Common Names: Purple Passion Vine, Purple Passion Flower, Passionflower, Holy Trinity Flower, Apricot Vine, May Pops
Latin Name: Passiflora incarnata
Plant Type: Perennial Vine
Blooming Time: June to September
Color: Green leaves, white, violet, purple, lavender blooms
Insects and Diseases: Generally pest free
The Purple Passion flower is a fast growing vine that can reach up to 20 feet or more. Both the fruits and flowers are edible on some varieties and many food items are made from the plant.
The unique flowers are about three inches wide and they have several petals accented with a purple fringe. The wonderful fragrance this plant gives off resembles that of carnations.
The fruits called Maypops, are generally about two inches in size and is ripe when the fruit turns yellow. And, it is said that the fruits taste like a guava. To be fully ripe for eating the fruits should fall off naturally.
The Passionflower has large leaves that can reach 5 or 6 inches long and they have serrated edges. They generally have from three to five lobes that alternate along the stem. Flowers bloom where the leaf stem is attached to the vine. This one really needs something to climb on, they look great at fences or running up a trellis.
The Passionflower loves full sunlight, but it doesn’t do very well on really hot days and needs a little shade. The plant should be planted where it will only get direct sun about half of the day.
Plants do best when they are given lot’s of water and then allowed to just slightly dry out before watering again. If you over winter the plant, gradually stop watering and trim the plant when the foliage dies. In the spring when new growth starts to appear, watering schedule should be resumed.
A good quality garden or potting soil will work fine for this gorgeous vine. Just make sure that the roots have plenty of drainage. These vines have shallow roots and a thick layer of organic mulch can really help the plant flourish.
Although, the Passionflower prefers to be in well draining, fertile soil, it will even grow in heavier soils that contain clay. You can mix your own soil by using 2 parts loam, 2 parts peat and 1 part Perlite or sand.
A well balanced fertilizer can be used, it should supply the plant with phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. And, can be applied every four months.
To collect the seeds, use umblemished ripened fruit, the fruit needs to be over-ripe. Clean thoroughly and allow the seeds to dry. All the fleshy coating on the outside of the seeds must be removed.
The seeds contain a chemical that naturally slows their germination, cool, moist soil, slowly removes this chemical. But, you can pretreat them and induce faster germination.
Success has been met when the seeds were soaked for 24 hours in 5% ethanol cider, changed every 12 hours. Faster germination has also been accomplished by an overnight soaking in gibberellic acid.
Seeds should be less than a year old to plant and can be sown in sterile soil. They should be kept evenly moist and placed out of direct sunlight. Germination occurs in 10-20 days and can be transferred to a permanent pot or area once they reach 10-16 inches tall.
Propagation can be done through cuttings, but they’re very slow to establish roots. This plant is best propagated from seeds.
There are numerous species of the Passionflower, most of which are tender tropical vines. Passiflora incarnata is different in that it is a deciduous plant and will survive through winter freezes!
This plant grows from the roots and can quickly take over a whole area. Make sure that you plant this one in an area that won’t be affected by the plant spreading, or where you’ll still be able to mow the lawn.
Butterflies love this gorgeous flower, but keep in mind, so do bees! Although, the plant is generally pest free, you may find that the caterpillars love to eat them!
Written by Connie Corder for HouseplantsForYou.com, Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved