Bleeding Heart Vine: Clerodendrum thomsoniae

Hi there!  A belated Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!  Sorry I've been lost, I got carried away with life and the busy holiday season.  Let's jump right in shall we?  It has been a shamefully long time since I posted about the garden...

Say hello to Clerodendrum thomsoniae, also known as the Bleeding Heart Vine and Glory Bower.  It's native to tropical West Africa and can grow up to fifteen feet!  My mother purchased two from Home Depot and planted them at the base of the columns of her patio.  Both of the plants have red blooms (the backs of the petals are fuchsia pink), however she eventually found the variety with white flowers and has since planted it between the other two vines - at the base of another bare column.  

As the vines grow she plans to train them all along the roofline of the patio, just above the arches beneath the gutter, using small nails/hooks and garden wire… 

So far, the Bleeding Heart Vine has proven to be a very fast climber!  It won't be long before the arches are filled out with bushy leaves and flowers!!  I can't wait...

Of course, another fabulous benefit of this lovely vine is that it has tons of tiny little flowers that bloom all year long!  According to this site, as the plant matures it needs more and more water, not to mention some type of fertilizer with adequate amounts of calcium.  If you want to use what you've got, a few crushed eggshells mixed into the soil will provide the calcium.

We throw a good amount of our used eggshells, not to mention all other organic materials, into our compost.  At this point, we have a good amount of compost soil which we occasionally add to select plants.  If done right, compost soil is infinitely rich in nutrients and can provide big benefits to your garden.  I highly recommend composting for that reason, and many others.  But that's for another post - note to self.  Anywho, our vines receive full sun until around 3pm and get regular waterings, so far they are very hearty.  I read on the Dave's Garden forum for this plant that it tends to become a nuisance in terms of putting up random sprouts within the surrounding vicinity.  So far I have not seen any sprouts, though I will let you know if that becomes an issue in the future.  Regardless, I'd like to plant this vine other places in the garden, particularly in those distant dreary corners where color is lacking.  

The deep tufted looking patterns created by the veins of the leaves are stunning, as are the two-toned miniature flowers!

See that rain chain?  I bought it a while back as a gift for my mom, it's from Target.  Yes, it's beautiful, but I've got a review post coming up on how it has held up (no bueno)!  Anyway, I really like the colors and composition of this photo, though I wish the flowers in the foreground were in focus.  

This vine is sure to soften the patio roofline and bring even more color into the garden year-round!  Once our third (and newest) Bleeding Heart Vine with the white flowers fills out and blooms I will share photos.  So far, the initial two have grown rapidly and are ready to be trained, I'll share photos once we tackle that.

Have a wonderful day!


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