Passiflora allantophylla

more_to_grow(z6CT)June 28, 2005

I have had this little plant for three years now. It summers in the front yard in the partial shade of a holly bush and flourishes there, the flowers are tiny nickel sized versions of larger passion flowers. In the winter I bring it into my pantry under a compact flourescent bulb array on a timer for eight-twelve hour light. My problem is that periodically, with no pattern regularity that I have observed, it goes into decline to the point where I feel I am going to lose it, only to vigorously return. recently it declined, late this spring, and the plant is still struggling, out in its place in the front yard same as previous summers, it is just not having an easy time of it and I am looking for others who may have experience with this species or who have had similar experience with other Passifloraceae.

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A tricky one. Firstly it is a Decaloba which means that it will not be trying to die back over winter like P. incarnata for example. I have not grown this particular Decaloba species, but the first thing I suggest for any rare plant is to take cuttings and share them about just in case. Also tip it out of the pot to check the roots-they should be nice and white-too many brown roots suggests that it is too wet-if in doubt keep it on the dry side. Its variations may be caused by roots rotting then it producing new ones. It may benefit from being repotted or given a high Potassium fertilizer. I use Rosefood or Ericaceous plant food. Tomato fertilizer will be ok too.

I also think that your winter routine with artificial light may be stressing the plant. Decaloba will do well over winter in a South facing window with natural light and most importantly water sparingly from below only and keep an oscillating fan on it. The fan helps keep the plant transpiring and is more important than anything else to help overwintering. When moved out leaves grown indoors are not suitable for outdoor use-so the plant usually disposes of them to grow fresh ones-very stressful. So move out into full shade to start with and later progress to full sun. Further if you put it out to early it can induce a type of dormancy.

It may also have predator problems-red spider mite are tricky to spot-check under the leaves with a magnifying glass.

Hope this is of help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Passiflora growing tips.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 4:24PM
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Thank you for your input. I indeed agree that the winter light is a problem, this winter I will setup as you have suggested and see what happens. The roots look healthy and I tend to err on the side of under than over water, as for food I use miracle grow every other watering which nets to twice a month. I believe I will try a higher potassium formulation as you have suggested.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 3:35PM
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