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How to Grow Cardiospermum — Love-in-a-Puff

Love-in-a-puff, Cardiospermum halicacabum
Love-in-a-puff, Cardiospermum halicacabum

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
Love-in-a-puff also called balloon vine, Cardiospermum halicacabum
Love-in-a-puff also called balloon vine, Cardiospermum halicacabum

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.

Cardiospermum Care

  • 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.

Cardiospermum Propagation

  • 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.

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