Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Passioflora - Passion Fruit - Beauty for one day and common problems
They are located in full sun, so they should have done really well. But they have not. They looked sad, didn't grow and any new vines that grew immediately turned hard without ever even trying to wrap and cling around our arbor. So, Roberto was already making arrangements for their demise.
Until recently. One fine day in July, I noticed new growth.
And then a few weeks later, the very first flower.
Now, if you have never seen a passion flower, it is quite amazing. They are only open for one day and they have special requirements for their pollinator. Typically, only a large bee or better a hummingbird can do the job.
Since our regular Italian bees most likely were not capable of giving this picky plant what it needed, we hope that our many hummingbirds were able to do the trick. Let's see and wait. So far, the flower closed after only one day of beauty and the pedals are still connected but I have not seen any fruit setting yet.
What does the passion flower want?
Well draining soil, full sun, lots of compost (twice a year - one in early spring and one mid summer), frost-free climate (most varieties will grow in USDA 7-10), if possible, plant them in early spring.
Because they are vines, they like to climb up and around some sort of structures.
While it is said, they are fast growers, I cannot say this yet about ours but then again, we have only had them for about 5 months.
While they can be grown from seeds, it may be better to get a rootstock to ensure disease resistance.
They are actually great container plants and not to forget the stunning flower, which start flowering in August.
"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis