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?

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
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
2 ratings

Saturday - March 02, 2013

From: Boulder, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Invasive Plants, Vines
Title: Passionflower Vine for Boulder
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I would love to have a passionflower vine growing up an arbor. I have read comments online that indicate: 1. I can grow some types of passionflowers in Colorado. 2. The plants can become very invasive. Do I need to worry about the invasiveness of these plants in Colorado? If I want to be certain of containing the roots can I put some type of barrier in the ground to keep plants contained? Any suggestions and how deep should the barrier go? Which varieties will grow in CO? Thanks so much for advice!

ANSWER:

There are about six (depending on how taxonomists group which plants together) native Passiflora (passionflower) vines in the United States. Exquisite in bloom and great screening plants, these vines can mostly be found in the warmest parts of the country. There are two that can tolerate colder winter weather conditions and could be possibilities for your garden in Colorado. The hardiest native passionflower vines are Passiflora incarnata and P. lutea.

Boulder, Colorado is in the USDA plant hardiness zone 5b/6a so these plants will need to be located in a protected site, given lots of extra mulch to insulate the roots and will die down to the ground during the winter.  A plentiful amount of continuous snow cover is also an excellent insulating blanket for the winter.  If it is too risky to grow these two passionflower vines outdoors in Boulder, then consider planting them in large containers and moving the containers into a garage or basement for the winter.  Then move them out to the garden in late spring.

The native passionflowers are: Passiflora affinis (native to TX), Passiflora foetida (AZ, FL, HI, and TX), Passiflora incarnata (DE to MO) Hardiness zone 5-7 to 10. Passiflora lutea (PA to FL) Hardiness zone 5 to 9 and tolerant of winter temperatures down to -15 or -30 deg. C. Passiflora suberosa (TX), and Passiflora tenuiloba (NM to TX).

There are no worries about any Passiflora becoming invasive in Colorado. The areas where native or exotic passionflower vines are an invasive issue are locations such as Hawaii where there is not a winter freeze to control the plant. A good resource for invasive plant information is the Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States developed by the University of Georgia - Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health and the National Parks Service (among other partners).

 

From the Image Gallery


Bracted passionflower
Passiflora affinis

Corona de cristo
Passiflora foetida

Corona de cristo
Passiflora foetida

Purple passionflower
Passiflora incarnata





Yellow passion vine
Passiflora lutea

Bird wing passionflower
Passiflora tenuiloba

More Invasive Plants Questions

More on oak problems in Carrollton TX
April 04, 2011 - Thank you for answering me, I will contact a specialist to see if we can determine the cause. but since writing you we have pulled down a small twig to see the leaf more closely, it is more of a reddi...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating dogbane from transplanted milkweed in Franklin Lakes NJ
May 10, 2010 - We transplanted milkweed from the wild into our garden. Included in the clump of milkweed was dogbane. We weren't aware of how invasive dogbane is. We've has some success in digging it out but we'...
view the full question and answer

How to get rid of devils club (Oplopanax horridus)
November 22, 2007 - please tell me how to get rid of devils club!!!
view the full question and answer

Invasive definition kalanchoe pinnata
June 05, 2006 - The plant Kalanchoe pinnata is listed as being invasive. What does that mean? Is it a weed or does it interefere with metropolitan plumbing? (root system)
view the full question and answer

Invasive American Germander from San Antonio
May 14, 2012 - I brought home some American Germander (Teucruim canadense) - page 259 In Wildflowers of Texas by Geyata Ajilvsgi - from a railroad right-of-way. Since it is a member of the mint family it has becom...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center