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The Passiflora is native to the southeastern United States and was discovered by missionaries in the early 17th century. It is not actually in our latitude because it is not hardy and like all other potted plants must be brought into the house before the first frost. However, in areas with mild winters, it is also possible to keep a certain species, the Passiflora caerulea, outdoors year-round. This applies only to the blue-flowering and up to 4 meters high varieties. Most others are warm house plants.
The Passiflora should be cultivated in a bright, sunny to partially shaded spot. Most Passiflora species love the sun and especially the warmth. In cool or dark places the Passiflora hardly flowers. The soil is ideally well drained and can be improved with plant substrate. As the Passiflora is a climbing plant, climbing aids are absolutely necessary. Only then can the plant develop well. A sheltered and warm location will reward its owner with abundance of flowers and vigor.
If you pay attention to a few basic things, the plant is easy to cultivate and nurture. In the months of March to August the cane needs a lot of water. Waterlogging should be avoided, otherwise damage to the roots may occur. The best way to improve the soil with loose substrate such as humus garden soil. Since she loves a warm, airy and bright place, she is placed in the summer months when possible outdoors. An additional weekly addition of fertilizer or addition of slow-release fertilizer contributes to the plant's high vitality and willingness to flower.
The winter months are meant for rest. It is best wintered in a bright but cool location up to 15 degrees. In the fall you reduce the addition of water and pour very sparingly during the winter months. Fertilization is not necessary now and will be completely discontinued by March. Before the Passiflora is moved to winter quarters, they cut them back.
It can be propagated by seeds, cuttings or root cuttings. By sowing seeds, species can be produced that are more disease-resistant and form stronger roots. However, patience is needed during seed rearing. The development of a seed-grown plant takes a relatively long time. Fresh seeds can germinate in four and six weeks, older seeds may take up to a year.
In the cuttings propagation of the mother plant is removed a piece and rooted best with rooting powder. The young plant produces a direct clone of the mother plant. Hybrid breeds are only propagated in this way. For example, the Passifl. caerulea multiplied by cuttings. Between February and April you cut the cuttings and rooted them in the growing box.
An increase by root cuttings is rather rare and is only suitable for very few passion flowers. Here new shoots emerge from the roots of the plant.
Diseases and pests
If in the winter months, some leaves turn yellow and fall off, that is not a problem.
However, different diseases and pests can kill the plant if they are mistreated.
One distinguishes between
- Viruses (yellow spots, mosaic-like patterns, incompletely formed leaves)
- Pests (spider mites, mealybugs, tripple, mourning midge)
- Chlorosis (light deficiency, iron deficiency, winter chlorosis, sunburn)
Pests such as lice, spider mites and common spikes occur especially in winter quarters. Mourning mosquitoes themselves do no harm, but the larvae eat the already poorly formed roots and thus contribute to the damage of the plant. It is possible to fight blackthorn mosquitoes with pesticides in the winter or with a lamp and yellow boards - because mourning gnats love the light.
Chlorosis, such as iron deficiency chlorosis or winter chlorosis is best achieved with ferrous fertilizer or cooler indoor air. Winter chlorosis shows up with bleaching, transparent leaves. In consequence, this is an indication that the root ball of the plant is too cold. Here you either limit the growth in the form of cooler air or you can make the root ball with the help of a heat mat or Styrofoam plate warmer.
Some especially nice varieties
- Passifl. gracilis: height 1 - 1.5 meters, white flowers
- Passifl. x "Amethyst": height 3 - 9 meters, purple flowers
- Passifl. Lady Margaret: height 2 - 6 meters, ruby red flowers
- Passifl. x "Sunburst": height 2 - 6 meters, orange flowers
- Passifl. citrina: height up to 6 meters, yellow flowers
- Passifl. venosa violacea: Height up to 3 meters, purple flowers
- Passifl. Manta: height up to 6 meters, black yellow flowers
Care of the Passiflora caerulea
The passion flower needs a lot of light and can be in the full sun all day long in the summer, when it was slowly getting used to the outdoors. As a result, many of their large flowers form until the fall and possibly even edible fruits. Although she thrives in the shade, her blooming joy suffers under the missing sun. The passionflower has to be watered regularly and needs a lot of water especially during the growing season. However, waterlogging should be avoided at all costs, otherwise their roots will start to rot. During the summer, the Passiflora is fertilized once a week with a conventional fertilizer for flowering plants. As a very fast-growing plant, it needs a climbing aid, where it can wind up.
Hibernation of the passionflower
Before the passionflower is brought to its winter quarters, it should be cut back. For this purpose, the main drive and the side shoots are greatly reduced, so that only a few eyes stop. It blooms on the new shoots the following year, so that a pruning does not affect the flowering in the next season. As far as it was planted outdoors, its rootstock is then dug up and placed in a pot in a moderately bright and cool place with a temperature of around 10° C. There it should be poured only sparingly, so that the earth is only slightly damp, only completely dry it should not even in winter.