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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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Monday - April 08, 2013

From: Tunbridge Wells kent, England
Region: Other
Topic: Non-Natives, Vines
Title: Failure to thrive of passion flower in Tunbridge Wells England
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I planted my passion plant 3 years ago and I have really looked after it. I think this winter has killed it, it looks so dead. I hope it can be saved; there isn't one part of it that is looking healthy.I know that they are strong plants but something is really wrong - it is not normal. It was planted in the perfect place and has grown so well until now.

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the specific area where those plants are being grown. When we noticed the ".uk" in your e-mail address we realized you were not only not from around here (Austin, Texas) but not even from North America, which ordinarily would mean we couldn't help you. However, we were intrigued by the fact that you were raising a plant that we are familiar with right here.

Just for fun, we searched our Native Plant Database for the genus Passiflora (Passion Flower) and found 7 plants, all native to Texas, some only to Texas, one native to a tiny corner of South Texas, and others also native to other states. Having gardened in Texas for something over 60 years and also having had the privilege of visiting several gardens in England, including Kent, we can tell you the environment in the two areas is NOT the same. We were curious to see if we were talking about the same plant and what the differences in culture are. So, to begin with, we will give you a list of the Passiflora native to North America and some pictures. You can follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant to learn its growing conditions, how to propagate, etc.

Passiflora affinis (Bracted passionflower)

Passiflora foetida (Corona de cristo)

Passiflora foetida var. gossypiifolia (Cottonleaf passionflower)

Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower)

Passiflora lutea (Yellow passion vine)

Passiflora suberosa (Corkstem passionflower)

Passiflora tenuiloba (Bird wing passionflower)

Then, we Googled on "passion plant in England" and got a number of good references, of which we will link to the best of those, where we are sure you will get much better information than we can give you.

Royal Hortculicultural Society Passion Flower

Passion Flower Cultivation and Propagation

BBC Plant Finder Passion Flower

Gardening Know How Tips for Over Wintering Passion Flower

Bottom line, we think you are right, the plant got too cold and also may be getting too wet. Although it grows mostly in East Texas, where there is usually more rain than in the drought-stricken Central Texas area, you still may get more rain moisture than it really needs.

 

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Bracted passionflower
Passiflora affinis

Corona de cristo
Passiflora foetida

Cottonleaf passionflower
Passiflora foetida var. gossypiifolia

Purple passionflower
Passiflora incarnata

Yellow passionflower
Passiflora lutea

Bird wing passionflower
Passiflora tenuiloba

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