There are hundreds of different species in the passionflower family, all absolutely gorgeous.
Aside from their beauty, they have a whole host of medicinal benefits that make them a double whammy in your garden.
Read on to learn exactly how to grow, care for and use the purple passionflower.
The purple passionflower is a fast-growing vine that can reach up to 20 feet or more. Both the fruits and the flowers are edible on some varieties and many foods are made from the plant.
The unique flowers are about three centimeters wide and they have several petals accented with a purple fringe. The wonderful smell that this plant gives off is similar to that of carnations. The fruits, called May pops, are generally about two centimeters in size and are ripe when the fruit turns yellow. The fruits taste like a guava. To be fully ripe for eating, the fruits must lose weight naturally.
The passion flower has large leaves that can reach 5 or 6 centimeters in length and they have jagged edges. They generally have three to five lobes that alternate along the stem. Flowers bloom where the leaf stem is attached to the vine. Passiflora incarnata really needs something to climb up, and look great near fences or running into a trellis.
Types of purple passionflower
There are numerous varieties of the passion flower, most of which are gentle tropical vines. Passiflora incarnata is different in that it is a deciduous plant and will survive through the winter freezes!
This plant grows from the roots and can quickly take over an entire area. Make sure you plant this in an area that won’t be affected by the spread of the plant, or where you’ll still be able to mow the lawn.
Butterflies love this beautiful flower, but remember, so do bees! Although the plant is generally pest-free, you will notice that the caterpillars love to eat them!
Passionflowers love full sunlight, but it doesn’t do very well on really hot days and needs a little shade. The plant should be planted where it receives direct sun only about half the day.
Purple passionflower does best when watered abundantly and then allowed to dry out briefly before watering again.
If you overwinter the plant, stop watering gradually and trim the plant when the foliage dies. In the spring when new growth begins to appear, the normal watering schedule should be summed up.
A good quality garden or potting soil will work just fine for this beautiful vine. Make sure the roots have adequate drainage. These vines have shallow roots, and a thick layer of organic mulch can really help the plant bloom.
A well-balanced fertilizer can be used every four months. It should provide the plant with phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium.
Since passiflora incarnata is a vine plant and a fast grower, you may want to prune it occasionally. Here are a few good reasons to prune:
- You want to bring an older Vine back to life
- You want to promote better growth next year
- You want to train a young passionflower Vine
The best time to prune your purple passionflower is in after winter. The plant will not grow much, so pruning will not affect the growth of the plant or surprise the plant at all.
First, plum any obviously dead plant material. Then remove all stems, except those with many buds. As a general rule, do not remove more than 33% of the total size of the plant, otherwise you peril finishing your plant.
There are three ways to propagate the passion flower: by layering, from seed and from cuttings.
To propagate passionflower from cuttings, take 6 ” cuttings from your plants. It is important to take them from mature plants, often in the fall.
You can root them in different growing media, but perlite, sand or vermiculite work well. Although you can use a rooting hormone to speed up the process, it is not absolutely necessary.
Layering is a great way to propagate passionflower, especially if you don’t have to keep track of all your cuttings until they are rooted and ready to transplant.
To make low, just remove the leaves from a STEM and bury the stem under the ground. Place a stone or pin on top to hold the stem underground. If you water the stem part well, it should take root in 2-3 weeks.
Take an overripe seed pod from an existing plant and separate the seeds from the pod. Clean thoroughly and let the seeds dry. All fleshy coating on the outside of the seeds must be removed. As a sidenote, you can eat the aril, which is the gelatinous covering around the seed. It’s pretty good.
Let the seeds dry in a dark, warm place. When spring comes, soak them for a few days, and then plant them in relatively sandy soil.
The seeds contain a chemical that naturally slows their germination. Cool, moist soil, slowly removes this chemical. But you can pre-treat them and cause a faster germination. It’s best to just forget about them after you plant them and be pleasantly surprised when they appear a year after.
The success was achieved when the seeds were soaked for 24 hours in 5% ethanol cider, changed every 12 hours. Faster germination is also achieved by overnight soaking in gibberellic acid.
Aside from the raw beauty of the passion flower, they offer a whole host of medicinal benefits if you use them properly.
For many years it was used in over-the-counter sleeping pills, but became less popular in the after 1970s / early 1980s. American pharmaceutical companies were less interested than their European counterparts in studying the plant.
Purpose: outline the various problems that may arise when growing this plant and how to action them. Can be divided into three subsections: growing problems, pests and ailments. Revenge and / or fight.
Aphids are the most troublesome pest for passionflower vines.
Apart from the common ailments that affect most plants, your passiflora incarnata may suffer from root nodules. This causes the roots to thicken to the point that the plant is completely finished.
To avoid root knot nematodes, it is best to avoid the purple-fruited subspecies and opt for the yellow-fruited subspecies…these are more acidic and resistant to this condition.