Common Names: Balloon Vine, Heart Seed, Winter Cherry, Heart Seed Vine, Love in a Vine, Heart Pea.
Life Cycle: Half hardy perennial usually grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners. Height: 120 inches (300 cm). Native: Tropical regions of Africa, India and the Americas.
Growing Region: Annual: zones 3 to 10. As a perennial in zones 9 and 10. Flowers: Summer. Flower Details: White flowers; plants are usually grown for their showy fruits. Foliage: Feathery. Fruit: Round.
Sow Outdoors: 1/2 inch (12mm). Following last frost. Spacing 20 to 48 inches (50 to 120 cm). Sow Indoors: It is a good idea to start off indoors in order to prolong the growing season. Germination time: three to five weeks. Temperature 65 to 70°F (18 to 21°C). Seven to eight weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors a few weeks after the last frost; minimum temperature should not fall below 40°F (5°C).
Requirements: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Ordinary soils. Regular watering. Supply a trellis. Propagate from cuttings taken in the spring. Family: Sapindaceae. Miscellaneous: Invasive species in Southern USA and South Africa.
How to Grow Heart Pea (Cardiospermum)
If planning to grow Cardiospermum outdoors it is best to sow out the seed after the last frost of spring at a depth of 12 mm (1/2 inch) into well drained soil.
If you plan to grow heart pea seedlings indoors first then the seed should be planted about eight weeks before it is due to be planted out in the middle of spring.
Germination of heart pea should take place at about 20°C and takes from three to four weeks.
Seedlings should be transplanted into a sunny area of the garden at a spacing of around 60 cm (two feet).
Caring for Cardiospermum in the Garden
As Cardiospermum is a climber it will require a trellis for support; it also requires frequent watering.