Friday, February 5, 2010

Bleeding Heart Vine, Clerodendrum thomsoniae

Clerodendrum thomsoniae
 Bleeding Heart Vine.

Though tropical in origin,( it's from West Africa), the bleeding heart vine can be grown across a range of climates and is even hardy enough to flourish as an indoor plant in cold climates. Like many tropical plants from Africa it has adapted to keep on growing through drought conditions without sustaining a lack of vigor. It is not a particularly rampant climber in warm temperate climates and makes an ideal pot plant when treated as a shrub by shearing off the climbing tendrils as it grows. It will also flower in the shade hence its popularity as a verandah plant in bright light with no sun. The floral display over summer is impressive and lasts for several months. Each crimson flower is subtended by a white bract which contrasts well with the very dark green heart shaped leaves. If growing it in a pot it responds well to liquid fertilizer in summer but is best kept on the dry side during winter. Specimens grown indoors or under cover are susceptible to scale and mealy bug, and, as always, the attendant ants are a dead giveaway that these bugs are present. Cuttings of firm young wood strike easily at this time of year.
2017 update: I currently don't have any plants for sale.


  1. Don't see this one much any more up here ... I remember it well from my grandmother's garden when I was a child ...thanks for reminding me about this beauty. It makes a truly magnificent display with its lovely white bracts and little flowers.

  2. Bleeding Hearts are a wonderful addition to a garden.

  3. I saw a Bleeding Heart vine completely covered with flowers in a garden. But my vine is very miserly- it gives very few flowers. Do you give it any special treatment like pruning in a particular season?

  4. Ian, Common names are so interesting. The plant called Bleeding Hearts in the United States is Dicentra. I can see some similarities in the flowers of the two plants and see why they share the same common name.
    BTW, what is that gorgeous flower in your new header photo? Wow! -Jean

  5. Thanks for your interesting comments.
    Jean, the header flower is a blue anemone, the bulb that flowers in Spring. It was taken years ago with my first digital camera old Nikon "Coolpix".