Friday, September 24, 2010

How to grow passion flowers / Passiflora incarnata/Maypop

Passiflora incarnata, commonly known as May-pop, Purple passionflower, True passionflower, Wild apricot, and Wild passion vine, is a fast growing perennial vine with climbing or trailing stems.
The Maypops are a common roadside weed, found throughout many areas of the Southeastern United States where it often grows in large masses in ditches and open fields.
 This is a subtropical representative of this mostly tropical family. However, unlike the more tropical cousins, this particular species is hardy enough to withstand the cold down to -4°F (-20°C) before its roots die (it is native as far north as Pennsylvania and has been cultivated as far north as Boston and Chicago.)
It enjoys some popularity as a native plant with edible fruit and few pests.
It grows natively in all parts of the Americas.
 Hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9 and thrives in full sun to partial shade exposure. The vines can easily grow up to 15 feet in a season. Flowers from July - September with fruiting following bloom and ripening in the late summer and fall.
Grow it on a fence or trellis, or simply allow it to scramble harmlessly over your shrubs and trees. It is a speedy growing, flowering and fruiting vine that uses tendrils to climb and spread.

The fleshy fruit, also called a Maypop, is an oval yellowish berry about the size of a hen egg; it is green at first, but then becomes orange as it matures. .

The History of the Passion Flower

Passiflora incarnata derived the early common name of Maypop from the way it just seems to 'Pop' out of the ground in May.
Maypops were eventually renamed as the Passion Flower by missionaries in the early 1500s.
The missionaries believed (or professed) that several parts of the plant, including the petals, rays, and sepals, symbolized features of the crucifixion of Christ.
Regardless of what you choose to call the Passiflora incarnata vine, these 3 inch diameter flowers are very unique and beautiful.

How to grow from seeds 
Seed germination, sowing instructions for Passion flower. Passiflora incarnata is easy to grow from seeds.
Evergreen, fast growing climber. Pre-soak seed overnight in warm water. Best sowing time is winter or early spring. Germination can take several months! Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If you want to grow your plants outdoors, it is best to keep them in the house/greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring, after the last expected frosts. Passiflora prefers a moist but well drained soil, and sunny location. Hardy to about -15 degrees C. To overwinter outdoors, cut down to the ground and mulch the roots well in late autumn to protect them from the cold.

As with other passifloras, it is the larval food of a number of butterfly species, including the Zebra longwing and Gulf Fritillary .
Here are some pretty pictures of it from my friend Laura .
Gulf Fritillary

here's Laura's  blog
Read more: How to Grow Passiflora Incarnata | Garden Guides

Read more: Passion Flower or Maypop |

How to keep it growing

Have you got tips or pictures to add? 

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the helpful info!! they grow wild in the field across the street from me!! beautiful flowers!! the butterflies love it and it'll get eaten to the ground by their larval. does come back (well, most of the time!)
    thanks!! :) can you/do you press these flowers????


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