Passiflora – Passion Flower

I have never been fond of this flower, it is a “different” looking flower, it reminds me of spiders for some reason, but the taste of the fruit is something else. Passiflora or Passion Flower is a vine or shrub from the family of Passifloraceae plants. Passiflora is a herbaceous, evergreen plant native to Central America and Mexico as well as Southeast Asia and Oceania. Passiflora is also known as maypops.

Passiflora is a fast grower and with a lot of tendrils, it can cover a fence pretty fast. Tendrils help this plant to climb easily, especially when it is established. The flowers appear from June until November. Most flowers are creamy-white or blue. They can also be grown in greenhouses and in pots. Actually they flower more if the roots are restricted but they don’t grow as tall in containers.

Passiflora - Passion Flower
I came across this passion fruit growing on a fence while waking in central London, UK

Generally, Passiflora thrives in a moderately fertile, well-drained soil and you can plant it in full sun but with some shelter. Passiflora is not fussy about the type of soil both alkaline and acid soils are fine. Sheltering these plants helps them stay protected in the winter since, after all, they are tropical plants. Plus if it has too much sun it could scorch the leaves, remember to cut dried or scorched leaves in early spring.

Though you can propagate from seeds it is not as easy and can take longer to establish. If you plan to collect the seeds then let the fruit ferment which is a natural process it goes through in order to protect the seeds from any disease. Simply mash the fruit and let it dry. It could take 10 days or two weeks after which you should wash the seeds and separate them from any flesh left from the fruit. Then let the seed dry. When you are ready to plant the seeds you should put them in hot water overnight to soften them before planting. It is best to propagate the Passion Fruit plant by cuttings in early spring. You can do cuttings from new growth in place in compost. Propagation can also be done from the layering method.

Pruning is mostly done in order to keep the plant’s shape and you can do that after the flowers are gone. Passiflora grows from 2m to 10m (7 to 30 ft) high. You should water Passiflora well in the growing season and less when it is dormant. Passiflora edulis is the species known for its fruits. The fruit is almost egg-shaped and is purple (P. edulis species), fruit for other species could be orange or yellow in color.

As I mentioned passion fruit has an incredible taste and used in juice and drinks, pastries, jams, and ice cream. Make sure to only eat ripe fruits, not only for flavor but also for the seeds of un-ripened passion fruit could cause stomach problems. However, ripened fruit seeds are edible as well. And speaking of seeds passion fruit has a lot of seeds. The fruit itself is rich in vitamins A and C, and fiber, as well as some iron and potassium. It also contains carotenoids and polyphenols like other tropical fruits such as pineapple, lychee, banana or papaya.

Passiflora Passion Flower
Passiflora caerulea, the blue passionflower, bluecrown, Common Passion Flower

Passiflora plants can be prone to aphids, mealybug, or whitefly as well as Cucumber mosaic virus.

About Dino

Dino
I am a flower enthusiast and a gardener at heart. Ever since childhood I loved reading about plants and started gardening at an early age. First by helping my father in the garden and later managing a large garden myself in my teen years. I planted and cared for a large number of plants, flowers, and trees both outdoors and in a greenhouse. To this day I enjoy visiting gardens and parks and learning about new and old specimens and varieties of plants.

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