The passion vine is a climbing vine that fruits in some varieties, making this vine both a beautiful and a useful plant to grow in subtropical areas. While these vines need warm weather in order to survive well, they can sometimes survive even in heavy frost. However, they do not survive so well when they are forced to deal with some of the pests and diseases that attack the vine.
The passion vine is a perennial vine that produces three to five flowers in colors that include blue, purple, white, red and crimson. Some ornamental passionflower vines do not produce fruit. The plants that do produce passion fruit are the purple passion vine, the yellow passion vine and the giant granadilla. The fruit has a tough rind and color that ranges from purple with white specks to light yellow. The flavor is described as sweet and musky, similar to guava.
The passion vine can survive in North and South America and also in Australia. The Spanish missionaries in South America thought that the arrangement of flowers looks like the crucifix and that the 10 petals on the passionflower were meant to symbolize the 10 apostles. There are also filaments that look like the crown of thorns.
The passion vines serve an aesthetic role of covering up parts of the garden that are not considered attractive. They grow silky flowers that many consider to be very beautiful and exotic. The passion vine also attracts butterflies, which adds beauty to a garden. The fruit that is produced by some of the passion vines is edible. The flavor of passion fruit is used in making Hawaiian Punch.
The passion vine has to have subtropical weather in order to produce fruit. Those passion vines that experience frost will die in the vine, but the roots can survive frost and the vine will grow again when the weather warms up. Passion vines survive best in acid, sandy soils and need fertilizer with equal amounts of potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. While passion vines consume nutrients quickly, too much fertilization can destroy the roots and kill the vine. Passion vines also need something to climb up, like a trellis, in order to find sun.
Nematodes, the main insect that attacks passion vines, can kill them. The yellow varieties are more resistant to nematodes. The vines are also susceptible to viruses often found in cool soils, and to snails.