Growing Passiflora Manicata 'Linda Escobar'

Overview

The "Linda Escobar" passion flower hails from Ecuador and is one of the most stunning members of the large Passiflora genus. Producing a profusion of vibrant red flowers with a purple center from spring until fall, this sprawling vine is hardy in temperatures as low as 20 degrees F, which means you can grow it outdoors if you live in southern Texas or California, Arizona, Florida or Hawaii (USDA hardiness zones 10 to 11). Elsewhere, you can grow this beauty in a pot outdoors in the warmer months, then move it indoors when cooler temperatures are forecast. It requires light shade to full sun and attracts honeybees and butterflies to your garden.

Step 1

Purchase a young starter plant. Seeds are difficult to germinate and can take up to one year to produce a seedling. Cuttings and rhizomes also require long periods of time to form roots.

Step 2

Clear a protected area of weeds and any other vegetation and then dig in one bucket of compost into your planting hole. The side of a building is a suitable place for this passionflower to grow, but keep in mind that its vines can grow up to 30 feet long in one season.

Step 3

Plant your young plant after the final frost. Place it into the planting hole and then fill it with the soil you just removed, patting down gently to securely seat the plant.

Step 4

Water your new vine well and keep the soil moist all summer.

Step 5

Fertilize your Passiflora manicata during its active growing season, but avoid fertilizing in the late summer or fall, as doing so can cause a flush of tender new foliage, which could be damaged by frost.

Step 6

Prune your passion flower vine to suit your needs and keep it under control. Pruning is especially helpful if you begin to see any signs of insect damage because you can simply cut off any damaged branches.

Step 7

Grow this variety as a houseplant if your winters normally have temperatures that dip below 20 degrees F. Place it 2 to 5 feet from a bright, sunny window with a southern exposure to give the plant the six hours of sunlight it needs every day.

Tips and Warnings

  • Parts of this plant can contain toxic substances; do not eat any part of it. Passiflora manicata can become invasive, especially in canyon and valley areas, if you allow it to escape cultivation; it may crowd out or overtake native plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Sunny area
  • Well drained soil
  • Trellis or other means of support
  • Mulch
  • Balanced fertilizer

References

  • Suncrest Nurseries
  • Dave's Garden
  • Backyard Gardener
Keywords: passion flower, Linda Escobar, Passiflora manicata

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens" and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to "Big Island Weekly," "Ke Ola" magazine and various websites. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master of Arts from San Jose State University.