Clerodendrum thomsoniae
Common Name: bleeding heart 
Type: Vine
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Tropical western Africa
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 12.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 12.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: White calyces with dark red corolla
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen


Use a trellis to train this vine in the house. To grow glory-bower or bleeding heart vine indoors, a winter rest is required. This can be accomplished by moving the vine to a cooler location away from any heat source. A spot between 60 to 65F during the day and 5 to 10 degrees lower at night would be ideal. Some leaf drop is a normal response to entering winter dormancy. During this period, water just enough to keep the soil from drying out and withhold fertilizer. In late winter or early spring, prune the vine before new growth emerges. Because flower buds are produced on current season’s growth, pruning at this time will encourage the production of vigorous flowering shoots. Do not be afraid to prune severely. Thin out old, overcrowded shoots and any other far-reaching growth to keep the vine in bounds. After pruning, move the plant to a warm, brightly lit location or outdoors if temperatures have warmed sufficiently. Water when the soil surface feels dry.

Growing tips from the Kemper Center for Home Gardening: Clerodendrum thomsoniae is a heavy feeder. To produce profuse flowers through the growing season, apply either a slow release-type fertilizer with micronutrients every two months or a liquid water soluble fertilizer with micronutrients monthly. As Clerodendrum thomsoniae grows its thirst grows with it. A clerodendrum vine that occupies a three foot trellis can drink several gallons of water weekly. Bloom should continue throughout the season if adequate amounts of calcium are available to the plant. Should the fertilizer chosen not have calcium, a separate calcium supplement may be applied. Crushed eggshells stirred into the soil are an excellent organic calcium supplement for plants.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Clerodendrum thomsoniae, commonly called bleeding heart vine, is a twining evergreen shrub or vine. It usually blooms during the warm months and provides showy white flowers with dark red corollas giving a striking contrast. The foliage is smooth-edged, oval and 6 inches long. A common houseplant in cooler locations.

Genus name comes from the Greek words kleros meaning chance and dendron meaning a tree.

Specific epithet honors Scots doctor Thomas Thomson (1817-1878) who was superintendent of the Calcutta Botanic Garden (1854-1861). Many Himalayan plants commemorate him.


Watch for mealybugs and spider mites. For more information see: Problems Common to Many Indoor Plants


Makes an excellent hanging container plant, or can be trained on a trellis.