Update from the gardens

September 30, 2015

Today I want to write about one of my favorite plants…bleeding hearts…AKA glory bower, bleeding heart vine or Clerodendrum thomsoniae.Mature Bleeding Heart Flowering Vine

This sub-tropical plant is from Africa. It needs a inter rest,but easily covers a large area if you

let it roam. It has been an absolute delight as it produces hundreds of flowers. To get so many blooms it does need several hours of strong light, but hot Fl. Afternoon sun makes it droop.

Bleeding heart seedsI’m surprised at the really shallow root system. We planted it in a bad with a max of 6-8 inches of rich composted soil and horse manure. It loves the afternoon rains and will tolerate several days even a week of drought. Very important here since who knows for sure what we’ll get. (What happens to our set your clock everyday at 3:00 rain?)

Bleeding Heart Seeds AppearingIt has been especially pretty because we mixed it with red passion vine. Wow our rampant run away child..another story.. Another  time. I was shocked to see the unusual seeds the vine produces….really looks like fall. Each flower products the potential of 4 seeds, but usually only 2-3 mature. We allowed the seeds to dry for a few days and then planted 9 seeds and within one week 5 of the nine germinated and are becoming small plants.

Mature bleeding heart seedsInstead of a trellis for the plants to climb on I chose to do a string art. I ran black nylon string (NOT cotton rots too quick) from a lag upper limb toa lower limb probably 8 feet apart. It has been a good idea, but I haven’t pruned the vine to see the strings which are ½ inch apart in the shape of 4 large hour glasses. It will give interest in the garden in the winter months when the vine dies back and rests.