Passiflora belongs to the plant family "Passifloraceae." Close to 500 species of plants belong to this family, according to the Purdue University. Passiflora plants grow native in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. The perennial vines grow up to 30 feet in length with flowers in shades of purple, white and blue followed by edible fruit. Commonly grown in USDA zones 6 to 11, the plants are often killed to the ground in a heavy freeze but quickly recover.
Passiflora varieties enjoy soil that is loose and sandy. Often adding brick rubble to the soil helps it retain heat for the plant's root system according to Floridata. The vine flourishes on soil that lacks organic matter. Placing abundant aged manure or compost around the plants root system during planting encourages the vine to produce only foliage and stem growth with very few flowers.
Passiflora vines grow well in either garden containers or directly in the flowerbed. The plant requires abundant room for its ample root system so a deep container is needed. Passiflora vines need moist soil conditions so weekly watering to a depth of 2 feet encourages its large root system to form which helps sustain the plant during periods of drought or in cold weather. The vines grow best in either full sunlight or partial shade.
The passiflora vine require regular fertilizing to sustain its ample growth. It benefits from an application of 5-5-5 fertilizer in the spring and summer at four to six week intervals. Watering the fertilizer into the ground will allow it to easily be soaked up by the plant's root system.
Training and Pruning
The vine climbs a trellis, arbor or fence easily. To maintain the overall appearance of the passiflora vine pruning is required during the plants dormancy in the winter or the spring. The vines require only moderate pruning to remove any dead, diseased or weak wood unless a bushy appearance is desired. When the passiflora's stems are pruned to the ground the vine will return with abundant, bushy new growth.
The fruit of the passiflora is ripe when it falls to the ground. It is susceptible to sun-scald so should be gathered daily. Fruit stores easily for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.
The passiflora vine propagates best with seed. Fresh seed that is less then a year old germinates best. A few varieties of passiflora are grafted onto root stock. They can also be propagated through cuttings.