This vigorous, twining shrub is from tropical West Africa and is commonly called bleeding-heart vine or glory bower. It has long, weak stems that rapidly become straggly if not trained against a support or pinched regularly to make the plant more bushy.
The large, coarse leaves are heart-shaped and dark green with pronounced, paler veins. Clusters of up to 20 flowers are produced in summer, each consisting of a white, bell-shaped calyx over a red, star-shaped corolla.
Size: Height to 10 ft. (3 m).
Light: Indirect sunlight.
Temperature: Normal room; cooler in winter at 50—55°F (10—12°C).
Moisture: Keep thoroughly moist from spring to fall. In winter, apply only enough water to prevent the soil from drying out.
Feeding: Provide standard liquid fertilizer every two weeks from spring through to fall.
Propagation: Take tip cuttings 4—6 m. (10—15 cm) long in spring; use hormone rooting powder. Keep enclosed in a plastic bag or heated propagator at a temperature of 70°F (21°C). Rooting will take 4—6 weeks.
Special needs: Extra humidity in summer will help flowering, so place the pot on a tray of moist pebbles. To keep the plant under control, cut the sterns back by up to two-thirds as growth starts in spring.