Growing Love-in-a-Puff Vine

Growing Love-in-a-Puff Vine
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Growing Love-in-a-PuffLove-in-a-Puff Vine: Whimsical Gardening

Cardiospermum halicacabum doesn't sound like a whimsical plant does it? Until you find out two of it's common names: Love-in-a-Puff and Heartseed.

This fast growing vine will reach up to 10 foot in one season, and it's tendrils will cling to wooden or iron trellises. The foliage is rather ferny in appearance, and it's not really grown for it's teeny white blooms, but rather the unique seed pods that are formed later.

Each seed pods is a three-sided green balloon that turns brown and stays inflated! When squeezed, it "pops" and you'll find 3 charming seeds inside, each having a perfect white heart at the place where it was attached to the pod.

This makes collecting the seed pods a joy! Kids love to collect the pods and open each one to remove the seeds. Wondering each time: Will it have 3 seeds? Will they all really have hearts? Is there a fairy inside painting the hearts on the seed?

Love-in-a-Puff seeds can be direct seeded in the spring after the last frost, or it can be started inside about 8 weeks before the frosts end.

It's an annual in all areas except those in 9 and 10--where the vine can be a vigorous pest IF left to it's own to reseed with no control. Plant in full sun and a good soil that will.

The balloon vine (as it's also called) will flower in midsummer and the seeds will be ripen in the fall. The seeds are small and dark black with the white heart markings.

If some capsules are left on the plant it will make a lovely winter accent and it will reseed. You can also collect the seeds to save and plant in the spring.

Growing Love-in-a-Puff

Love-in-a-Puff will bring a little whimsy and wonder to our yards and gardens plus it will encourage the imaginations of little and big people alike.



About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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