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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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Sunday - March 27, 2011

From: DeKalb, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Vines
Title: Problems with purple passion flower from DeKalb TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Yes my purple passion plant, is pretty but there is a piece of it that's all limp, what do I need to do to revive it?

ANSWER:

That's not a whole lot of information, so all we can do is tell you what we know about Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower) and maybe you can find out on your own what caused the limp part. One of the things you should investigate would be is there a break or cut in the stem? This may mean the moisture and nutrients the stem needs from the roots and leaves have been cut off. Since this plant tends to run along the ground until it can find something to climb up, perhaps some large animal (including the human species) has stepped on that stem and crushed it. At any rate, if you can find the area of damage, just clip off the damaged stem and, as fast-growing and aggressive as this plant is, it will quickly recover. Another possibility is caterpillars. If you follow the plant link above to our page on the purple passionflower, you will learn that it is a larval and/or nectar source to a number of butterflies and moths. If it's a larval host, that means caterpillars. If you have caterpillars, don't try to kill them until you have investigated the flying insects they will become. You can also go to BAMONA (Butterflies and Moths of North America) for more information on who is eating what where.

As for that limp stem, no, there is probably nothing you can do to revive it, just nip it off and let the plant fill in on its own.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Passiflora incarnata


Passiflora incarnata


Passiflora incarnata

 

 

 

 

 

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