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Passion Flower (Passiflora)

This species is best known for its 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 and 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

Requirements / Price

A passion flower should be planted in a sunny wind-protected location.The earth must be well drained and enriched with compost, sand, and peat. Needs a good water supply; fertilization is beneficial. In warmer climates this passiflora may last several years, but it needs to be mulched in winter with leaves, needles or straw. When planted in a pot, the passion flower can be wintered in a light and cool room at 5° to 10° C, in moist earth. The white flowering cultivar "Constance Elliott" from England is frost hardier than the blue cultivar.

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Characteristics and Pruning

The passion flower is a twining vine originally from Argentina, Brasil and Peru. The dark and beautiful leaves can be evergreen in some climates. Planted in the ground it can reach 7 - 12 metres 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 - October). The flowers are open only by day. Spanish priests have compared the shape of the flowers with Christian Symbols: 10 petals for 10 Apostles, the stamen ring as the crown of thorns, 5 filaments as 5 wounds, and 3 stigmas as the nails (2 for hands, 1 for feet). The fruits of passiflora caerula have the size of an egg but are not edible. Heavy pruning is necessary in early spring.

Climbing Aids on Facades

Small trellises with 25 - 35 cm grid spacing; vertical wires should dominate (think rectangles instead of squares). See the table of suitable designs below. The 5050 with steel rods is a good choice. Choose among the easy (basic/basic-s)light or medium construction styles.

Suitable wire rope trellises?

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

Suitable Wire Rope Trellises for Passion Flower

Click on the graphics for details!

 = suitable              = sometimes  suitable      = not suitable