrum bleeding heart vine is not frost tolerant and will typically not survive winter temperatures in Zone 8 without protection.
  • Light Requirements: Clerodendrum bleeding heart vines prefer full sun to partial shade. They can tolerate a range of light conditions but may flower more profusely with ample sunlight.
  • Soil and Watering: Provide well-draining soil and water regularly to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Mulching can help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.
  • Maintenance: Regular pruning may be necessary to control the size and shape of the vine and encourage bushiness. Additionally, providing a trellis or support structure for the vine to climb will help maintain its upright growth habit.
  • Light: Bleeding heart vines thrive in bright, indirect light. They can tolerate some direct sunlight, especially in the morning hours, but too much direct sun can scorch their delicate foliage.
  • Temperature: These vines prefer warm temperatures between 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C) during the day and slightly cooler temperatures at night. Protect them from cold drafts, as they are sensitive to temperature fluctuations.
  • Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. During the growing season, which is typically spring and summer, you may need to water more frequently. Reduce watering in the fall and winter, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
  • Soil: Use well-draining, rich potting mix for container-grown bleeding heart vines. In the garden, they prefer fertile, well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter.
  • Fertilizer: Feed your bleeding heart vine with a balanced liquid fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season to encourage healthy growth and prolific flowering. Reduce fertilization in the fall and winter.
  • Support: Provide a trellis, fence, or other support structure for the vine to climb. You can also let it cascade over a hanging basket or container for a cascading effect.
  • Pruning: Prune the vine as needed to control its size and shape. Remove any dead, damaged, or diseased growth, and trim back excessive growth to promote bushiness.
  • Propagation: Bleeding heart vine can be propagated from stem cuttings taken in spring or summer. Simply take a 4-6 inch cutting from a healthy stem, remove the lower leaves, and place it in a potting mix. Keep the soil consistently moist until roots develop.
  • Pests and diseases: Keep an eye out for common pests like aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. Treat any infestations promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Proper watering and good air circulation can help prevent fungal diseases like powdery mildew.