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Passion flowers (passiflora)

This species is best known for the edible passion fruits. It grows in the tropical regions of several continents, with numerous species and cultivars. In Europe it is not always winter hardy and we describe it here as an annual plant. The "Blue Passionflower" Passiflora caerulea lasts several years in is therefore the most interesting passion flower for the greening of façades and walls.

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Latin: Passiflora caerulea

Blue passion flower Passiflora caerulea

Needs / Price

A passion flower should be planted in a sunny and protected position. The earth must be well drained, and enriched with compost, sand and peat. Enough water and fertilisation are necessary. In warmer cliamtes this passiflora may last several years but it needs to be mulched in winter with leaves, needles or straw. When planted in a container, the passion flower can be hibernated in a light and cool room at 5° to 10° C, in moist earth. The white flowering cultivar "Constance Elliott" is more frost resistant thatn the blue cultivar.

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Characteristics and pruning

The passion flower is a twining vine originally from Argentina, Brasil and Perou. The dark and beautiful leaves can be evergreen in some climates. Planted in the ground it can reach 7 to 12 meters in height. The spectacular flowers on the younger shoots come in white, red or lilac from May to September or even later after very cold winters (July to October). The flowers are open only by day. Spanish priests have compared the shape of the flowers with Christian Symbols: 10 petals for 10 Apostels, The stamen ring as the crown of thorns, 5 filaments as 5 wounds and three stigmas as the (2 for hands, 1 for feet). The fruits of passiflora caerula have the size of an egg but are not edible. Heavy pruning necessary in early spring.

Growing aids on facades

Small trellises with a  25 - 35 cm mesh, vertical wires should dominate (think rectanngles instead of squares. There is a table of suitable designs at the bottom. The 5050 with steel rods.is a good choice. Choose among the Simple ("Basic" and "Basic-S"), light or Medium ranges.

Suitable wire rope trellises?

Click on the picture to jump to the table of all suitable trellis designs.

Suitable wire trellises for passion flowers

Click on the pictures for more information on each trellis

 = suitable              = sometimes  suitable      = not suitable