Botanical Name: Passiflora caerulea
Passion Flower vine is immediately recognizable by its big, spectacular blooms that appear in late summer and fall.
Its unusual purple, white and blue flowers are 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) across with green anthers. The flowers are followed by small, yellow or orange egg-shaped fruits that are edible but full of seeds.
Those fast-growing, vigorously climbing vines are thickly covered with lobed dark-green leaves.
To show off its leafy vines, and to give them a denser appearance, loop them around a wire hoop or trellis and tie loosely with florists wire. Pruning passion flower vine does no harm and will help keep it under control.
Pruning Tip: Cut the stems back in spring, just before its heaviest blooming time, but be careful not to remove the flower buds. Use sharp pruners to avoid tearing the stems.
A few Passion Flower facts will help you know and grow this plant.
It is native to the rain forests of Brazil and Argentina where it clings to the trunks of trees using its tendrils.
Indoors, this tropical plant needs warmth, direct sun and humidity to grow well. Because of its need for full sun and high humidity, it can be somewhat difficult to please in a home and will grow best in a greenhouse.
Repot young plants in spring. Older plants can be top-dressed instead, removing the top couple inches (5 cm) of soil and replacing it with fresh soil. Don't overpot -- you'll get the most flowers if its roots are a bit crowded in the pot.
Origin: South America
Height: Up to 10 ft (3 m)
Light: At least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day. It does best in a south-facing room, sunroom or greenhouse.
Water: Keep mix evenly moist from spring through fall. In winter, provide just enough water to keep mix from drying out.
Humidity: Requires moist air. Set pot on a tray of wet pebbles and mist leaves daily with room- temperature water.
Temperature: 55-60°F/13-16°C nights and 70-75°F/21-24°C days
Soil: Any good potting mix
Fertilizer: Feed with a liquid fertilizer diluted by half once a month spring through fall. I highly recommend this organic fertilizer that's safe for indoor plants. Do not feed in winter.
Propagation: Take 6 in (15 cm) stem tip cuttings in summer and root in moist potting mix.
To ensure blooming, give your plant slightly cooler nighttime temperatures. A 15° difference will do.
It also requires 4 hours or more of direct sunlight.
You'll find Passion Flower for sale nearly year-round at some online garden sites that offer tropical plants.