How to grow passion flowers

How to grow passion flowers

All you need to know about growing beautiful passion flowers, in our Grow Guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do Plant in October

Do Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does flower in October

Plant does flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Prune
Prune

Do not Prune in January

Do not Prune in February

Do not Prune in March

Do Prune in April

Do not Prune in May

Do not Prune in June

Do not Prune in July

Do not Prune in August

Do not Prune in September

Do Prune in October

Do not Prune in November

Do not Prune in December

Passion flowers have the most incredible flowers from July to October, usually followed by edible, but not particularly tasty, egg-shaped fruits. Rampant climbers, passion flowers will quickly cover a wall or fence. There’s a few varieties to choose from, including the common passion flower, Passiflora caerulea, which is hardy in most regions of the British isles despite being native to the tropics of South America. Most passion flowers are evergreen with dark green leaves and either white or purple blooms. Some passion flowers are suitable only for growing in a conservatory or greenhouse.

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How to grow passion flowers

Grow passion flowers in full sun to partial shade, in in well-drained soil in a warm, sheltered spot.

More on growing passion flowers:


Where to plant passion flowers

How to grow passion flowers - where to grow passion flowers
How to grow passion flowers – where to grow passion flowers

Plant passion flowers in well-drained soil in full sun in a sheltered spot, such as the foot of a sheltered, sunny wall. You can train passion flowers up a pergola, obelisk or galvanised wires run across a wall. Guide the plant on to the support with a garden cane. The plants are self-clinging thanks to tendrils, so when mature they won’t need tying in.

It is possible to grow passion flowers in containers, however you’ll need to feed and water them more often, and they won’t grow quite as vigorously as those growing in the ground. Choose a gritty, free-draining, peat-free compost.


How to plant passion flowers

On heavy soils, improve the drainage by digging in horticultural grit. Plant your passion flower, tilting it slightly against the obelisk, wall or fence you’re growing it up. Water well and firm in.


Propagating passion flowers

how to grow passion flowers - Passiflora 'Amethyst'
how to grow passion flowers – Passiflora ‘Amethyst’

Growing passion flowers from seed is not easy. Plants that are produced from seed can take over a decade to flower, so propagation from cuttings is preferable.

Take passion flower cuttings in early spring. Remove new growth from below a node – about 6cm in length is long enough. Remove the bottom leaves and tendrils and place the cutting in a pot of cutting compost. Cuttings will root successfully when placed in a propagator with bottom heat of around 20°C.


Growing passion flowers: problem solving

Passion flower
Passion flower

Most passion flowers are native to tropical regions of central and South America. The main problem faced when growing passion flowers is therefore losing them in hard winters. To prevent losing plants, grow in a sheltered spot such as against a west- or south-facing wall, and dig horticultural grit into the planting hole before planting. Taking cuttings in summer can insure against winter losses.


Looking after passion flowers

how to grow passion flowers - Passiflora sanguinolenta 'Maria Rosa'
how to grow passion flowers – Passiflora sanguinolenta ‘Maria Rosa’

Prune passion flowers after flowering just to keep them neat, cutting back to a healthy bud. There’s no need to cut them back hard. If plants have got out of hand and need retraining, cut them back in spring.

Passion flowers grown in a container can be moved into a frost-free place for winter, if necessary. If growing in a greenhouse or conservatory, protect the plants from too much direct sunlight with greenhouse shading.

Cut back any foliage damaged by cold winds, in spring.


Passion flowers to grow

how to grow passion flowers - Passiflora 'Constance Elliot'
how to grow passion flowers – Passiflora ‘Constance Elliot’
  • Passiflora caerulea – blue, white and green flowers in July to October. Hardy. Egg-shaped orange fruits follow the flowers in a good summer. Reaches a height of 10m
  • Passiflora edulis – blue and white flowers in July and August. Only suitable for a cool, but frost-free greenhouse or a sheltered, south-facing city garden. Has black edible fruits. Reaches a height of 5m
  • Passiflora antioquiensis – tender, so winter protection is essential. Soft red flowers with a violet corona. Produces yellow fruits. Reaches a height of 5m
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  • Passiflora mollissima – the flowers of this species are very different. Long tubular, pale-pink flowers in July and August. Tender, so needs winter protection. Climbs to a height of 4m