How to Care For Bleeding Heart Vine

The bleeding heart vine got its name because of its shape and colors. It has red flowers and white petals. You can usually find this plant in Africa, but it is relatively easy to grow in your garden. Therefore, if you’re planning to grow this vine, spring is the best time for planting, as it will fully bloom in summer.

Typically, it doesn’t take more than weeks to show its growth, but you cannot plant it indoors. The vine doesn’t take a lot of hard work, so read on as we share some good tips if you want to know how to care for bleeding heart vines.

What is Bleeding Heart Vine?

The bleeding heart vine is also known as Lamprocapnos spectabilis. It belongs to the same family as mint plants. However, this vine is not edible. Its clean and contrasty look is best for a garden full of plants and flowers. If you already have lots of light-colored flowers in your garden, a bleeding heart vine can add a striking color addition to your place. Moreover, since it grows quite long, it can cover your fence or any other rusty rails you might have.

Classification of Bleeding Heart Vine

Bleeding heart bine’s scientific name is Clerodendrum thomsoniae, and it belongs to the family of Lamiaceae. The kingdom it belongs to is Plantae, and its order is Lamiales.

Appearance and Characteristics

The bleeding heart vine is a vine but looks more like a bushy climber. The vine supports dark green, glossy oval leaves, which are somewhere around five to seven inches long. The leaves have smooth edges with pointy ends but are soft. In its native habitat, the vine can grow up to 15 feet tall, but in a container, its maximum size won’t get bigger than nine feet.

Quick Summary

  • It belongs to the family of Lamiaceae
  • Dark red flower with white leaves
  • It has soft leaves with smooth edges and pointy ends
  • The average height of the vine is 15 feet
  • It fully blooms in summer (June till October)
  • Can grow indoors with a container, though not recommended

How to Care For the Bleeding Heart Vine

Below we have listed a few points to help you know better about how to care for a bleeding heart vine.


Bleeding heart vines require plenty of sunlight but can also grow in the mild light. However, it will lose its true colors in low light, and you won’t see the dark reddish flower. If you want to plant it indoors, make sure to plant it near the south-facing window.

It is better to grow it in a container even if you keep it outside. This allows you to bring the plant inside when the first frost hits your garden. If there are no chances of frost in your area, keep it outside, and the roots will start regrowing in spring. Also, they don’t require protection in a sunny area.


Since this is a summer plant, it requires frequent watering. You’ll always need to keep the soil moist, but make sure it doesn’t get soggy. To avoid sogginess, you can create a drainage system in the container and let out the water. It might require more than three gallons of water weekly. Once you see the soil dry, water it until it gets moist. Poke the soil with your fingers to check if it is soft enough, or water it more. On average, you might not need to water this plant more than twice a month, but that depends on your area. The vine can withstand any kind of soil (loamy or sandy) as long as they are rich with organic material.

Humidity & Temperature

Bleeding heart vine would require a temperature of 55 to 75 degrees F. The minimum temperature for this plant should not go below 45 degrees F. It will start damaging the plant, and its roots won’t regrow. However, the plant won’t need any protection under ideal temperatures, and its roots will grow automatically.

The best humidity for this plant is 50% or higher. It can tolerate lower levels without any harm. However, at lower humidity levels, you won’t see the full growth of the vine. This plant will grow brilliantly outdoors at warm temperatures in summers.


While your plant is growing, the most important part is deadheading. As the flower grows, check it daily and pluck all the individual spent flowers. It will attract lots of butterflies and hummingbirds. You should take extra care of it when the flower is in the initial stages as birds can damage them. However, once it is fully grown, let the birds and butterflies benefit from them. On the other hand, once summer ends, the vine will shed all the dried leaves on the ground. In this case, make sure to clean the garden regularly.

Fertilizer & Soil

To stimulate the plant’s growth, it is better to provide fertilizer every two weeks. The 5-10-5 fertilizer is a better option, but if you can’t get that, make sure the fertilizer is balanced. Even if you use a liquid fertilizer, keep feeding it every two weeks for best results. Do not provide it with excessive fertilizer, as it will increase the vine’s growth rate, and you won’t get to see the flowers at their best size.


Just cut a little part of the root and plant it anywhere else before the spring season. Fertilize it like you normally would for other plans and provide it with lots of water to see good growth within weeks. You’ll need a bigger container than the previous one if you want to repot it as the new plant will grow bigger. The new container must have lots of drainage holes to avoid waterlogging. This can save your plant from root rotting and keep it healthy and safe.

  • Growing in Garden

This plant is the best to grow in the garden to reach its peak size, almost 10-15 feet. Moreover, since it is a vine, it can cover your garden area to give it a beautiful look. Make sure to give it lots of heat so you won’t have to keep a check on it frequently. The plant will grow exponentially and get healthier with lots of heat.

