Passiflora winterizing

timroeOctober 22, 2009

I have read many messages about passion flowers. None of them have any information I can use. I need to know how to winterize my perennial passion flower that is planted in the ground. I live in Northeast Wisconsin. Do I cover them with burlap so they can breath or do I cover them with a pot to protect from the cold? Do I put a loam based mixer over the top or can I stuff leaves over the top of them? I can't seem to find a straight answer. Any ideas out there?

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I can't answer your question, however if you have any idea about the identity of the plant it would help. P. incarnata and P. lutea are the two that can stand the most cold. Check some pictures--is it either of those two?

Your zone would also be useful. I suspect you'll have to move it someplace warm.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 11:48PM
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To iterate the last remark, indeed the species or hybrid would make a big difference in what advice to give. If you do not know what it is, can you post some pictures for us to look at?

If it is in the ground, and digging it up is not an option, and you cannot provide us with any more information about the plant, I would say, "Take lots of cuttings because your chances of it surviving are slim." I just looked up Rhinelander, Wisconsin,(the best I could do for NE WI on short notice) weather history, and last December you hit MINUS 16 degrees. I don't think any Passifloras are going to make it there outdoors. Treat it like an annual...

Sorry I don't have better news.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 3:01PM
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I agree with Eric. I'm in 7a and last winter was unusually brutal. Only one of my cold hardy passies made it and that was just barely. These were established plants that had been growing for several years.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 6:32AM
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jkrup44(9B FL)

On the same topic but in a subtropical climate, I have a similar question. I have expanded my collection quite a bit over the last year and I have the following: P. Edulis, P. Edulis 'Nancy Garrison', P. Caerulea, P. 'Lavender Lady', P. 'Blue Horizon', P. 'Clear Sky', P. Panda, P. vitafolia, P. 'Incense', P. trifasciata, P. Purple Haze', P. 'Witchcraft'. They are all growing along a wooden privacy fence with wooden lattice along the sides. I live in zone 9B, on the cusp of zone 10. Usually Florida winters are very nice, but occasionally there can be a cold snap. Every once in a while, it can even reach freezing for an hour in the night. If I know it is coming, I usually wrap up my sensitive tropicals and palms like the Coconut with a blanket or sheet. This tends to help prevent damage a lot. I will probably do the same for my Passiflora this winter if we get a cold snap. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 9:51PM
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I wish I was in zone 10! Even if the above ground growth is damaged from a cold snap I'd bet they'll just put out new growth. I doubt that it would be possible to wrap an entire vine unless it was small but it might help to try and insulate the lower portion of the vines. I've also heard of people wrapping Christmas lights around tender plants and the containers (if above ground) to provide some heat. If a cold snap is predicted you might also consider taking some cuttings. Someone from your zone will likely post.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 6:44AM
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Hey Josh,

I would only be concerned about, or protect, a few of those:

P. edulis, (both), would prefer to not see frost, but WILL come back if a small one hits it.

P. vitifolia should never see frost if you have any wetness in your soil. Here, it only rains in winter, to I can't keep mine out in the open at all. If it is dry, you should be okay.

P. trifasciata can't take frost. I have lost this plant due to just a short spell.

P. 'Panda' I can't help you out on, as I don't have it. The cuttings you sent me didn't make it. :( Perhaps I'll bug you for it again in spring...

All the rest will be fine with no protection whatsoever. I have grown all of them outdoors down to 23 degrees for short periods, except for P. 'Clear Sky' which is new to me this year, but from what I understand, it should be just dandy.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 8:06PM
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jkrup44(9B FL)

Thanks Karyn. I wasn't really thinking of wrapping the vines, but just covering as much fence as I can over the Passiflora with sheets. I figure that may minimize any cold injury to the leaves while still allowing the plants to breathe. Great advice to take cuttings when a cold snap is predicted. By the way, Florida is always taking new residents. The weather is great, except for the occasional 120 MPH wind gusts!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 8:08PM
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jkrup44(9B FL)

Thanks for the detailed advice Eric. I am actually not too worried about the P. vitifolia. It is actually really common around this area and I can easily find a new one. I have seen them survive here outdoors in several places. Our winters are pretty dry compared to the rest of the year. You are welcome to try the P. 'Panda' again whenever you are ready for it - just let me know.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 8:21PM
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Josh I'd love to be in FL year round but do spend quite a bit of time in West Palm and Boca during the winter. We were seriously considering a move to Weston 5 years ago but we had a surprise child and that nixed any plans for relocation. My older kids are now in their teens and don't want to be uprooted so here we stay.

My vitifolia withstood several nights with frost and showed almost no damage but the soil was quite dry. Has your Panda bloomed yet? I bought one from GK over the summer but it's still fairly small.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 7:03AM
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jkrup44(9B FL)

Karyn, My Panda hasn't bloomed yet - I am hoping it will soon. I also just bought one from GK over the summer. Mine is growing very well and has gotten pretty big, but I haven't seen any buds yet. When I do, I'll be sure to post a picture! There are pros and cons to living in different states and Maryland is very nice.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 1:46PM
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