Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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?

Share

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - April 11, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seasonal Tasks, Vines
Title: Late emergence of passiflora incarnata hybrid in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Two years ago I planted in my clay soil garden a variation on native passiflora incarnata; the passiflora Elizabeth (a cross between passiflora incarnata and passiflora phoenicia)because I hoped it prove to be more drought-resistant here in Austin, Texas. It bloomed weakly the first year but sprouted vines vigorously. During last year's searing heat and drought, little growth and it barely bloomed (despite my burying a banana peel and sporadic applications of seaweed fertilizer). Now after February's snow and hard freeze, it's late March and I see no signs of life, just woody vine remanants. I have no experience with passiflora other than this plant. Is it dead? I see no green sprouting whatsoever. I have done no pruning and water with care not to overwater. Any advice as to how to care for it and, of course, to promote blooming, would be much appreciated. Thank you.

ANSWER:

The only true native of the three mentioned is Passiflora incarnata (purple passionflower). All we could find out about cultivar 'Elizabeth' was what you already knew, that it was a hybrid of P. incarnata and P. phoenicia. Beyond that, it gets a little murky. We found only one mention of phoenicia and this was in Dave's Garden, a forum, where it was referred to as a cultivar 'Ruby Glow' of Passiflora incarnata (purple passionflower). The pictures with that site were of a reddish-purple flower, which could have been a sport or a mutation of the original species that was developed further by a commercial nursery. So, we are looking at a "double hybrid," making its true characteristics even harder to determine. However, we are of the opinion that the clematis is a late-emerging vine in the Spring, and the late frosts may have inhibited it even more, although it should still regrow from the corms or tubers, which are protected from freezes by the warm earth. On the subject of weak blooms, this plant needs full sun to really bloom well, although it will grow in part shade. And, cut out the heavy nitrogen applications. Nitrogen makes plants very happy, they leaf out heavily in response to it, but don't get around to flowering much. Native plants seldom need fertilizer, as they should already be accustomed to the soils and climate in which they are growing.  If the plant doesn't start showing some signs of life by May 1, it's dead.

 

From the Image Gallery


Purple passionflower
Passiflora incarnata

Purple passionflower
Passiflora incarnata



Purple passionflower
Passiflora incarnata

More Vines Questions

climbing vine for growth in sand
July 11, 2012 - I live in Grand Beach, MI. My house sits on a sand dune. I want to plant a flowering vine that will grow up a fence. The area has plenty of sand and I have a trickle watering system. Can you pleas...
view the full question and answer

Identity of a thorny vine in Florida
June 02, 2009 - Area: panhandle of FL Problem: thorny vine with large potato like roots, rapid growing and very invasive. grows in summer time. thanks
view the full question and answer

Locating yellow crossvine
April 20, 2006 - I am attempting to find a yellow crossvine. I am not having much luck. I thought I saw some growing in the Taylor area, but I cannot locate it now. In my memory, the flowers had brown dots on them.
view the full question and answer

Should grape vines be covered in winter from San Antonio
February 07, 2011 - Do I need to cover grape vines in winter?
view the full question and answer

Caterpillars eating passion vines from Austin
May 17, 2012 - My question concerns Yellow passion flower, purple passion vine & butterflies. I have had my passion vines for 3-4 years, each spring they start growing beautifully, then in 1-2 days are almost compl...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.