Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Love in a Puff, Balloon Vine, Heartseed
Cardiospermum halicacabum

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cardiospermum (kar-dee-oh-SPER-mum) (Info)
Species: halicacabum (hal-ee-KAY-ka-bum) (Info)

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

35 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Vines and Climbers

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 14 photos.
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6 positives
3 neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral BBrandon77 On Sep 30, 2010, BBrandon77 from Knoxville, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Cardiospermum halicacabum is NOT native to Texas OR any other state in the US! Besides that, plants cannot be both natives and invasives to the same area. One can review the area where this plant has been INTRODUCED (most Southern and Eastern states) on the USDA Plants Database.

Positive gray_53 On Dec 25, 2007, gray_53 from Mcdonough, GA wrote:

I saw this plant on vacation (Huntsville, Alabama, I think) about a year ago in a public garden. I collected three seeds, and hope to get around to planting them this year!

Negative frostweed On Dec 14, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Love in a Puff, Balloon Vine, Heartseed Cardiospermum halicacabum is considered an Invasive and Noxious plant in Texas.

Positive ineedacupoftea On Sep 3, 2006, ineedacupoftea from Denver, CO wrote:

1. Direct sow; full to part sun; late spring; do not let dry out.
2. Blooms continually following it's fourth set or so of adult leaves.
3. Pop the big green ballonesque pods with a childish motion as you pass by.

Neutral elbeegee On Aug 30, 2006, elbeegee from Flower Mound, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

I first planted this a couple of years ago with some seed sent in a swap. Thinking it was rather delicate, I sowed seed in a semi-shaded location beside an unattractive post. It grew and turned an eyesore into an attractive spot in the garden. It did not reseed, nor did it return the next year. This year, I came across some of the seed I had saved from that plant and planted them in full sun under a pole supporting a hummingbird feeder. I suspended some twine from the hooks and fully expected to be cutting that twine off when the old seed failed to sprout. I think every seed sprouted and all plants have survived what is being labeled one of the dryest, hottest summers EVER. I'm getting a little nervous about what this may mean!

Positive cowsister On Aug 7, 2005, cowsister from Northport, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Started from seed inside in April. It is now August, and three plants have taken over an 8ft trellis and the "puffs" are holding the "love": 3 round black seeds, each with a distinct white heart on the covering. Charming!

I live on the north shore of Long Island in NY. This plant performed so well that now I am worried about it reseeding and becoming a pest. Can anyone tell me if I should be careful about letting the seed drop?

Negative cherishlife On Nov 12, 2004, cherishlife from Pocola, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant has been placed on the USDA website as an invasive weed in the following states.

balloon vine Class C noxious weed
balloonvine Noxious weed
South Carolina:
balloonvine Plant pest
balloonvine Noxious plant

Positive CatskillKarma On Nov 5, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

This grows like a weed on my front stoop and in hanging baskets on my balcony in Brooklyn NY. I just shove a few seeds in the ground and forget about them. It grows two stories tall in full sun on my front stoop in a small planter with limited nutrients competing with mint, and equally vigorously in more than half a day of shade in hanging baskets. On the other hand, I can't even get it to sprout in the cold soil and shorter season 130 miles northwest at my place in the Catskills--zone 5a. In general, it is a pretty, easy plant and the lanterns are fun and last all winter here.

Neutral Bluebiu On Nov 4, 2004, Bluebiu wrote:

I have recently obtained seed of this plant - can anyone advise me as the best way to germinate the seed????
I live in Australia - sub tropical climate area.
Thank you

Positive udigg On Oct 5, 2003, udigg from PH
Israel (Zone 10b) wrote:

A lovely, nice delicate plant. Reseeds easily, but is not invasive. Very recommended!

Positive aniruni On Sep 4, 2003, aniruni wrote:

Cardiospermum halicacabum is a perfectly wonderful plant! It's delicate with tendrils that want to attach to everything. I have one planted in regular potting soil and it's full of puffs!

It will grow just as well in the ground. I'm in California (U.S.), and they appear to be a perennial, though usually treated as annual in other parts of the country. They love my roses and add such a delicate balance to the garden.

Negative mystic On Aug 3, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is considered an annual in any of the zones that get below 40 degrees in the winter, but in warmer climates, it's an evergreen vine that can become invasive. It does self-seed.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Huntsville, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Ben Lomond, California
Calistoga, California
Menifee, California
Richmond, California
Brooksville, Florida
Niceville, Florida
Cochran, Georgia
Anderson, Indiana
Mason, Michigan
Maben, Mississippi
Blue Springs, Missouri
Brooklyn, New York (2 reports)
Crown Point, New York
Northport, New York
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Beaverton, Oregon
Turner, Oregon
North Augusta, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Gainesboro, Tennessee
Lafayette, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
De Leon, Texas
Grapevine, Texas
Paradise, Texas
Kalama, Washington

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