Cardiospermum Species, Balloon Vine, Heartseed, Love in a Puff

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)



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Other details:

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

Allentown, Pennsylvania

North Augusta, South Carolina

Clarksville, Tennessee

Gainesboro, Tennessee

Lafayette, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

De Leon, Texas

Gatesville, Texas

Grapevine, Texas

Paradise, Texas

Venus, Texas

Kalama, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 11, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

According to BONAP, this species has naturalized in 25 states, from MA to TX (plus CA), and has been legally declared a noxious weed or weed seed in 13 of them. halicacabum...

Native to tropical America (Brazil and Argentina, possibly extending as far north as Mexico and the Caribbean).

Naturalized in tropical and subtropical Asia, Africa and Australia. Invasive in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. In New Zealand, its propagation and distribution have been legally forbidden.


On Nov 10, 2016, Hohty from Mc Farlan, NC wrote:

Would love some seeds for Love in a Puff,
Cardiospermum halicacabum.

Could any of you in Dave's Garden help me?

Thank you


On Oct 13, 2015, nanalehew from Venus, TX wrote:

I had never seen or heard of this vine before until I accidently found it growing in an old creek bed behind our property. It's everywhere in that dry creek bed. I love it! I'm saving many of the seeds to plant in various places this coming year to see how it does. I live on acreage in central Texas. It doesn't seem to be invasive. Don't know where it came from or how long it's been growing there. We have been here a few years, and apparently it is staying in that particular area. We will see. It's seeds remind me of the seed from the Black Bean Hyacinth except much smaller. I have had great luck with the Bean Hyacinth in the last several years in full sun. This vine should do just as well out here.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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!


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?


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


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.


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


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

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


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.


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.