Passiflora incarnata, or Maypop, is the coldest hardy of the Passion vines. It is native from Virginia to Florida, west to Missouri and south to Texas. The deciduous vine will reach approximately 13 feet (3.5 m) in length with deeply 3-lobed leaves 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) long. Here in Oklahoma, they grow in fence rows and at the edge of forests. It is one of the under utilized native vines that we have. They are hardy in the landscape in USDA zones 6-9.
Blooming: In the greenhouse, the flowers form solitary blooms in the leaf axils. The 3 inch (7.6 cm) flowers are lavender with 2 outer rings of filamentous corona that can range from pink to purple. Flowers are followed by 2 inch (5 cm) light yellow, edible fruit. Very showy.
Culture: Passiflora incarnata needs full sun to light shade, with a rich soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. The plants are well watered and allowed to dry slightly before watering again. They are fertilized on a monthly basis with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season. Since they are vigorous growers, they should be repotted yearly at the start of the growing season. In late September, we move the plants to the cool room for the winter. Water is gradually withheld and the nighttime temperatures are dropped to 48°F (9°C) until all foliage dies back, when the plant should be trimmed back. When new growth starts in the spring, one should repot and resume the watering schedule.
Propagation: Passiflora incarnata plants are propagated by cuttings and from seed. Cuttings are very slow to root, so you might be better off producting plants from seed.
Passiflora incarnata was featured as Plant of the Week July 29-August 4, 2005.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.