Love in a Puff (Cardiospermum halicacabum)
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Learn how to grow love in a puff, a simple-to-care-for annual vine with tiny white blossoms and green pods that resemble paper lanterns. Love in the puff is also called Balloon Vine or Heartseed Vine.
It’s easy to see how love in a puff gets its name; the puffy lantern encloses dark seeds with a perfect white heart on each one. This delicate vine quickly climbs a trellis as its tendrils reach out.
This is what love in a puff seeds look like.
Love in a puff growing on a trellis.
This is what love in a puff flowers look like.
How to Grow Love in a Puff Vine
Love in a puff is very sensitive to cold. Direct sow after the weather has warmed or start seed indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost; transplant out after all danger of frost has passed. Don’t cover seeds; press them into the soil. Seeds need light to germinate.
Size and spacing: Space plants about a foot (30 cm) apart. Love in a puff grows up to 10 feet (3.5 meters) tall.
Growing tips: Plant in full sun for the most blooms. Does best with regular water and well-drained soil. Blooms last a long time in this easy-growing plant. Each lantern contains seeds that will drop and reseed – deadhead if desired to prevent rampant reseeding. It can be invasive in some climates.
How to grow in Love in a Puff in Arizona: Start indoors in late summer and plant outside in the fall, and it will bloom through the cooler months.
To save seeds from love in a puff: Leave lanterns on the plant until they darken. The seeds inside should be dark. If the seeds are green, they were harvested too early and will not be viable.
Cut flower tips: Harvest stems in the morning and let them rest in water for a few hours before arranging them. Select firm stems with green lanterns. Stems last up to a week with preservative.
Are you looking for more information about how to grow vines?
This is just one of 10 vines that grow well from seed. Learn more about my other favorites in this blog post.
This Arizona Vine Planting Guide shares some of my favorite vines that grow well in Arizona and gives growing and planting details for each one.