Passionflower dilemma

gypsyroseApril 16, 2013

Need some advice! I am here in Florida with a year round growing season. I love butterflies and last year planted a passion vine for the gulf frits - I was rewarded with a huge number of these beauties and was very happy!

The problem now, however, is that I see this plant is EXTREMELY invasive - it is sending up shoots EVERYWHERE, from underground runners. It is almost impossible to find and pull them all up. Also, I wanted to keep some of this plant because it is the best host plant for the caterpillars. Any advice how to keep this in check and not let my whole yard become covered in this vine? It's becoming almost as bad as kudzu or air potato!!!!

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I don't know of any way to control passionvine other than to pull it up where you don't want it. I have a few acres, so I dig up the suckers and plant them somewhere else.

It's been my experience that passionvines are really 'travelers' that is, they may come up where you didn't plant them, but some of the areas where you originally planted them won't have them a few years down the line.

By the way, which type of passionvine do you have? I have Passiflora incarnata, which is aggressive, but nothing like kudzu. Passiflora suberosa/ corky stem passionvine grows rampantly in Florida - is that it?


    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 6:55PM
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I have two types - one is NOT invasive, I don't get any "babies" from it, and the flowers look very similar but are very fragrant. The invasive one has purple flowers that are only fainly fragrant, but that is the one the butterflies love. The main vine died back in the "winter" (no real cold weather here) but new vines are growing in its place. There are LOADS of new "babies" starting far from the main plant, in places I don't want. Do you think I can control it by just pulling those up?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 8:22PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I don't know for sure. I've never had a passion vine that was that invasive. P. suberosa has little bitty flowers, not purple, so that's not it. You'd have to post a picture for me to know what types you have, since purple flowers could mean P. incarnata, P. 'Incense' or numerous other species and hybrids.

I don't know of anything else you can do but pull them, unless you want to to something drastic, like pour salt on it, but the salt might migrate to your other plants and kill them. Gardening IS a lot of work!


    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 10:25PM
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I think I've had that variety in the past...
Switched to suberosa and just kept pulling and pulling.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 8:00AM
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I have the same problem with Pipevine. My solution is to put it in a large pot. It seems to have over-wintered fine here in Missouri. That's what I'd suggest with the Passionflower also. I used to grow it, but I also found that it was much too invasive.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 5:15PM
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Wow, P. incarnata is very tough. We sunk it in clay drainage tile that went down several feet. It is still popping up several feet away. So, if you do put it in a pot (great idea), make sure you don't put the pot directly on the ground. I wouldn't doubt that it will come up through the drainage holes. Why does such a pretty plant have to be so aggressive? Sigh...

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 7:12PM
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Thanks all. I am considering pulling it all out after this year. Sadly, I don't even see any cats on it this year, last year I had 100s, my yard was beautiful with my "flying flowers" If I'm not even going to get my butterflies this year what's the point of having this invasive plant? If I do pull it out, I might try just putting in a pot as was suggested above. The places where this thing is popping up is out of control!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 10:35AM
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