by Jennifer Poindexter
Have you ever considered growing an exotic flower? A great option to complete this task on your gardening-bucket-list is the passion flower.
Passion flowers are easy to grow, quite versatile (regardless of their reputation), and can beautify your home year-round in some circumstances.
When you’re seeking a beautiful flower that’s known for being on the exotic side, the passion flower could be what you need.
Here’s what you should know to grow this flower around your home.
Growing Conditions for Passion Flowers
Passion flowers aren’t unique in their growing conditions. Like most plants, they desire to grow in nutrient dense soil that’s also well-draining.
These flowers also enjoy full sunlight. The only exception to this rule comes if you live in a warmer climate, typically planting zones eight and higher.
In this case, you should plant passion flowers where they’ll receive ample morning sunlight and partial shade in the afternoon.
Passion flowers are perennial plants. They come in multiple varieties. Some varieties vine, others produce tasty fruit, and some take on a bush-like shape.
No matter the variety you choose, they all seem to thrive in planting zones six and higher.
When growing passion flowers, you must consider their size and ensure you supply a growing space large enough to accommodate them.
It isn’t uncommon for passion flowers to grow as tall as 30 feet in height and up to 8 feet wide. Therefore, you should place approximately twelve feet of space between each plant.
Once you know what conditions your flower needs and ensure you have the appropriate growing location, it’s time to move forward in the gardening process.
How to Plant Passion Flowers
The best way to grow passion flowers is to purchase a seedling from a trusted nursery. This should produce the greatest results when growing this plant.
Once you have a healthy seedling purchased and at your home, dig a hole in the chosen location that’s three times the size of the root ball.
Place the plant in the hole and press the soil firmly around the base of the plant. Water the seedling consistently until it’s well established.
If you live in a cooler planting zone and would like to grow passion flowers as an indoor plant, you may do so by growing them in a container.
Pick a container that’s five gallons or larger. This will give the plant plenty of room to establish roots and grow.
Fill the planter with nutrient rich soil and ensure both the container and soil drain adequately. Place the container in a bright window that receives full sun.
You can also grow the plant outdoors in a container during warmer portions of the year. However, be mindful to bring it indoors before the cool temperatures of fall arrive.
Some varieties can handle temperatures as low as 30-degrees Fahrenheit. Most varieties don’t like to dip below 65-degrees Fahrenheit. Take this into consideration when deciding the right time to move the plant indoors.
Water your container regularly but ensure your passion flower isn’t left in a consistently soggy state. Be mindful not to let it become too dry, either.
These instructions should help you have a positive planting experience no matter your planting zone or growing method. Now, let’s learn how to care for this plant once it’s established.
Caring for Passion Flowers
Passion flowers have a few things they need to remain healthy and productive. You must prune, fertilize, water, deadhead, mulch, and support these plants.
Let’s begin by learning when to prune. Passion flowers should be pruned one time per year. When you choose to prune will depend upon how you planted the passion flowers.
If you live in a warmer planting zone, where these plants are perennials, you should prune them in early spring.
This will give the plants a healthy boost before they begin the growing season. If you grow passion flowers in a container, you should prune them in the fall.
By pruning in the fall, you’re getting your large plant under control before bringing it indoors over the winter.
If your passion flower is strictly an indoor plant, choose when to prune based upon the size of your plant. When it becomes too large for your growing space, this would be the ideal time to trim it back. Be mindful to only do this one time per year.
You should also fertilize passion flowers. They need to be fed with a granular fertilizer two times per year. Fertilize them in the spring as they’re starting to grow for the year and in the middle of summer when the plant is beginning to bloom.
The next step to caring for these flowers is to water them. It’s best to deeply water passion flowers to encourage strong roots and keep from applying too much or too little moisture at any given time.
Practice the deep watering method by watering the flowers heavily during the watering session. As the days progress without water, the plant will dig its roots further into the soil to retrieve more moisture.
This will encourage stronger roots and healthier plants. Insert your finger into the soil from time to time. When the soil is dry to your first knuckle, it’s time for another deep watering session.
If you grow passion flowers in the ground, you should be able to go longer between watering sessions than you will if growing them in a container. The reason being is the amount of soil the plant has to pull moisture from.
It’s also beneficial to apply mulch around the base of passion flowers. This will help retain moisture, keep weeds down around the flowers, and protect your flowers during the colder portions of the year.
One of our final steps in caring for passion flowers is deadheading. By removing old, dead blooms you’re encouraging the plant to produce more while also keeping the flower looking healthier and vibrant.
It’s important to note that passion flowers will bloom between the middle of summer and the first frost of fall.
However, each flower will only bloom for a single day. It’s worth it to most gardeners because of the bright colors and unique qualities of the blooms on this plant.
Yet, you’ll want to do all you can when caring for this plant to encourage as many blooms as possible. Most of us plant flowers to be able to enjoy the blooms. The more care you provide, the greater enjoyment you can get from growing the passion flower.
The last step in caring for passion flowers is to support them. If you choose the vining varieties they can run all over your garden.
Instead, keep them well supported and under control by placing a trellis near your flowers or planting near a fence line. By keeping the plant off the ground, you’ll avoid potential rotting issues and also keep your garden much cleaner.
It’s also wise to trellis your plants because passion flowers are considered invasive in many southern climates. When you control where your flowers grow, you stand a greater chance at staying on top of unwanted reseeding.
These are the tips which might help you have a greater growing experience when raising passion flowers around your home.
Garden Pests and Diseases Which Can Impact Passion Flowers
When growing passion flowers, you must be alert to potential threats which could be lurking in your growing space.
The main diseases which impact passion flowers are fungal based. You can stay on top of these issues by planting where the flowers will receive ample sunlight, plant in well-draining soil, and prune the plants to provide more room for air to circulate.
Most fungal diseases thrive in cold, wet soil. If you provide heat and adequate drainage, you remove the desirable elements for the diseases to form.
Also, ensure you clean up your garden area in the fall. This will decrease the likelihood of fungal issues overwintering in your growing space.
There are also plenty of pests you must be aware of. Passion flowers attract spider mites, aphids, and white flies.
All of these pests can be treated using an insecticidal soap. Be sure to pay attention to the early signs of these pests to ensure you remove the threat before it becomes a larger problem.
By staying alert, planting passion flowers in the appropriate growing conditions, practicing proper care, and treating potential threats, your flowers should have every opportunity to bloom beautifully in your garden.
This concludes all you must know to grow passion flowers around your home. This is not a flower that you can plant and forget.
However, by putting in a little effort at certain times of the growing season, you should end up with a beautiful end product that will add charm and character to your home.