Passiflora caerulea in Zone 5b/6a

foxd(z5b/6a)September 19, 2008

Last year I bought some Passiflora caerulea seed and after many months got three of the seeds to germinate. Two of the plants are still alive (one was killed in a weeding accident) and one is a monster about 20 foot long. No blooms this year.

Anyway, according to what I am reading, it is less cold hardy than I thought and at the minimum will require some winter protection. So some questions:

1) Will it survive Zone 5b/6a?

2) How do I winter protect it?

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Surviving the winter in your zone might be iffy. Since you have 2 why don't you dig one up and winter it over inside? You can mulch the one outside and see if it makes it but if it doesn't you'll still have the one that you took in. You could also take cuttings and root them inside. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 7:15PM
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Being in a similar zone, and wanting to grow passifloras outside, I would be very interested to know how your caeruleas do if you indeed decide to leave one or both of them outside. I'm very much into zone pushing, and am confident about trying P.incarnata in the ground next year, but would love to know of other species with a chance in zone6.

Your style of winter protection should be easy, just good drainage and lots of light fluffy mulch to cover the plant once it dies back to the ground. Make sure to post here if your caerulea survives the winter!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 10:51AM
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Did you look into trying Passiflora edulis Nancy Garrison. It is developed by the University of California to be hardy down to about 25F.
Ironically, I grow edulis and Frederick outside while I keep my Nancy Garrison inside. But there is an explanation to my madness. :o)

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 8:34PM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

My caerulea has come back two years now, but unfortunately it has not yet given me a single bloom (but this year it grew much better than it had last year (its easily 15 feet tall, climbing a nearby plum tree).

Incarnata has come back for me for 3+ years now (and it might actually be an incarnata/incense cross as the leaves look more like my incense's leaves than it does the pictures of other incarnata leaves I've seen). This one blooms very well, and unfortunately it also suckers up a storm (but since they bloom as well I don't much mind).


    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 8:05PM
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Hi I live in Montreal and I planted several seeds of Caerulea about 3 years ago. The resulting plant has beautiful foliage that I need to cut back at least once a year. I keep it indoors getting about 2-3 of sun a day from end of September to mid-May every year. To this day, the plant has not produced a single bloom. What I'm doing wrong? Is it normal that they take so long to bloom after sowing the seeds? Can the experts let me know how to go about it? This is my first experience with passiflora and obviously I'm not giving the plant what it needs to produce flowers, let alone fruit!
Thank you!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 2:46PM
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Growing plants from seed is always a gamble. Some seedlings will never bloom, or may take years before blooming. This is why it is better to get a proven selection that is grown from cuttings. For most named selections, someone grew a lot of seedlings to get that one good one.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 5:36PM
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A few thoughts that might help: they're self fertile, so eventually it should bloom, (I've never heard of male or female passifloras). Although they're not supposed to die unless the temperatures get under 20 below, which will kill the top but if mulched they are supposed to grow back from the bottom... with that said, our USDA zones it only at 7-11 zones. I'd mulch it really deep 12" (keeping the mulch about 5" away from the stem). One trick I have used is to cut back a plant and put an acrylic fish aquarium over it. Instant "cold frame", (usually available at second hand stores cheap). Hot winter days put a rock under one end for air.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 5:05PM
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should I mulch in zone 10 ? Can someone explain why mulch is good or is the humidity too high here and it would stay too moist maybe get fungus or rot..thanx

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 7:32PM
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jblaschke(8b TX)

"I've never heard of male or female passifloras"

This may be true but it doesn't mean they're self-fertile. While a few species (subrosa for instance) can self, the majority of passiflora require a separate, non-clonal plant for pollenation. Some can successfully self via bud pollenation, but that's something of a hassle.

Vandavixen, I don't know where you are specifically, so I don't know if it's "too humid" there. But I'm in Texas where, despite the current drought, humidity hovers between 80-90 percent most of the year. Mulching retards evaporation and drying of the soil, which conserves water. If you're in San Diego, California, this could be a good thing. If you live a stone's throw from the Florida Everglades, maybe not so much.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 11:48PM
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In my area (GA, z8) passion flowers grow wild. Their branches die out in the winter and regrow from root next year. They are native to south America and like warmth, humidity and sunny location. The ones that grow around here (also I have seen in southwest MO) have beautiful fragrant frower which are about inch and half accross with shades of blu-pink-white. The fruits are the size of a ping pong ball which are green and turn pale green when ripe. Both male and female organs are in each flower and can self polinate,
but the bumble bees love them. So no polination problem here. If I remember it correctly, they start blooming in mid-June and contintue till when it gets cold (low 40s, high 30s).
If you want to dig one young shoot out and transplant it, must be very patient. Here is how I do it. Start uncovering from the shoot on down, find the root, which is shallow , horizontal. Uncover as much of the root(s) you can, brake it off and plant it in a new location. This better to be done in late fall or very eraly spring.
growing from seed is possible and easy but it will take a couple of years to get established.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 1:39PM
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York, PA I bought a P. Caerulea in the spring/summer of 08 and didnt even think twice of planting in the ground. Its tucked nicely against the trunk of a 40+ft Sycamore facing west. It recieves dappled light until around 4pm and direct after that. Year one was AMAZING! Loads of beautiful blooms until late Sep/early Oct when I pruned it back to within 6 in. 09 was a rainy, cool summer and passiflora didnt emerge until Sep only to die a month later before producing any flowers. This year she came back with a vengeance...or so I thought. ;( Broke the surface in May with 3 new shoots and grew rapidly up and along a bamboo trellis before overtaking the Sycamore behind it. 2 more shoots started about 3 weeks ago(its oct 13th now) and the longest is about 15ft. Lush green leaves but NOT A SINGLE bud anywhere... I havent fertilized since its been planted. Just letting it grow naturally. Any ideas why no blooms? Thanks

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 10:20PM
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