Clerodendrum Thomsoniae (kler-oh-DEN-drum, tom-SON-ee-ay) is a flowering plant in the genus Clerodendrum and of the family: Lamiaceae but other references such as USDA place it in the verbenaceae family.
The evergreen plant is indigenous to tropical West Africa from the west region of Cameroon to Senegal.
The plant’s botanical name was a tribute to the late wife of Rev. William Cooper Thomson – an honorable missionary and doctor in Nigeria.
The handsome liana was quite popular in the mid 19th century and was commonly known as “beauty bush.”
Some other common names or plant names of the Clerodendron include:
- Bleeding Heart Vine
- Bleeding Glory-Bower
- Tropical Bleeding Heart
Bleeding Heart Vine Care
Size and Growth
Glory-Bower is an evergreen twining shrub, reaching up to 13’ feet tall.
In ideal growing conditions, the plant grows to a great height and size.
The dark green leaves are broad and oblong and grow up to a size of 5” inches long and 2” inches wide.
The long climbing stems are marked by white and red flowers while the heart-shaped leaves are distinguished by pale veins.
Flowering and Fragrance
Flowers are the most striking feature of the bleeding heart vine.
They typically grow on thin, wiry stalks in spring, summer, or early fall.
They usually grow in cymes (a group of clusters), with each tiny flower of a size of 0.7” inches.
The flowers occur from the axils of the coarse leaves in an intense red and pure white color.
Each showy flower boasts a red corolla and a white calyx.
The delicate panicles with corollas and calyces are lightly scented and do not appeal to the senses.
Light and Temperature
Glory bowers prefer full sun or partial shade for proper growth.
The climbing plant may not flower if it doesn’t receive an adequate amount of light on a daily basis.
The plant does fairly well at room temperature during its growing season.
When growing outdoors, make sure the temperature remains above 45° degrees Fahrenheit (7° C).
In the winter season, the plant prefers cool temperatures, at about 50° to 55° degrees Fahrenheit (10° – 13° C).
The USDA hardiness zone of the evergreen shrub is from 10 – 12.
Watering and Feeding
Clerodendrum thomsoniae prefers moist soil at all times. Make sure to water the plant regularly to encourage new growth.
As the plant grows and becomes matures, its water needs become intensive as well.
When it comes to fertilizing, the plant needs heavy feeding to produce vigorous flowers.
Apply a slow-release fertilizer every two months or a liquid water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks.
Always use a fertilizer with high levels of calcium or organic calcium supplements as an alternative.
Soil and Transplanting
Bagflowers prefer rich, well-drained soil, mixed with lots of organic materials.
The ideal time for the glory bower transplantation is in spring when the plant has outgrown its current pot.
Bleeding heart vines bloom best when they are slightly pot-bound.
Repot the plant one size larger and use a pot with proper drainage holes.
Consider repotting in the dormant period – winter.
Grooming and Maintenance
Always use rich soil such as potting mix to ensure the healthy growth of the plant.
Make sure the pot contains good drainage holes to avoid waterlogging.
Clerondendrum thomsoniae requires pruning after its blooming season.
Cut back the overgrown shoots and stems to encourage new growth.
Lightly prune throughout the season to keep the desired size and appearance of the plant.
How To Propagate Clerodendrum Thomsoniae
The propagation of bleeding heart vines is usually done via stem cuttings.
Cut about 3” – 4” inches long shoot from the base of the plant.
Use a potting mixture of peat moss and perlite and place the pot in a warm temperature.
Water the plant well enough to keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
It will probably take 4 to 6 weeks for the new growth to occur.
Make sure to use a large pot so the root system remains well-balanced.
Clerodendrum Thomsoniae Pests and Diseases
Overwatering often causes insects such as mealybugs and spider mites to attack this plant type.
Get rid of them by applying appropriate insecticides like Neem oil or wash the plant with soapy water.
When placed indoors, glasshouse whiteflies are a nuisance.
White oil helps eradicate whitefly infestations.
If the plant receives excessive sunlight or less watering, the variegated plant may develop discolored patches on its leaves.
Move the plant into the shade or give adequate watering.
Bleeding Heart Vine Uses
Tropical bleeding hearts are popularly used as a lovely hanging basket ornament, house plant, garden plant, and a container plant.
The indoor plant remains alive and flushed much of the entire year which is why it is used for decorating a wall, fence, trellis, or pergola.
It pairs well with the glory tree and makes for a beautiful backdrop in a sunroom and greenhouse.