Passion flower is definitely an exotic flower! This plant is an evergreen climber, which means you will need to choose its planting location carefully; otherwise, it will take over your garden.
- Passion Flower Facts
- How to Grow and Care for Passion Vines
- Common Types of Passion Flowers
Passion flowers will not only give you colorful flowers, but they will also provide you with some of the most delicious fruits ever! Keep on reading and discover everything you need to know about passion flowers:
Passion Flower Facts
Passion flowers (also known as Passiflora or passion vines) are native to Central and South America because they prefer the tropical regions and weather of those specific locations.
In fact, the first written record that showed this flower was found in Colombia (1). The passion flower belongs to the family of plants Passifloraceae.
However, this is not to say you cannot grow passion flowers. If you live in a relatively warm area, then you can easily plant them!
Follow these tips, and you’ll be growing your own passion flowers in no time:
How to Grow and Care for Passion Vines
I have tried to grow passion flowers from seeds, and I have failed every time. I later found out that growing it this way is challenging indeed, not to say almost impossible! I then decided to grow from a cutting, and it was a game-changer.
I would recommend you do this too, especially if you already have another passion flower plant. Bear in mind that they will take over the available space, so keep an eye on it; otherwise you will end up having a very long passion flower vine circulating all over your house.
Cut the already established passion flower at the beginning of spring; this way, you will have plenty of time to help your new plant thrive.
Growing from seeds
There are two methods for you to choose from:
You can try growing passion flowers from seeds: you will need to make sure the fruits are completely ripe before removing them. They are likely to take a long time to germinate, but you could quickly start this process by soaking the seeds in warm water; the floating seeds should be discarded.
Place the seeds that have sunk on a clean surface. Add some potting mix if you have any, but do not cover the whole seed as they still need some light in order to germinate fully. Place all of it in a plastic bag and close it tightly.
You will also need to be very patient as it could take months before seeing the seeds sprouting. It is advisable to maintain a moisture level within the bag until you see the seeds growing.
If this works, then you can take all of the germinated seeds out and transplant them as soon as possible.
Some cultivars will also leave the ripen fruits on a tray for at least two weeks. This will be plenty of time for the fruits (and the seeds) to start a fermentation process that will ultimately kill off some spores that could potentially harm the seeds.
After this process, they separate the seeds from the rest of the fruit and wash them thoroughly. Once they are completely dried, you will need to pour hot (not boiling) water so the seeds can get soft.
Once this is done, you will need to plant the seeds almost immediately. It takes longer than the previous method, but it is an excellent alternative to grow passion flowers.
Similar to many types of vines, passion vines need well-drained soil as they cannot be thoroughly soaked. If you have heavy and compacted soil, try to improve its drainage before planting. You could do this by digging the area and mixing all of the soil until it is loosened.
You can also add compost before planting; this way, your soil will be moist.
Sunlight is crucial for your passion for flowers to grow healthily. You will need to find a place where the plants are sheltered from cold winds and receive full sun.
If you live in an area where cold winters are the norm, make sure you create a hot and humid environment inside your greenhouse or any other closed areas; this will help your passion flowers develop fully as they would do in the tropics.
Passion flowers love water! You need to make sure they are thoroughly watered; otherwise, they won’t thrive. If your plants are growing, they will consume water abundantly, so you will need to provide this for them, especially if there is no rain.
You can put your fingers inside the soil to feel it; if it’s still moist, you can leave it as it is. If it’s completely dried, then you will need to water it more frequently.
Only water the roots and the soil, as these flowers hate having their leaves soaked. If it rains, then they will get wet and are not affected by this; however, if you continuously water the leaves, they can develop diseases.
You will need to either make or purchase a pergola, a trellis, or even an obelisk so your passion flowers can self-cling to them. If you grow these flowers in containers, you will still need to have some sort of support to rely on it.
Pruning and training requirements
You can help your passion flower go wherever you want it to go! This way, you will also help her to produce better flowers.
As soon as you see your plant growing, you can cut some tips; this way, all the old branches will have more strength.
Always remember to prune during spring; otherwise, your plant could get damaged. On the other hand, you can train it as it grows; this way, you will choose where it will continue its path.
Pests and diseases
Unfortunately, passion flowers could suffer from several types of diseases if they are not taken care of correctly. These vines can get viral infections, but you can easily remedy this by pruning all of the plant’s damaged parts.
However, it is essential to note that your gardening tools must be clean and disinfected at all times, especially if you are dealing with vine diseases. If not, these diseases can infect your tools as well, and you will be spreading around the problem throughout your garden and house!
Common Types of Passion Flowers
These are the most common varieties of passion flowers:
Passiflora caerulea blue
This type of flower has blue, green, and white petals. I can assure you it is so unique you will be blown away every time you see it! This passion flower will produce some fruits that resemble oranges.
Passiflora caerulea ‘’Constance Elliot’’
Even though the name is the same as the previous passion flower, this is a different variety. This passion flower only has white petals, and it is easily recognized thanks to its strong scent.
