Passiflora questions

caterwallinJune 27, 2011

I think passion flowers are pretty, but the reason I planted my P. incarnata was for the Variegated Fritillaries. We don't get Gulf Fritillaries up here and I have never gotten any VFs on my passionvines in the several years that I've had it here. I know that they'll also lay their eggs on violets, and now I'm asking myself why I have this vine here. At first it fooled me into thinking it wouldn't get invasive this far north, growing little the first year and growing nicely the next year, but now is starting to get a little out of control this year. As I already mentioned in another post, I'm already battling this #@*& Canada thistle that so far has been winning, and now to have to deal with another invasive is almost more than I can really take. I'm having new plants popping up at least 10 feet from the original spot and various places in between. So far I've been digging them out, but I have so many weeds now that I can't keep up and this is one other thing.

So...if I spray weed killer in the grass (I hate to spray but I also don't want this spreading any further), will that stop it from going any further into the lawn and possibly even beyond that? It's kind of hard to go digging up the lawn to get pieces of P. incarnata out of it, so I thought weed killer would probably be the way to stop it from taking over the lawn. I know that mowing will keep it cut down, but will it still continue further on its merry way? I'm thinking that maybe even in the garden, weed killer might be my best option to get rid of it before it wants to take over every section there is. It's fairly close to where I have other garden plants. Yes, it's pretty, but I've pretty much decided to get rid of it now. I'm just afraid that if I continue to let it be here that it will just keep spreading further and further out and I'll have this enormous root system sending up shoots all over the place. Since I've come to realize just recently that I have to downsize to save on time (and my sanity), it wouldn't make sense to keep a plant like this. I'll admit that I got too enthusiastic when I started learning about all of these host plants and put out more than I can handle. Things changed over the past few years and I really must downsize (just saying so nobody will try to talk me into keeping it, thank you). Could someone please tell me if it's feasible to get rid of it for good and if so how? The only option I can see is to get rid of it entirely. I don't even think I want to lug it in and out of the house every fall and spring in a pot (I imagine it would have to be fairly big, like at least a foot in diameter) if that's the only way to have it without it going all over the place.


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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I don't know about weed killer, Cathy, since the roots of P. incarnata go deep, but that might work.
I don't think it will take over the lawn, at least it pops up here and there in a grassy area by my garden, but can't beat out the grass. You could sprinkle a little salt on the areas you want gone - I've read that salt will kill plants.
'Too bad you didn't get any VFs on it! :(

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 9:22AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Try the vinegar spray--it won't hurt the ground and has no residual effects. I just pull up the Passiflora where it is a nuisance. Yes, it comes back, but it can be controlled. Are Variegated Fritillarys native to your area? You never know when a butterfly will stop by your yard and take a liking to what you have planted. Brian at Monarch Teacher's Network says butterflies like "messy environments." That's after seeing my gardens. They aren't the Southern Living prototypes!


    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 10:06AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Ah, I just learned why I have a lot of butterflies, Sandy - my messy environment!
My place is 5 acres of jungle and 1/2 acre of weeds - I love it! :)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 1:32PM
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Yahoo for the weeds! ;P

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 4:23PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)


Been wondering when we would hear from you! Is school finally out, or almost out? Yes, according to Brian, of MTN, the best habitat is not a manicured lawn and garden. The weeds have definitely gotten ahead of me this year. Sorry to say, MTN did not make a return trip--not enough teachers signed up. They were scheduled for the 16th and 17th of June. The teachers did not realize what an awesome opportunity they were getting for $50 for two days. I had some friends sign up, but we needed the teachers. They only required 20 particpants. Makes me incredibly sad.

I have my 3rd batch of Monarchs this year. Usually only on my second, so this is an extraordinary year. There has been an interim between each appearing. The first was bad--too early. The second was 100% successful, and this third time, the caterpillars hatched out last week, so hopefully, they will do well.

How's butterflying in California, Sherry? Mississippi is having a good year, and things are really picking up here in the heartland.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 4:45PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I'm glad you posted, Sherry - we've been missing you!
Let us know how your butterflies and cats are doing.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 7:06PM
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Maybe I can vinegar and salt it to death. Sounds like some kind recipe. ;-)
Sherry, I guess what has me nervous about letting this in the garden is that it will try to take over my other beds/sections and I'll wish that I had taken it out when it was/is more do-able. When I saw it growing in the grass, and all of these other pieces coming up, that's when I realized this isn't like any other plant that I've ever had. It seems similar to the Canada thistle in that it spreads through underground runners, although I suspect the thistle is a lot worse. I really glad that I put the cassias pretty far away from any of the gardens/beds. Now I'm also wondering about my Lespedeza capitata. lol I think I should have stuck to just nectar plants or else host plants too but "safe" ones. I just planted it about a month ago, so I don't imagine that it got too much of a head start. I haven't decided about that one yet.

If I try the salt, I guess I ought to do it soon before the passionvine spreads over where I have plants that I want to keep. I'd think that the salt would also kill them.

Sandy, Is the vinegar a better idea then than using the salt or did you mean what I'm thinking that it's at least better than using herbicides, which affect the ground? Actually, this is the messiest my gardens have ever been and I rarely see a butterfly this year, only an occasional Cabbage White, Tiger Swallowtail, or Black Swallowtail. I'm raising PVS from when one was here about a month ago laying eggs, but I haven't seen any since. The only BST that I saw was here about a month ago too. It's been really dead here as far as butterflies go. Last year, on the other hand, when I had a much neater garden, I saw lots of them, but it was really hot here last year.

Yes, Variegated Fritillaries are native to here and I've seen them almost every year since I started butterfly gardening in 2005 but not often. I never had any lay on the passionvine, but it hasn't been here quite that long. I have plenty of violets that they can lay on.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 12:19AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)


FWIW, the butterflies are just now really beginning to show up in numbers here in Oklahoma. The Black Swallowtails appeared last week, and I now have my first cats of the season. I think it's a late year this year--probably due to lots of factors--the really cold winter, the droughts we are having, the early heat here. Don't give up too soon.

I suggested vinegar, as I know when you use salt for ice, it can cause the soil to become barren. Maybe just putting it on a plant here and there isn't a problem.

I have the passionflower growing up everywhere here, but the pipevine is also doing the same. I just pull the passionvine up--it comes up easily--where I don't want it. I can pretty much control it in this way. And when I mow, that keeps the ones in the grass under control. I find the Variegated eggs/caterpillars on the small plants just emerging, so I like to have these little sprouts. I pull them up with the eggs/caterpillars and put in water and raise them. The VFs pretty much disappear when left in the garden. I have lots and lots of birds around, as well as, predators. Everything wants to eat!

I just thought of something else, my passionvine doesn't always come back up in the exact same place. This is definitely a prairie plant. When you go out, you will find small plants all over the prairie. It may not be the plant for a true garden setting. Some people plant it in large pots and sink them in the ground so it doesn't wander.



    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 8:25AM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Sandy, I am glad to hear you say the butterflies might just now be appearing in OK. I've had nothing, nada, zilch really. One swallowtail sighting, maybe a few painted ladies and last night I stood in front of my hedge bushes (eunonymous?) trying to get pics of a couple Reakirt's Blues and a Hairstreak. I was so excited to even see those. That hedge, when it flowers, it draws all sorts of flying bugs! I was itching just standing in front of it because it hums this time of year.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 12:00PM
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