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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.

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

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Wednesday - July 04, 2007

From: Syracuse, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Vines
Title: Care of Passiflora incarnata or Passiflora coccinea
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hi- I have two passionflowers, one red, one purple. I live in upstate NY. They grow very well up onto trellises, however, they have stopped producing flowers. Both are planted in pots (fairly large) and receive part shade but mostly sun. I have fed miracle grow...any suggestions on how to increase their blooms??

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise are native plants of North America. It is possible that your purple passionflower is Passiflora incarnata (purple passionflower). Its range goes as far north as Pennsylvania, but any red flowering passionflower is going to be a non-native tropical species such as Passiflora coccinea.

Based on our knowledge of the native passionflowers, we can offer the following advice. For vines like these, too much shade and a nitrogen level that is too high are the usual culprits for lack of flowering. You should back off on the fertilizer and make sure that they're getting enough light.


Passiflora incarnata
 

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