How and When to Prune Bleeding Heart Vine

The best time to prune bleeding heart vine is at the end of winter, right before the new growth. Cut all the stems to about 12-inches and cut the vines after the plant is done flowering after a season. However, minor trimming can be done at any time if you want to shape it or don’t want it to take over another plant.

Problems With Bleeding Heart Vine

Generally, these plants have no problems and thrive as long as the soil and fertilizers are great. However, some problems will occur if you won’t care for them properly. The first problem is leaf discoloration if the plant is not getting enough water but lots of sunlight. Move your plant to a shade, provide it with lots of water, and ensure that the soil never gets hard due to less water.

Spiders and mealybug infestation is another problem where you’ll get to see silky webbing or white patches on the leaves. This usually happens in low humidity, and you can use neem oil to remove the insects from the leaves. Moreover, spray water on the leaves daily so the insects won’t damage the plant again.

If the plant is getting excessive water and less sunlight, its leaves will start turning yellow. In such cases, keep the plant outside in direct sunlight for four hours daily until the leaves start showing their white color.

How to Propagate Bleeding Heart Vine

You can propagate this plant by cutting stems and growing by seed. A three to four-inch semi-ripe stem cutting should be enough. Make sure the cut is straight, and it should be just below the leaf node. Once you got the stem, keep three leaves and remove the rest.

Plant the cut end in a container filled with moist soil and keep the container near a sunny window. Water the plant enough, so it takes three to four days to vaporize. The roots will appear in two to three weeks. Once you see the roots, replant them in moistened soil and never keep them away from the sunny window.

Why Should You Grow a Bleeding Heart Vine

While there are no medical benefits of this plant, you can still grow it for the looks and its striking white and red combination.

Facts About Bleeding Heart Vine

How Big Does a Bleeding Heart Vine Get?

If the plant is growing in its natural habitat, the vine can grow up to 15 feet tall. However, you can reduce its size to ten feet or less by growing it in a container. Its leaves can grow up to 7-inches long if you properly take care of this plant. If you see that the vine is growing excessively, trim the unnecessary parts and lower the fertilizer amount.

What Are Bleeding Heart Vines Good For?

It is one of the fastest-growing vines that won’t require much work and resources. Moreover, after planting it once, you only need to water it and provide it with proper sunlight. At optimum temperature, the roots will regrow each season automatically. Ensure that the soil remains moist, and you provide it with a balanced fertilizer.

Are Bleeding Heart Vines Poisonous

Yes, bleeding heart vines are poisonous if ingested, and they should be treated as a medical emergency. Take the patient to a hospital as quickly as possible. Therefore, growing it indoors while you have kids is not a good option. Even touching the flower can cause itching on sensitive skin, so be careful.

Is Bleeding Heart Vine Poisonous to Pets?

Despite that it looks great and harmful, this plant contains isoquinoline alkaloids. Isoquinoline alkaloids are poisonous to both humans and pets. While humans can recover quickly without much agony, your pets will feel much pain if they ingest this flower.

How Fast Do Bleeding Heart Vines Grow?

The roots of bleeding heart vines will grow within two weeks, and the full growth will occur within two months.

Common FAQs

How much light do bleeding heart vines need?

This plant requires lots of sunlight daily for almost four to five hours. However, if the temperature exceeds 75 F, take the plant into the shade. You might not see the true colors of its leaves if your plant won’t get a balance of water and light.

What is special about bleeding heart vines?

The special thing about this plant is its looks and feel. While people with sensitive skin should not touch its flowers, it has a soft texture with dark red flowers and white leaves. The leaves have an oval shape and get quite bigger with pointy ends.

Are bleeding heart vines good indoor plants?

While you can grow this plant indoors, you’ll need to keep it close to a window to get lots of sunlight. However, since this is a toxic plant that can cause issues if your pets or children eat or touches them, we won’t recommend growing it inside the house.

Can bleeding heart vines plants survive in low light?

Yes, bleeding heart vines can easily grow in low light, but their leaves will be bright yellow instead of white. On the other hand, the vine won’t reach its peak height without proper sunlight and might barely reach seven feet.

Why don’t bleeding heart vines plants grow?

If the plant is too young or the roots need division, bleeding heart vines won’t grow. Moreover, heavy or overly moist soil can also cause problems in its growth.


How to care for bleeding heart vine? Ensure that it gets plenty of water and sunlight with a balanced fertilizer. Moreover, bring the plant indoors as soon as the cold season starts. It needs soil with lots of moisture, and its container should be free from soggy soil to avoid root rotting.

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