En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - July 16, 2014

From: Boca Raton, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Problem Plants, Vines
Title: cultivating the invasive Passiflora incense
Answered by: Guy Thompson


Hello! I have been collecting passiflora for a while now, recently I purchased a "P. Incarnata" from a local nursery where I have gotten a few other species to grow along my herb garden recently. Not only has it turned out to be super invasive (i have seen sprouts up to 2 houses away, not to mention all threw my garden) I was also just told recently that its not even an incarnata, it is a P. Incense..I love the flowers and all the butterflies but this is rediculous, its consuming everything. I had been just pulling them up by root but it doesnt seem to be stopping them from shooting up. Are there any other hazards with this species? I have several animals including a tortoise that tends to eat on the adventurous side (my vegetable garden) and are the fruits and flowers edible? Like with the incarnata. Such a waste to destroy these pretty flowers!. Thanks for your help and time -Susan Q.


Don't worry, your tortoise and other creatures are safe.  The P. incense flowers and fruit are not poisonous. This website gives tips about cultivation.  Keeping P. incense within bounds is a difficult challenge.  You could try surrounding each plant by a circle of metal flowerbed edging sunk in the ground to about 6 inches.  Or you could transplant  into a large plastic plant pot after cutting its bottom out and burying it up to its lip in the ground.  That way the runners will not be able to escape the base of the plant.


More Vines Questions

Vines for Madison, Wisconsin
March 12, 2015 - What are some good options for non-aggressive native vines for southern Wisconsin? I am looking for something that can cover a chain-link fence and benefit local insects. I don't want it to take ov...
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming wisteria in Oklahoma
June 24, 2008 - I have a wisteria bush that doesn't bloom. It's two years old. What should I do?
view the full question and answer

Vines for pergola in Fort Worth
March 10, 2009 - I just bought a pergola for back porch 12 x 10 that faces east so gets full morning sun, looking to plant vines for looks and help with shade. Would obviously like something that complements the pergo...
view the full question and answer

Invasive possibly non-native vine in Largo FL
October 03, 2009 - I have vines taking over my backyard, climbing all over the ground and up trees. The vines are huge, non-flowering giant leaves that look like elephant ears. What are these and how can they be contain...
view the full question and answer

Do monarchs like Cynachum laeve in Austin, TX?
May 29, 2012 - I have found what I believe is Honeyvine (Cynanchum laeve) growing in my yard here in Austin. I tried using the LBJWC plant data base and could not find it. I also found the plant with a diff...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center