Passion Flower Container Care: How To Grow Passion Fruit Vines In Pots

By: Liz Baessler

Passion flowers are truly remarkable. Their blooms can pass in as little as a day, but while they’re around, they’re outstanding. And with certain varieties, they are followed by the incomparable passion fruit. Passion flowers are native to South America and only the hardiest cultivars can survive winters as cold as USDA zone 6. Because of this, many people choose to grow passion fruit vines in pots that can be moved indoors during the cold months. Keep reading for information on caring for passion flowers in pots.

Container Grown Passion Flowers

Passion fruit vines need very large containers. If you’re transplanting, choose a container that’s two to three times the size of your current one. Fill your container with well-draining, nutrient-rich potting material.

Passion fruit vines are fantastic growers and climbers, often gaining 15-20 feet (4.5-6 m.) of length in a single year. This means it’s essential to give the vine some kind of growing structure, like a trellis or a chain-link fence.

Position your container grown passion flowers about one foot (0.3 m.) away from your structure. Even if you’re planning on moving your vine indoors for the winter, it’s alright to let it climb a fixed outdoor object. When winter comes, you can cut the vine down to one or two feet (0.3-0.6 m.) high so it can be easily stored indoors. It’s such a fast grower that it will easily make up for the lost length in the spring.

Caring for Passion Flowers in Pots

Passion flower container care isn’t too difficult. Keep the soil moist, but don’t overwater. Make sure your container drains readily.

Position your container in full sun, unless you live in an area with steady, intense heat. If that’s the case, place your vine in partial shade.

Fertilize your vine regularly.

That’s it! Now that you know how easy it is to grow passion vines in containers, you can enjoy yours both indoors and out.

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6 Fabulous Flowering Vines to Grow in Containers

Many beautiful and easy-to-grow flowering vines grow well in containers. Most are true annuals or warm-weather perennials grown as annuals. If you happen to live in a warm-weather climate, there are also perennial vines that can work well for large containers on a deck or patio, such as clematis.

Container-grown vines are best planted in a moist, general-purpose planting mix, and in a fairly large container. If you don't want your vines trailing down out of the pot, you'll need a trellis, which you can buy or make yourself. An easy way to make a trellis is also quite informal: Simply stick small, straight branches into the soil around your plant, creating a structure the vines can climb. Another idea is to spray paint bamboo poles and then use a decorative zip tie or twine to fasten the poles together at the top, like a colorful teepee. You can also place vining plants in containers against a wall to which you've attached a trellis for them to grow on.

Here are six great choices for a flowering vine for your container gardening.

How to Grow Hardy Passion flower.

Passion flowers can be planted in spring or early Autumn when the soil is still warm, and the autumn rains will water the plant until it is well-established. If planted in spring or summer, it will be necessary to ensure the plant has plenty of water until established, after which it will look after itself. An ideal planting place for a Passion flower is a sheltered spot, southwest or west facing, close to wall if possible to protect from cold winds and in well-drained soil which is on the moist side, not too dry. If the ground is too dry, or there are dry conditions it may be necessary to water Passion flowers.

Passion flowers grow best and produce the most flowers in full sun, when they may also produce fruits in form of orange /yellow oval fruits. Hardy Passion flowers will survive most of our winters, but in colder areas the plant will need protection such as a mulch to the roots, or even a hessian cover during the coldest months. Passion flower will grow in any soil, alkaline or acid, and in moist soil provided it is well drained.

Passion flowers require little or no maintenance and can be vigorous growing up to 8-12 meters. They can be grown in a container, but will require a largish container given they are a vigorous climber. Also, by necessity, the more tender varieties will need to be grown in a container to bring under cover for winter.

Gardening advise often makes mention of growing passion flowers in a conservatory. The problem is that many conservatories in the summer reach high temperatures, which makes it a hostile environment for most plants. (An exception are Pelargoniums which tolerate conservatory conditions.) Unless your conservatory is well-ventilated, cooled and with a good amount of shade it is likely to be too hot and bake most plants including passion flowers.

Passiflora caerulea 'Constance Elliott' is hardy to H4 and is illustrated top centre. It will need a more sheltered spot and is a little more tender than the blue variety. It has lovely white flowers which have the additional benefit of being scented. It will need winter protection.

