PASSYFLORA – passion flower

These evergreen woody-stemmed climbers are grown for their unusually shaped blooms and some produce edible fruits. Most are grown in the greenhouse but there are some hardy enough to survive outside.

Suitable site and soil. Outdoors plant in well-drained ordinary soil in a sheltered position in a sunny spot where they can be trained against a wall. In a greenhouse, plant in a sunny position where they can be trained up a pillar or trellis in a tub or John Innes potting compost No. 3 or in well-drained, good soil in a greenhouse border.

Cultivation and care. Plant outdoors in spring and in green- 148 houses in late winter. Water freely in spring and summer; water sparingly in autumn and winter. Keep above 7°C – 45°F in greenhouse. Prune overgrown plants in late winter removing weak shoots; remove frost damage from outdoor plants.

Propagation. Increase by semi-ripe cuttings with bottom heat in summer or from seed sown in greenhouse in spring.

Recommended varieties. P. caerulea, with pink-Hushed white flowers with blue banded crowns, climbs to 6m – 20ft, is frost hardy and can be grown outdoors. A good variety is P.c. ‘Constance Elliott’ which has pure white flowers and is more hardy. Fruit producing P. edulis can grow in a greenhouse to 6m – 20ft and has white and purple flowers in early summer.

Pests and diseases. Not pest prone but may suffer the leaf deformation and discoloration of cucumber mosaic virus.

CONSERVATORY CLIMBER

In summer, P. quadrangularis has unusual green, white, pink and purple flowers. It makes a truly exotic display in a conservatory climbing up a pillar from a pot.

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