What most people do not realize is that the passion flower comes in the form of a vine.
These flowers can make a great addition to any backyard and can expand the greenery in your garden to new heights. The blooms are breathtakingly beautiful, and they are incredibly fragrant and will produce edible fruit that you can pluck and eat quickly.
Growing a passion flower from seed can be difficult, so it might be worth it to get some cuttings from an already existing flower. One thing to note about passion flowers is that they can take over and run rampant. If you are going to plant a passion flower, be sure you keep an eye on it; otherwise, you can have a 20 or 30-foot vine on your hands.
Growing a Passion flower
When you are looking to grow a passionflower, as stated above, you want cuttings from an existing flower. Early spring is the best time to get these cuttings and to remove new growth from your existing passion flower.
Passion flowers are native to more tropical regions of Central and South America, so you can be difficult if you live in a colder climate place to grow the flower. To avoid losing your passionflower, make sure you grow them in a sheltered spot that has a west or south-facing wall, so they can get the heat and sunlight that they need.
Also, take your cuttings in the summer to ensure that you do not lose any when the colder temperatures hit.
Passionflower plants love full sun the majority of the day and in the shade for the rest of the day.
The Flower Cycle
There are many different types of passion flower types to consider that all grow and bloom at different times.
- Passiflora Caerulea is a white, blue, and green flower that will bloom between July and October. These blooms will produce an egg-shaped orange fruit that follows the flowers in a good, humid summer.
- Passiflora Caerulea’ Constance Elliot’; these are white flowers that have a fantastic scent to them. They can reach heights of 10m, and the flowers come between July and October. They will need protection from the winter.
- Passiflora Edulis are blue and white flowers that bloom in July and August and are suitable only for a cool greenhouse or shelter that prevents frost. These flowers can reach a height of around 5m, and they have smaller, black edible fruits.
- Passiflora Antioquiensis, this is a flower that only survives in the hot and humid weather, and it has softer red flowers that have a violet corona. This flower produces yellow fruits and can reach a height of around 5m.
- Passiflora Mollissima is the last time, and this species is exceptionally different. The blooms are pale pink and are long and tubular. They bloom in July and August and are tender, which means they need winter protection and can reach a height of around 4m.
How to Care for Your Passion flower
As mentioned above, the sunlight is going to be extremely important. You also will want to stop feeding the soil in the late summer and put mulch around the roots once the soil temperature drops; this will prevent freezing and thawing throughout the winter months.
The sunlight that you need for a passionflower will depend on where you live and if you are potting your flower or letting it grow in the ground. Minimum, the indoor temperature, if you are going with potted, should be around 50 degrees. Remember, these plants are typically grown in tropical areas, so the humidity and heat are their best friend.
If you are bringing your passion flower in, in the winter, it will go semi-dormant and look a bit rough, but it will perk back up in the springtime. Once spring hits it, and it is warm again, you should be providing mostly sunlight for your plant.
If you are in a tropical area and are planting directly in the ground, passion flowers generally need around four hours of full sunlight per day, and the afternoon shade is appreciated.
Choosing the Right Soil
- The soil is vital if you want this plant to grow strong and healthy.
- Finding well-draining dirt is critical, but you’ll also want fertile soil.
- Passion flower plants need a soil pH balance that is in the neutral range and can be anywhere from 6.1 to 7.5.
- You will want to use some compost as well, as this will help retain a bit of that moisture.
- The vines will also need some trellis or something to grow onto, as they will vine upward as they grow bigger.
- Passion flowers like water and they should have a deep watering as soon as they go into the ground.
- They thrive on at least two deep watering throughout the growing season.
- What this means is about 1 to 1 ½ inches of water every week if there is no rain.
- You will also want to feel their soil to ensure that it is moist to the touch at most times.
- A passion flower is a plant that does not like to have their leaves wet either, so you will want to make sure that you water the passionflower right at the root.
What Fertilizer to Use
When growing a passion flower vine, you have to remember that they are heavy feeders.
They will benefit from you, feeding them a general-purpose fertilizer that is packed with phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium to make them grow stronger.
You will want to fertilize the plant early in the spring and then again, every 4 to 6 weeks until it turns fall.
Pruning Your Passion flower
The growing season for a passion flower is when they are at the lowest maintenance. You do not need to prune or deadhead the vines. Instead, the pruning is to keep the size of your plant in check.
Pruning throughout the growing cycle will ensure that you have a full and healthy plant. It will all depend on the variety of your passion flower plant. Deep pruning can be done in late winter or early spring, and remember, the vines could end up dying in the winter if you are in a colder climate.
When the plants come back in early spring, before the new growth happens, you will want to prune and snip the plants to preserve the season’s blooms and make the new season healthy and heartier. On new growth, these vines will begin to flower, so you want to give them space and room to be able to do that by cutting back on the old, dead vines.
Pests and Diseases
When it comes to pests and diseases, these vines are very susceptible to viral infections from insects that are chewing on them. The worst of them is aphids. The viral diseases can also be passed on by the pruning shears, scissors, or even knives if you are using them to control your passion flower plants. Identifying what is wrong quickly is vital, so that way, you can treat it quickly.
What you will notice if your plant has a disease is that it will flower poorly. The fruit will also be small and frequently misshaped. Young or even weaker plants can be killed instantly by viral infections, so you want to ensure you take care of your plant if it is suffering from something.
Fungal is another thing that passion flower vines can get, these will not kill your plant, but they can spore and multiple on your leaves. That will cause lots of ugly spots. A quick and simple spray from a fungicide in early spring can prevent this from happening.
Fungal diseases can start early on, such as when the plant is young and will continue until treated when the plant is mature in age.
Pollinating Passion flowers
The simple answer to ‘how do I pollinate our passion fruit vines?’ – bees. Passion flower vines rely on bees to pollinate them and help them grow the fruit we all know and love.
When to Harvest
When you are dealing with fruiting vines, it can always be hard to tell when it is time to harvest the delicious fruit. With the passion flower, it is easy; you wait until the fruit falls off of the vine. Once it does that, it is ready to be picked up and eaten.
Now that you know exactly how to grow a passion flower vine, you want to take into consideration whether you want an invasive plant or if you can dedicate the time and energy to it.
This plant will produce some of the most delicious and unique fruit in the world, and it just takes time and patience to let it grow. The blooms from this plant are beautiful too, ranging from red to purple to white and blue; it all depends on what variety you get.
As with any plant, make sure you do your research before investing in it, as you want to know what you are getting and what you need to do to make it thrive!