The third image on the right, P.violacea is more tender still and will only withstand temperatures down to 1.C and will need glass or greenhouse protection over winter.

The Latin name for Passion flower, is Passiflora, so called after the Passion of Christ. It is said that the stigmas and anthers represent the nails on the cross and the wounds.

There are lots of attractive climbing plants to choose from for your garden. For more information, images, and growing advice about climbing plants.

How to Grow a Passion Flower in Florida

Passion flower (Passiflora) is a tropical vine native to South America and well adapted to growing in Florida’s subtropical and tropical climate. Three fruiting varieties grow in Florida: Passiflora edulis, Passiflora edulis Flavicarpa and Passiflora quadrangularis. Some say the flower of the passion vine represents the Crucifixion of Christ. This hardy, perennial vine is a vigorous grower reaching heights of up to 20 feet. Frost sensitive, the purple passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) is the only edible variety that will tolerate some frost in winter without dying.

Select an area in your landscape that drains well and is located in full to partial sun. Passion flower is well suited for growing in Florida’s sandy soil and will bloom best and have the best fruit production if the vine receives some sunlight throughout the day.

  • Passion flower (Passiflora) is a tropical vine native to South America and well adapted to growing in Florida’s subtropical and tropical climate.

Choose an area to plant passion flower where there is a trellis, fence, wall or other object for the vine to crawl on. Keep in mind that this is an aggressive grower so do not plant in an area where the vine can take over--such as next to your house or near power lines.

Plant the passion flower vine in early spring when all chances of cold weather have left your region in Florida. Amend the planting site with compost or manure, working it into the soil to a depth of approximately 6 inches. Though passion flower vine grows well in Florida’s sandy soil, the addition of organic material will benefit growth and bloom production.

Dig a hole approximately two to three times larger than the passion flower vine’s root ball. Situate the hole approximately 1 foot from the object the vine will crawl on. Water the planning hole.

  • Choose an area to plant passion flower where there is a trellis, fence, wall or other object for the vine to crawl on.
  • Though passion flower vine grows well in Florida’s sandy soil, the addition of organic material will benefit growth and bloom production.

Remove the passion flower vine from the container and inspect the roots. If growing in a circular direction, make two to three vertical slits in the root ball so the roots will begin growing in a straight direction.

Place the vine in the planting hole and fill halfway with soil, planting no deeper than it was growing in the container. Firm up the area by stepping on the soil and then continue filling the hole entirely with soil, firming up once again.

Water the passion flower vine, thoroughly saturating the roots. Relatively drought tolerant once established, passion flower vines benefit from weekly watering, especially during Florida’s long, hot summers.

Fertilize passion flower starting with an early spring application before the vine starts its spring growth. Use a 6-6-6 all-purpose fertilize, spreading in a circle around the base of the plant. Continue fertilizing the vine in four equal applications throughout the growing season of spring through early fall.

  • Remove the passion flower vine from the container and inspect the roots.
  • Use a 6-6-6 all-purpose fertilize, spreading in a circle around the base of the plant.

Prune to remove dead and damaged wood or to control the vine’s size in late winter.

Pests are usually not a problem with passion flower vines. The zebra longwing and gulf fritillary butterflies use the vine as a larval food.

Container Gardening with Climbing Plants

Climbing plants can make a lovely addition to a landscape or home, but are they right for everyone?

There are some beautiful specimens of climbing plants available at your local garden center or DIY store. If you, like so many others, want to grow tall plants and vines but are stuck on a rental property and worry about any damage long, trailing plants could cause, you can rest easy. There’s an easy way to have climbing plants in your home, and you don't even have to plant them directly in the ground. Simple containers can often be the best spot for climbing plants. Imagine how beautiful it would be to have two planters on either side of your front door featuring a classic ivy or iconic climbing roses. You’ll get the spectacle of vertical gardening with much more versatility.

Finding the Right Containers

Knowing how to choose the right container for your garden comes down to two factors: size and depth. Consider the root system of the species you're planting, and ask yourself if you're working with a climbing plant that has roots that grow downward or a creeping plant with roots that tend to spread out in a wide berth. A lot of planters make the mistake of focusing solely on water drainage when setting up their container gardens, and while proper planter irrigation is important prevent the roots of your climbing plant from getting overly wet and rotting, so is picking the right size, shape, and depth.

