Passiflora Caerulea indoors all year

salineaJune 9, 2010

So in my excitement hunting for plants to put in my apartment I purchased a smallish passiflora caerulea(one of the longer tendrils is maybe 3') that has a lot of developing buds on it and had one flower open (it has since closed though). After doing lots of research (i'm a grad student, it's what I do haha) I've come across too many varying suggestions in its care particularly since one cultivar can have dramatically different needs. I will be needing to keep my plant indoors since I don't have a yard and people like to steal/maim the plants from behind the front gate areas anyway.

Basically, I need to know what extra steps my poor college self will need to take to keep my vine healthy.

Currently I have it in a sort of large southeast facing window that gets a little direct sun for about 2 hours in the morning and then lots of ambient light all day. Is this ok for my plant or do I need to move it to my full sun (currently crowded and often very hot) west facing window?

Also, since it is indoors, the watering requirements will be different so do I need to keep the soil moist or can I just water every monday like I do my other plants? It has a drainage container so if I do over water it has somewhere to go.

Lastly, is it recommended that I fertilize it? and if so how frequently do I use the potash? (some have said they put cut up bananas in the soil)

Actually, one more thing...it's still in the flexible 1.67 gallon pot from the nursery...should I wait a while to transfer it to something bigger since it's so tiny right now?

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karyn1(7a)

I'd leave it in the container that it's in for the time being. They can take full sun but you don't want it to burn. I'd leave it where it is and get a small grow light. I'd allow the soil to dry some between waterings. More indoor plants are killed from overwatering then anything else but you might want to mist the foliage every few days to reduce the chance of infestation of spider mites, mealy bugs, etc which thrive in dry conditions. Make sure it's not sitting in a saucer of water. I'd feed it with a balanced fertilizer monthly. I've been told that potassium increases blooms and I dig a small amount of chopped banana peels ito the soil. For all I know it might just be the organic matter that helps.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 8:10AM
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kccav(z9 AZ)

Yeah, I agree with poster above. Since it is so small now leave it in its container till it gets bigger. Personally I think it will do better in full sun, but wait till it gets about a foot to foot and half high. That being said. Passiflora caerulea is a super hardy plant ie., taking the sun and heat and one of the cold hardiest of passifloras. I have one growing outside on a east facing wall at here in AZ. It grows like a weed. The only thing that keeps it in check are the Frutillary catepillars.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 3:42PM
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salinea

@ karyn1, Thanks for the advice. What type of grow light would you suggest? I'm kinda looking for something a little on the cheaper side and not too big either. I could keep my options open I guess by just looking for a specific watt?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 4:38PM
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karyn1(7a)

Since it's only 1 plant I'd go with something small (single bulb) and inexpensive. You don't need a high wattage for a single plant what you are more interested in is the light spectrum the bulb provides. You can probably find something at a nursery or even a Home Depot. I use HID lights but I don't see why you'd invest in something like that for a single plant. I know people that use fluorescent shop lights with good results. I've never tried that and would think that a grow light would be better. Some lights used for salt water aquariums (mainly for corals) are good but can be pricey. Here's a link to a grow light guide that might be helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: grow light guide

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 7:02AM
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salinea

My poor little plant seems miserable. The leaves are yellowing and even the unbloomed flowers are starting to fall off. I haven't watered it since i got it given the soil seems moist but it's been raining the past few days so it hasn't gotten much sun either. I ordered one of those small clamp CFL fixtures with a 42 watt bulb with the more red light spectrum to encourage flowering since from what I've read these vines can be a bit resistant. Hopefully it gets here soon and my plant perks up. :(

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 6:42PM
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