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Did my lack of patience kill off my passiflora?

Posted by outinthegardenallday Zone 7, LI,NY (My Page) on
Sun, May 25, 08 at 7:49

Greetings all - I bought a passiflora, name unknown, last year in the Manhattan Flower District last year (picture below - no fruit but quite a "prolific" grower). I planted her in a terrific spot - next to our chimney where she received tons of sun. And she loved it...oh did she ever. That plant took off. Not knowing what to do with her overwinter (I'm in the middle of Long Island) one of you here directed me to a gentleman's website in Britain. He made a suggestion of taking a flat piece of styrofoam and placing it over the bottom of the plant to keep out rain and possible freeze/thaw.

This brings me to this Spring. The plant looked dead...nothing was coming up at the site. So I ripped it out yesterday. It wasn't dry, felt pliable but I figured it was dead. Then my husband looks at the roots and found two tiny pieces of new growth - much to my surprise.. Since I had already planted the area, I repotted the plant into some potting mix.

So what's your verdict fellow gardeners? I know I should have listened - mayPOP should have been my clue. Have I killed her off for good?

Thanks for your responses and public flogging (although I certainly do deserve it!!!)

p.s. Upon further investigation, we found two pieces of vine growing through pacysandra that was to the left of the plant - although we can find it's "source) - rest assured, those I'm leaving alone!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Did my lack of patience kill off my passiflora?

  • Posted by chills Zone 6b Mi (My Page) on
    Sun, May 25, 08 at 20:56

Bad news is that the passion flower you have pictured is not maypop (passion flower incarnata). Looks to me to be
Caerulea (which isn't as hardy as maypop, but is capable of surviving your winters in a protected area).

I would say that passion flowers are pretty tough plants and given good care the one you ripped out just might make a comeback.

Congratulations on your overwintering, I've had that one survive the winter to be killed by an untimely late freeze (but Maypop makes it fine, as long as I don't try looking for it before its good and ready to make its appearance)


RE: Did my lack of patience kill off my passiflora?

That is indeed caerulea. They tolerate light freezes much better than incarnata without losing any vegetation, but when temps drop below 25-20 degrees they'll freeze to the ground and regrow from the roots in the spring. As you're finding out now. It didn't produce fruit because they need to be pollinated by a separate plant that's not a clone. Sadly, while caerulea fruit is "edible" in the technical sense, they are so bland as to be unpleasant. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but ask anyone who's sampled a fruit from a caerulea and they'll most likely agree.

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