Preparing Your Containers

So what happens if you find the perfect container but it doesn't have good drainage? Depending on what your planter's made of, you can just add some drainage holes yourself. Plastic is easiest material to create drainage with using a power drill or even just a hammer and nails. Ceramic planters are a bit tricker, but drainage can be added carefully using either a masonry bit for ceramic pots that are unglazed or a glass/tile bit for glazed ceramic containers. The key here is to take your time, as rushing could result in damage to your planter. Still, these homemade holes can provide just as much drainage for your climbing plants as an expensive planter manufactured to look like Swiss cheese can.

Even if your container already has adequate drainage holes, you can give your climbers a leg up by adding a layer of rocks and some sand to the very bottom. Then, follow up with the growing media that you’re planning on using. Some climbing plants do better with these amendments to the soil, so tailor your enhancements to fit the needs of your climbing or hanging plant.

Climbing Plants vs. Hanging Plants

Containers should also be sturdy enough to support the upward weight of their climbing plants as they grow. Some planters may tip as your plant gets taller and more substantial. For instance, Chinese Wisteria is an amazingly beautiful plant and can spice up any area, but it’s also surprisingly heavy, and the larger it grows, the more strain will be put on your container. Y ou should look for a container that has room for an added support system, or even one that’s got a built-in trellis in place.

Alternatively, you can transform your climbing plants into hanging plants by suspending your containers and skipping the trellis. Virginia creeper, for example, is a fast growing vine that can quickly climb a trellis and reach for the skies or beautifully spill out of a hanging planter with cascading blooms.

Planting Your Containers

As with any planting, you’ve got the choice of either starting your own seeds or buying an established seedling from a garden center. Several climbing plants are easy to start from seeds, such as morning glories, black-eyed Susans, and moonflowers. Plus, it can be fun to start entirely from scratch and see what you’re able to nurture. One helpful trick to prep your seeds before planting is to knick the seed coat lightly and wrap the seed in a damp paper towel to make it sprout faster. The sooner you have that healthy sprout, the sooner you can place it into your prepared container.

Not all plants are simple to start from seeds (roses, we’re looking at you), and there’s nothing wrong with getting instant gratification from a seedling planted in a container for fast curb appeal. Grow smart, not hard.

Climbing Plants That Work Well in Containers

Putting climbers and creepers in planters is not everyone's first instinct, as again, climbing plants are typically vines that wrap around trellises and crawl up walls. So if you are going to choose containers, make sure you choose a climber that will thrive in that setting. Some possibilities include sweet peas, morning glories, ivy bougainvillea, climbing hydrangea, passion flower, Virginia creeper, climbing roses, clematis, trumpet vine, honeysuckle, common jasmine, grapes, wisteria, and canary creeper. This list is just a short selection of potential plants to use in your container. Don’t be shy when you go to pick out your plants at the garden center. Talk to the staff to get their recommendations if you’re not finding one you like. They'll be able to steer you away from the plants that won't do well in containers.

Maintaining Your Planters

It’s time to start changing your landscape with some lovely climbing plants in containers around your home and garden. As each plant is unique, you’ll want to make sure you're giving them all proper care as the begin to grow taller over time. For instance, any plant in a container will dry out quicker than those planted in the soil. If you've suspended any of your planters, a good way to check the moisture levels in them is to try and lift them a bit with your palm. A damp and heavy feel means that there's a good amount of water in your soil, but lightweight or chalky-feeling soil means that it may be time to water. Before long, your climbing plants will be the envy of all your neighbors.

About Shannon McKee

About Shannon McKee

Shannon McKee is an urban gardener that has been gardening seriously for over ten years now. Much to her husband’s chagrin, every year it seems like her once little patch of the backyard gets bigger and bigger. She’s always looking for ways to get the most out of her garden without spending a fortune. She focuses mostly on vegetables, but a few flowers and fruits pop up in her yard here or there. There’s nothing better in her mind than heading out to the garden and making a healthy snack to enjoy during the day. As a stay at home mom who works from home, she de-stresses by getting her hands dirty.

Watch the video: WOW! Amazing Agriculture Technology - Passion fruit

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