This passion flower has white and blue small petals. What’s interesting about this plant is that it produces black fruits (which are completely edible!) and are very nutritious (2).
This passion flower has small red and violet flowers. They do not tolerate hard climate conditions. This plant will produce yellow fruits which are very acidic.
These flowers are so unique; you will not think they belong to the same variety of plants! This plant has tubular petals, and they tend to be pale-pink or white. They do not tolerate challenging climate conditions.
Undoubtedly one of the easiest passion flowers to recognize, you will not believe how pretty they are! This Passiflora incarnata flower has purple and white petals, and all of them have a thin-tubular shape; they also have great medicinal value (3).
Passiflora caerulea ‘’Grandiflora’’
As its name suggests, this passion flower is big! In fact, it is one of the biggest in its family as it can grow 6 inches across! They have white and violet petals.
Passiflora caerulea ‘’Amethyst’’
This passion flower is a purple flower vine that has purple petals. They will become darker as soon as they mature.
Here are some important answers for your questions:
What are all of the names that passion fruits are known for?
Passion flowers have so many names, that it almost seems like each country in the world calls them differently!
Passion flowers can also be referred to as purple passion flower, water lemon, corona de cristo, burucuya, mburucuya, apricot vine, fleur de la passion, flor de passion, madre selva, maracuja, pasiflora, pasionara, passiflore officinale, parchita, passiflorina, passionflower herb, and many more.
Do I need to fertilize my passion flowers?
It would be great if you did! Do remember that these flowers are heavy feeders; in other words, they will require your help to thrive. If you know how to make organic and homemade fertilizer, please do so. If not, you can always purchase at your local nursery.
Passion flowers especially need nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Make sure all of these nutrients are met, and you will grow healthy and robust passion flowers.
Do I need to pollinate my passion flowers?
Yes and no. You don’t have to do a hand-pollinating technique, but you can bring pollinators into your garden, which will, in turn, help and pollinate your passion flowers.
You can do so by planting other types of flowers that will attract bees as well, as they are the passion flowers number 1 pollinators! This step is essential, especially if you would like to grow some delicious passion fruits!
Are passion flowers edible?
The common passion fruit we all know is from the Passiflora edulis variety. Although all of the flowers mentioned above that produce fruits are also edible, they may be really acidic or cause stomach problems if consumed under-ripped.
However, you should not consume the rest of the plant, only the fruits.
Are there any medicinal uses associated with passion flowers?
Passion flowers have been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years throughout the world (5). Some claim the flower is a strong sedative, whereas others will say the plant treats insomnia problems, anxiety issues, general pains, muscle cramps, and even nervousness (6).
When to harvest passion flowers’ fruits?
If you are lucky enough to have some fruiting vines, you can either wait for the fruit to fall by itself or touch it and see if it’s hard or soft. If it’s getting soft (and it’s yellow), then you can take it; if not, leave it there for a couple of days.
Are passion flowers invasive?
Yes, they can be! Although some cultivars will tell you otherwise, I personally believe that if you let your passion flowers vine grow without guiding or pruning them, then they can easily invade your whole house, if you let them!
This is why I think it’s really important to keep an eye on them at all times, especially during the rainy season, as they tend to grow rapidly.
If you ever thought about having your own passion flowers, then now it is your time to plant them! These flowers will look great in any garden, they will bring beneficial pollinators, and they will produce healthy fruit for you throughout the summer.
In addition, these flowers have some unique and gorgeous blooms; I can assure you that if you grow passion flowers, then you will keep on saying ‘’wow’’ every time you look at them!
- Cerqueira-Silva, C. B., Jesus, O. N., Santos, E. S., Corrêa, R. X., & Souza, A. P. (2014). Genetic breeding and diversity of the genus Passiflora: progress and perspectives in molecular and genetic studies. International journal of molecular sciences, 15(8), 14122–14152. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms150814122
- He, X., Luan, F., Yang, Y., Wang, Z., Zhao, Z., Fang, J., Wang, M., Zuo, M., & Li, Y. (2020). Passiflora edulis: An Insight Into Current Researches on Phytochemistry and Pharmacology. Frontiers in pharmacology, 11, 617. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7251050/
- Aman, U., Subhan, F., Shahid, M., Akbar, S., Ahmad, N., Ali, G., Fawad, K., & Sewell, R. D. (2016). Passiflora incarnata attenuation of neuropathic allodynia and vulvodynia apropos GABA-ergic and opioidergic antinociceptive and behavioural mechanisms. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 16, 77. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-016-1048-6
- Da Fonseca, L. R., Rodrigues, R. A., Ramos, A. S., da Cruz, J. D., Ferreira, J., Silva, J., & Amaral, A. (2020). Herbal Medicinal Products from Passiflora for Anxiety: An Unexploited Potential. TheScientificWorldJournal, 2020, 6598434. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/6598434
- Kaviani, N., Tavakoli, M., Tabanmehr, M., & Havaei, R. (2013). The efficacy of passiflora incarnata linnaeus in reducing dental anxiety in patients undergoing periodontal treatment. Journal of dentistry (Shiraz, Iran), 14(2), 68–72.
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