Winter-hardy varieties

Non-winter-hardy varieties

Tropical varieties

Tips & trivia

 Location and potting soil

Location :

Passion flowers may be placed in the sun, only they require protection from burning when placed under or behind glass.

Potting soil :

Take a mixture of turf, coarse sand, fibre (cocopeat), possibly some perlite and/or composted tree bark. The advantage to cocopeat is that it absorbs and retains moisture easily, and is immediately soaked again even after desiccation.

 Water, nourishment and light

Water, nourishment and light :

- In the winter: do not provide any more nourishment and give less water. Keep the plants at a somewhat lower temperature (7-12°C). In low-light conditions most passion flowers may lose their foliage. They will re-sprout in spring.

- In the summer passion flowers require plenty of light, as well as some plant nourishment in the water every week. Ensure that the plants are never left dry during summer.


Vermin :

- mealybug : This is the worst offender. Particularly on the underside of the leaves woolly lint may gather which tends to stick after a certain time. This lint contains the mealybugs. Swipe with a beer-soaked cloth as soon as they are observed.

- mildew : can be countered with epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) diluted in water

- spider mites : occur in overly dry and warm atmosphere. Counter: simply hose off.


Pruning :

Only required whenever the plant is threatening to grow too large. Always ensure that green, non-wooded stems remain, allowing the plant to create new shoots more readily.


Trivia :

The leaves of the passion flower Passiflora incarnata are utilized in phytotherapy as a soothing and sleeping agent. The flowers contain substances which have an effect comparable to that of Valerian but without the addicting side-effect. They are effective against insomnia, nervousness, nervous heart complaints, muscle cramps and as pain killers for many ailments.

According to legend Spanish missionaries used passion flowers to illustrate the stations of the cross of Jesus Christ. When they discovered passion flowers in America, they saw in the five sepal and the five sepals and petals a reference to 10 of the 12 apostles: Peter and Paul not included. The 3 pistils resembled the nails with which Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross. The corona resembled the crown of thorns Christ bore. The curled vines resembled a whip. The 3 bracts represented the 3 Maries at the cross. The blue colour of the flower referred to the heavens or to Mary's blue dress.

In their natural surroundings they are important host plants (food plants) to the caterpillars of the heliconius butterflies, whereby each butterfly species has its very own passion flower variety. This has sparked a fascinating, no-holds-barred arms race between the butterfly and the plant.
Passion flowers defend themselves with toxic agents and by producing mock butterfly eggs in their leaf axils. The butterflies in turn adapt their metabolisms and make use of the vegetable toxins rendering themselves toxic to birds.

 Useful links
Commercial nursery of flowering potted plants
National collection of Passion Flowers