Cardiospermum–commonly called love-in-a-puff–is a tropical perennial climber that bears small white flowers followed by paper-like capsules that resemble paper lanterns–the puff in the common name. Cardiospermum attracts bees and is considered a very good pollinator plant.
Cardiospermum uses tendrils to climb supports; it can grow to as much as 12 feet tall. Cardiospermum has attractive fern-like foliage; alternate, 2-ternate leaves that are deeply toothed; leaves are 6 to 8 inches long.
Cardiospermum is a tropical perennial; it is commonly grown as a tender annual in temperate climates.
Cardiopermum is a genus of 14 species native to tropical Africa and India.
Get to Know Cardiospermum
- Plant type: Perennial vine
- Growing zones and range: Zones 10-15
- Hardiness: Not frost tolerant
- Height and width: 10 to 12 feet (3-4m) tall, 6 to 12 inches (15-30cm) wide.
- Foliage: Fern-like foliage; alternate 2-ternate leaves are deeply toothed
- Flowers: Small flowers greenish-white flowers with 4 unequal petals; flowers are followed by ovoid, 3-angled, balloon-like capsules which mature light green to brown
- Bloom time: Summer
- Uses: Vertical interest, cut flower
- Common name: Love-in-a-puff, ballooon vine, winter cherry
- Botanical name: Cardiospermum
- Family name: Sapindaceae
- Origin: Tropical Africa and India
Where to Plant Cardiospermum
- Light outdoors: Plant Cardiospermum in full sun.
- Soil outdoors: Plant Cardiospermum in humus-rich, moist, but well-drained soil.
- Soil indoors: Grow in a soil-based potting mix.
- Light indoors: Grow in bright filerted light.
- Provide a stake, trellis, or other support for Cardiospermum.
When to Plant Cardiospermum
- Set container-grown Cardiospermum outdoors after the last frost in spring.
- Start Cariospermum seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost.
Planting and Spacing Cardiospermum
- Space Cardiospermu 6 to 12 inches (15-30cm) apart.
How to Water and Feed Cardiospermum
- Keep the soil evenly moist but not wet.
- Apply a liquied fertilizer monthly.
- Thin Cardiospermum plants so that they do not grow congested.
- Cardiospermum grown as a potted plant should be potted up once a year until it reaches maturity.
Cardiospermum Pests and Diseases
- Aphids and whiteflies can attack Cardiospermum.
- Sow Cardiospermum seeds in warm soil in spring. Germination takes 21 to 30 days.
- Root softwood cuttings in summer.
Cardiospermum Varieties to Grow
- Cardiospermum halicacabum, balloon vine, love-in-a-puff. Slender, woody-based evergreen vine; tendril climber usually grown as an annual; deeply toothed leaves; bears tiny greenish-white flowers from summer to autumn; ovoid 3-angled, balloon-like capsule follows flowers.