How to Grow Passion Vines in Texas

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Passion vines are known for their dramatic flowers.
Passion vines are known for their dramatic flowers. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Grown for its flowers and fruit, the passion vine, or passiflora, is a tropical vine native to Texas and the southeastern United States, plus South America and Central America. It is said to have gotten its name from missionaries who thought parts of the vine's dramatic flowers symbolized Christ's crucifixion. There are more than 400 varieties of passiflora, with flowers in shades of blue, purple, pink, red, white and yellow. Because passion vine is native to Texas, it grows well there, but Texas gardeners will have the most success growing it under certain lighting, temperature, water and soil conditions.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Trellis
  • 10-5-20 water-soluble fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
  • Mulch

Shop for and purchase your passion vine. A few varieties that do well in Texas are Passiflora incarnata, Passiflora alatocaerulea, Passiflora vitifolia and Passiflora caerulea. Look for plants with glossy leaves and vigorous roots.

While passion vine can also be grown from seed, the seeds may take up to one year to germinate. Therefore, seedlings or more mature plants are recommended.

Choose your planting location. If you live in Coastal or South Texas, where the temperature does not drop below freezing during the winter, you may plant your passion vine directly in the ground in a spot with partial to full sun, and good drainage. Plant your vine near a tee, fence or the side of your house for a little extra protection during the winter.

If you live in Central or North Texas, plant your passion vine in a pot so that you can bring it in during the coldest months.

Dig a hole about two or three times bigger than the vine's root ball. Fill the bottom of the hole with a mixture of half compost and half garden soil. Place the vine in the hole so that the top of the vine's soil is even with the ground. Fill in all around with more garden soil and compost. Tamp gently around the base of the vine.

Place a trellis or other climbing structure near the plant. If your vine is long enough, gently wrap a few tendrils around the trellis to encourage it to grow up the trellis.

Water thoroughly but do not let the vine sit for prolonged periods in water that does not drain. Water daily during the hottest months, if necessary.

Fertilize every other week with a water-soluble fertilizer labeled 10-5-20.

Cut your passion vine back when cold weather arrives. Apply a heavy layer of mulch at the base of the plant to help keep the roots warm. Give it some time in the spring, and it should grow anew once the weather warms.

If your passion vine is in a pot, bring it inside for the winter. Once you bring it in, you have two choices: either keep it in a bright window and allow it to continue growing, or let it go dormant and keep it in a dark room, giving it very little water.

If you live in a tropical climate, you may skip this step.

Tips & Warnings

  • Passion vines are sometimes called May-pops, because of the popping noise the fruit makes when stepped on.
  • Passion vine can grow over 30 feet in height or length, so give it lots of room to grow.
  • Incarnata and caerulea often survive temperatures below 32 degrees F.

References

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