Clerodendrum thomsoniae

Bleeding Glory-bower: Unveiling the Beauty of Clerodendrum thomsoniae

Clerodendrum thomsoniae, commonly known as Bleeding Glory-bower or Bleeding Heart Climber, is a captivating vine that adds a touch of elegance to any garden. Belonging to the Lamiaceae family, this remarkable plant originates from tropical Western Africa. Its discovery and first published information date back to the early exploration of the region, although specific details may be elusive.

Characteristics and Description: With its deep green foliage and striking flowers, Clerodendrum thomsoniae is a perennial evergreen climber that never fails to mesmerize. Growing up to an impressive height of 13 feet or 4.5 meters, this vine boasts twining stems, which eagerly explore their surroundings for support.

The leaves of Clerodendrum thomsoniae are ovate in shape, radiating a rich, dark green hue. However, it is the resplendent flowers that steal the spotlight. The bright red blossoms emerge from delicate white calyces, forming alluring clusters that captivate onlookers. This captivating color combination gives rise to its vivid alternative name, Bleeding Glory-bower or Bleeding Heart Climber.

Flowering Season: The Bleeding Glory-bower graces the garden with its vibrant blooms from June through October. During this period, its clusters of red flowers, nestled within the contrasting white calyces, offer a dazzling display that is sure to captivate any admirer.

Cultivation of Clerodendrum thomsoniae:

Growing Clerodendrum thomsoniae requires some considerations to ensure its optimal development and flowering. Here are essential guidelines for cultivating this enchanting climber:

Sunlight: While partial shade is ideal for Clerodendrum thomsoniae, it thrives in locations with ample sunlight. Providing a balance of shade and sun exposure allows the vine to flourish and produce an abundance of striking blooms.

Watering: This vine appreciates a consistently moist environment, but it is crucial to avoid waterlogging the soil. Ensure that the soil is well-drained to prevent the roots from becoming waterlogged, as excessive moisture can lead to rot. Regular watering, allowing the topsoil to dry slightly between waterings, will help maintain the desired moisture balance.

Soil: Clerodendrum thomsoniae thrives in organic-rich soil. Prioritize soil that is well-drained and evenly moist, as this will provide the ideal growing conditions for the plant. Complement the soil with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to enrich its fertility and promote healthy growth.

Pests and Diseases: While generally disease-free, Clerodendrum thomsoniae is not entirely immune to certain pests. Vigilance is necessary to protect the vine from common threats such as red spider mites and whiteflies. Regularly inspect the plant for any signs of infestation and promptly address them using appropriate organic pest control methods.


Propagating Clerodendrum thomsoniae can be achieved through various methods:

  • Semi-hardwood cuttings: Take cuttings from the plant’s semi-hardened stems, ensuring they possess a few leaf nodes. Plant the cuttings in a well-draining rooting medium and provide the necessary warmth and humidity to encourage root formation.
  • Root cuttings: Collect root cuttings from established plants during the dormant season. Plant the cuttings horizontally in a suitable rooting medium and maintain consistent moisture levels until new shoots emerge.
  • Seed: Gather mature seeds from the plant’s fruits and sow them in a seed-starting mix. Ensure the seeds receive adequate warmth and moisture to facilitate germination. Keep in mind that growing from seeds may take longer to produce mature plants compared to other propagation methods.
Clerodendrum thomsoniae
Bright red flowers of Clerodendrum thomsoniae

Growing it as a Houseplant:

Growing Clerodendrum thomsoniae as a houseplant offers the opportunity to enjoy its vibrant blooms within the comfort of your home. Here are some essential guidelines for successfully cultivating this climber indoors:

Container Cultivation: For those with limited outdoor space or a desire for mobility, growing Clerodendrum thomsoniae in containers opens up a world of possibilities. Follow these guidelines to ensure successful container cultivation:

Light: Place your Clerodendrum thomsoniae in a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight. An east or west-facing window is often ideal. While the plant appreciates ample light, avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, as this may scorch its leaves.

Temperature: Maintain a moderate to warm temperature range for your houseplant. Clerodendrum thomsoniae thrives in temperatures between 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C). Avoid exposing it to extreme temperature fluctuations or drafts.

Humidity: As a tropical plant, Clerodendrum thomsoniae appreciates higher humidity levels. Enhance humidity around the plant by misting its leaves regularly or placing a humidifier nearby. Grouping plants together can also create a microclimate with increased humidity.

Container Selection: Choose a container that is slightly larger than the current root ball of your Clerodendrum thomsoniae, with drainage holes at the bottom. Opt for lightweight and durable materials such as plastic or fiberglass to facilitate easier movement.

Potting Mix: Prepare a well-draining potting mix by combining equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and compost. This blend provides adequate moisture retention while allowing excess water to drain freely.

Placement of Clerodendrum thomsoniae:

Place the container in a location that receives partial shade or filtered sunlight. Avoid placing it in areas with intense, direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves.

Watering and Fertilization: Monitor the moisture level in the container and water the plant when the top inch of the soil feels slightly dry. Fertilize regularly during the growing season with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to provide essential nutrients for healthy growth.

Support and Training: Provide a sturdy trellis, stake, or other support structure for your container-grown Clerodendrum thomsoniae to climb on. Gently guide the vine towards the support and secure it as it grows to maintain an attractive shape.

Pruning: Regularly prune your container plant to control its size and shape. Remove any dead, damaged, or overgrown branches to promote healthy growth and maintain an appealing appearance.

With careful attention to these container cultivation techniques, you can enjoy the captivating beauty of Clerodendrum thomsoniae in portable gardens or as an eye-catching centerpiece within your home. Its striking red flowers and enchanting fragrance will undoubtedly elevate your indoor or outdoor spaces, creating a haven of natural beauty.

Clerodendrum thomsoniae
Grow Clerodendrum thomsoniae in a pot or in the ground depending on the climate
Clerodendrum thomsoniae
Close-up for Clerodendrum thomsoniae flower
Clerodendrum thomsoniae
Clerodendrum thomsoniae

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