En Español

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

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

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


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.


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

More Vines Questions

Front Door Vine in Alabama
March 02, 2013 - I live in Birmingham, AL in a large-scale, white brick, French-style home. I would like to have a vine over my front door. I don't want an invasive vine (seed pods that create new vines or attaches t...
view the full question and answer

Identification of thorny vine in Michigan
May 21, 2013 - We have a species growing around our rural SW Michigan property that I'm trying to identify: I either see stalks up to 3 ft tall, or much longer vines if they find anchor. The most notable characte...
view the full question and answer

Climbing vines that are deer resistant
July 12, 2013 - Please find plants that are climbing vines and are deer resistant
view the full question and answer

Vine Choices Scarce in Beaverton Oregon
June 08, 2012 - Hi, I am looking for a hearty vine that we could use to cling to and cover a cement wall that is about 8 feet tall and 30 feet long. It is on the south side of our house but never gets direct sunli...
view the full question and answer

Problems with morning glory in Tennessee.
June 09, 2009 - I recently moved to Tennessee from Michigan. On my property I have a perennial morning glory. This year the leaves are all bubbly, the stems have white hard stuff on them and there is a brown hard t...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center