The passion flower vine is a vine that grows flowers in exotic and unique shapes that look out of this world. These plants can grow on a trellis or in a pot for a beautiful display of color. Today I want to tell you about how to grow the passion flower vine in your garden.
I’ve seen these unique flowers growing on vines while wandering around Roger’s Gardens. I always assumed these plants would be hard to grow, but they can thrive here in Southern California and in other places all over the world.
The flowers look different than any other kind I have seen. Petals emerge from the back, with thinner, needle-like petals opening up to several large stamens that protrudes outward. This layered look makes the passion flower different from other flowering plants.
History of Passion Flower
The passion flower is also known as Passiflora spp. They are native to Mexico and South America. Missionairies in both places would use these flowers to explain passion of the Christ, which is where they get their name.
Growing the Passion Flower Vine
Once you know what to do, growing the passion flower vine is easy! You can grow these by purchasing plants at your local garden nursery, plant cuttings, or from seeds. You can also find these plants online. I’ve provided links below if you can’t find these unique plants locally.
Growing Passion Flower from Seed
As I mentioned above, you can grow these vines from seed. You just need patience to help these seeds germinate and thrive in your area.
If you want to start with seeds, nick and soak them overnight or for two days in warm water. Place seeds in potting mix that is wet. It may take 10-20 days for the seeds to sprout, so be patient!
Harden the new plants by slowing introducing them to more outdoor light everyday, until they can grow outside all day, without bringing them back indoors. When there are a few sets of leaves, transplant the larger plant to a bigger pot outside so that it has plenty of space to grow.
If you live in a warmer climate, such as Southern California, you can sow the seeds directly in soil outside in the springtime. Since these plants can be invasive, keep them away from other plants. Have a fence or trellis nearby where the tendrils can reach out to and grow on.
Passion Vine Care
Grow your passion flower vine in full to part shade. Since these plants grow on a vine, make sure to have a proper support in place, such as a trellis or fence it can grow on. You can use any potting soil that is well-draining to keep the roots of your plant healthy all year long.
Most gardeners grow their passion flower vines in pots so that they can easily move them indoors during winter. It is also a good idea to grow your passion flowers in a pot to keep them from spreading to other plants. Cut back the plant to about one to two feet tall before bringing it inside during the colder months.
Since these plants are invasive in many areas, cutting them back helps to control their growth and keeps them from overtaking other plants in your garden. Cutting them before winter will also help the vine thrive with new growth in the springtime.
Growing Passion Flower in Pots
If you live in an area that gets cold in the winter, you can bring your passion flower in a pot indoors where it can have access to bright, indirect light.
If you’ve been following me for a while you won’t be surprised to read another very short reminder to make sure there are holes at the bottom of the pot. If there are no holes, drill several at the bottom. Most pots have circles and indentations at the bottom to guide you as to where to drill holes.
Water sitting at the bottom of a pot can rot your roots, which in turn will kill your beautiful plant. Don’t let this happen!
Speaking of watering, water your passion flower vine deeply, but only once a week or so to keep it healthy and happy. You can also add mulch to the soil to keep it moist in between waterings.
Fertilize your vines with a general-purpose fertilizer that has equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in it. Do so every month to six weeks until the weather gets cooler in the fall.
Pruning the Passion Flower Vine
These low-maintenance vines can benefit from some pruning from time to time. Pruning helps control the growth of the vine, along with removing dead wood and helping the plant grow more.
Prune your passion flower later in the winter or early in the springtime. If you live in an area that gets cold, your vine will die back anyway to make room for new growth in the spring. Flowers bloom on new growth, so cut away dead branches to enjoy plenty of flowers during the spring.
You can also cut off dead flowers to help encourage the plant to produce even more blooms for you and your family to enjoy.
Common Diseases and Pests
As with other plants, passion flower vines tend to attract certain pests and are susceptible to certain diseases. Root rot and leaf spot are common issues with passion flower vines. Root rot can be prevented by making sure there are plenty of holes in the pot so that water can drain out.
Leaf spot is a type of fungal disease. Cut off the sick leaves and apply fungicide to your plant to prevent the spread of leaf spot.
If you live in a tropical climate, spider mites, scale, and whiteflies are more likely to attack your passion flower vine. Use an insecticide to keep these pests away from your plant.
Passion Flower Fruit
Some varieties of passion flower vines produce fruit that you can eat. If you grow a vine that has fruit, wait for them to fall to the ground before picking them to eat. Make sure to wait until the fruit is fully ripe to enjoy it alone or in recipes.
While the fruit does not have much taste to it, you can pair it with other fruits in a salad or with other food to add some flavor to it.
Butterflies will also enjoy feeding off the flowers of the vine, so you can grow the passion plant with other flowers these pollinators like. Butterfly weed, butterfly bush, and pentas make great companion plants with passion flower vines along a fence or trellis.
If you live in an urban area with no ground or little space, many of these plants thrive well in pots. Even better, you can rearrange your potted plants for a new look and when they need more sun, based on what time of year it is.
Passion Flower Types
There are several different types of passion flower vines. They can be perennials, annuals, and some produce fruit. Below are common types of passion flowers used by gardeners.
- Passiflora incarnata is a purple passion flower
- Passiflora caerulea blooms blue passion flowers
- Passiflora alata ‘Ruby Glow’ blooms flowers with a strong scent
- Passiflora coccinea is a red passion flower
Tropical Garden Plant
If you want to grow a tropical garden, passion flower vines are one of several you can enjoy in your outdoor space. Make sure to add other tropical plants, such as palm trees, plumerias, and hibiscus shrubs, to name a few. Just remember to grow your passion vine away from the other plants so that it does not grow over them!
Passion Flower Fun Facts
Below are some fun facts about passion flowers. Enjoy!
- There are several hundred species of passion flowers.
- These unique-looking flowers range from 1/2 inch to 6 inches across.
- The flowers only stay open for one day.
- Native Americans used passion flowers to treat a variety of illnesses, liver issues, and earaches.
- The plant can help with lowering anxiety and stress, and help with insomnia.
- Vines can grow up to 20 feet long in a year.
Passion Flower Vine
With proper care and patience, you can enjoy a passion flower vine in your yard. Do you grow any passion flower vines in your garden, or are planning on it? Let me know in the comments section below!