Passion Flower

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The genus of passion flowers (Passiflora) belongs to the family of passion flower plants (Passifloraceae). It comprises more than 530 species as well as numerous hybrids created by breeding. Passion flowers are predominantly native to tropical and subtropical South America and Central and Southern North America. Other species thrive in Australia, Asia and Madagascar. One of the best known cultivars of this species is the blue passion flower (Passiflora caerulea), native to northern Argentina and southern Brazil. Another very well-known species is the purple granadilla (Passiflora edulis) and the yellow granadilla (Passiflora edulis f. Flavicarpa) whose fruits as passion fruit, as well as the juice obtained from the fruits are in our trade. About 50 to 60 species produce edible fruits, but only a few of them are actually cultivated for their fruits. Most passion flowers are used as ornamental plants because of their pretty flowers.


Passion flowers are mostly perennial, herbaceous or woody plants. They grow mainly as climbing plants, only a few species are shrubs or trees. In their leaf axils, the plants form tendrils, with the help of which they can cling to other plants or lattice work and so can climb up. The alternate, stalked leaves are formed differently. In the case of the Blue Passion Flower, for example, they are divided into multiple lobes. The growth height of the cultivated as container plant species and varieties is between 50 centimeters and four meters.

Fruit of the passionflower

The purple granadilla (Passiflora edulis) produces aromatic passion fruit

Passion flowers produce radially symmetrical flowers, which may have a diameter of less than one centimeter, depending on the species. The showy flowers are composed of several free petals and a halo of thread-like staminodes, so sterile stamens. In its center are the also conspicuously shaped, the flower far superior five fertile stamens and three scars. Christians saw in blossom a symbol of the Passion of Christ: the stamens were interpreted as the wounds of Christ, the three stigmas as the crucifixion nails, while the garland of stamens was understood as a crown of thorns. The genus name Passion Flower goes back to this interpretation. The cultivated in our plants as potted plants species and varieties bloom from early summer to fall, sometimes even into the winter. The color spectrum of the flowers ranges from white to red and yellow to violet.
After fertilization, edible fruits form, which are botanically assigned to the berries. They are globose to oval and with firm skin. The fruits contain an often bitter to sweet or sour-tasting juice with many seeds. The individual seeds are surrounded by a jelly-like tissue (pulp). While the fruits of the Blue Passion Flower are about five centimeters tall, passion fruits are up to twelve inches tall.

Location and ground

Passion flowers need a bright, sunny location to make many flowers. However, they do not tolerate high heat and the soil should always be moist. As a pot substrate is commercially available bucket plant soil, which can be enriched with clay granules.


Passion flowers can be outdoors as potted plants from early summer until autumn. Here they prefer a sunny, airy location. With stature heights of over four meters are passion flowers - planted on a trellis aid - also excellent as a flowering screen. Our tip: put the beautiful climbing plant near a seat. So you can often enjoy in the summer months on their pretty flowers. The Blue Passion Flower is also cultivated as a pure houseplant and is doing well in the conservatory.


Provide your passion flowers well with water during the growth phase from March / April to September / October. Ideal is rainwater or low-calcium tap water, as most species are slightly sensitive to a very high calcium content. Passion flowers are fertilized exclusively during the growing season in weekly or two-week intervals with a conventional liquid fertilizer for container plants, which is added to the irrigation water.
The repotting of passion flowers in a larger vessel takes place as needed every one to three years, namely, when the soil is completely rooted. The best time to do so is at the beginning of the growing season, usually in February or March. The new vessel should be two to three centimeters larger than the previous one.


Basically, passion flowers need no regular cut.However, if the shoots are too long so that they outstrip the trellis, they can be shortened from April to June. In addition, a strong pruning of shoots on 20 to 30 centimeters in length is possible in late winter.


The bright winter quarters should, depending on the species and variety have a temperature between 5 and 15 degrees. Even in winter, the root ball must never dry out, so the plant must be watered regularly. Do not be surprised if the plant still dries pretty far back. This is normal for passion flowers.

Passiflora incarnata

The hardy passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is also very frost hardy and can withstand temperatures down to -15° C


Propagation can be done well in early summer by Kopfstecklinge. Even the sowing of self-harvested seeds is possible. To do this, remove the seeds from the ripe fruit and remove the pulp surrounding the seeds. Sown in nutrient-poor substrate, the seed is only thinly covered with soil. It is important to note that a germination temperature of 25 to 28° C is required.

Diseases and pests

If the location is too hot in summer, the stressed plants can be attacked by spider mites. These can be combated with pesticides based on acaricides.

Video Board: Jon Gomm - Passionflower.

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