Native to North, South and Central America, the passion flower adds beautiful foliage and spectacular flowers to gardens and landscapes while also attracting bees and butterflies. With more than 500 varieties available, there's a plant for almost any garden in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 10. For gardeners who want show-stopping flowers or who need quick coverage in their gardens, passion flower vines are a solution.
Planting and Pollination
Passion vine thrives in well-drained soil with plenty of sun. However, it doesn't do well in temperatures over 90 degrees F, so providing afternoon shade works well in hotter climates. Some passion vines produce fruit, and to do so, they must pollinate. Some varieties are self-pollinators and rely on bees and other insects to pollinate. Others require another passion vine to cross-pollinate; otherwise, they cannot bear fruit.
Trellises and Arbors
A vigorous grower, passion vine are good for covering a large area quickly. The plant sports tentacles that easily grab onto trellises, fences and arbors. A quick growth rate allows passion vines to cover these objects with green foliage, followed by clusters of flowers a short time later.
Passion flower vine requires fertilizer to keep the foliage growing while also inducing plenty of blooms. In late winter, before the first signs of green appear, the plant should receive its first feeding of 10-50-20 fertilizer. Every four to six weeks thereafter, it requires light fertilizing until the blooming period ends.
Passion vine require regular watering, but can also handle short periods of drought. It does not grow well when over-watered. Plants that bear fruit do require extra watering as the fruits mature. Gardeners may need to plan on extra watering for several months, because some passion vines produce flowers and fruits all summer.
With such vigorous growth, a passion vine may require pruning to keep the plant within the confines of the garden space. Pruning should be done in the winter with dead and weak growth removed. Main stems may be pruned back by a third to encourage new growth.
While passion vine plants tend to be mostly pest-free, they may attract butterflies that lay their larvae on the leaves. While some gardeners hope to attract butterflies with the vine, larvae may eat their way through all the leaves on a plant. While insecticide may be used on these plants, it's better to destroy larvae or move them to another plant.