- Author: Andrea Peck
- Editor: Noni Todd
By Andrea Peck UCCE Master Gardener
Common name of plant: Passion Flower
Scientific name: Passiflora spp.
Planting area: USDA Zones 7-10
Size: 30+ Feet
Bloom Season: Spring-Fall
Exposure: Full Sun
Pruning Needs: Prune to encourage healthy growth.
Water Needs: Moderate
The exotic passiflora vine is a beautiful addition to any garden. Like many pretty plants, this one thrives in a 'just right' climate, neither too cold nor too hot. Freezing winter climates may kill the plant and relentless hot, dry temperatures may leave them wilting. In the right situation, the passiflora, of which there are many varieties, grow lush green leaves, eye-catching flowers, and delicious fruit. Typical of a tropical plant, the passion flower requires consistent, moderate irrigation---not over-watering, which can contribute to soil-borne disease. Fertilize twice yearly, once in early spring, and again in midsummer with a 10-5-20 fertilizer. In order to thrive, make sure the soil is well-drained and loamy with a pH between 6.5 and 7. If you experience frost in your area, mulch the base of the plant heavily and you may keep it from dying, though the exposed vine may surrender to the cold. If you are successful in keeping Ms. Passion warm, she will reward you with new growth in the spring—and, depending on the varietal, fruit. Passion fruit, for the uninitiated, is ultimately worth getting beyond the goopy-insides factor. Maybe close your eyes and don't look---it's a bit like eating an oyster but definitely worth every last bite. Make sure you do your research and select a plant that is suitable to your area---there is quite a lot of variation in this species. The flower type can be remarkably different between varietals and not all passion vines produce edible fruit. The types that do produce fruit will need pollination; some are self-pollinating while others need more than one vine planted nearby to fruit properly. Keep in mind, also, that this lovely likes to get comfortable and spread out along a fence. Prune regularly to keep her in check and then sit back and enjoy.