Description of the plant, recommendations for watering and fertilization, soil selection, self-breeding, means of combating harmful insects. Passionflower (Passiflora). A plant that differs in a liana-like shape, but can take on a herbal or shrub appearance, is found under the names Passionflower or Cavalier Star. The last name of the plant was due to representatives of missionary missions who met and described it in the South American territories. Passion flower it is called for the shape of the flower, which has a crown-like appearance of a red-bloody color, similar to the bloody crown of thorns of the Savior.
One or many seasons grow. Passionflower is a member of the Passifloraceae family, which numbers from 400 to 500 representatives, since its native habitat is the impenetrable Amazon jungle and therefore it is impossible to accurately determine their number. These plants can be found in the subtropical areas of both Americas, humid and warm forests in Southeast Asia, as well as Madagascar territories.
The stem of passionflower is branching, clinging with shoots to nearby ledges and hills. The leaf plates are simple in shape, whole or divided into lobes. The leaves themselves are kept on elongated petioles. The entire surface of the leaf is covered with special glands that secrete sap that attracts ants. They also protect the passionflower from the caterpillars of the long-winged butterfly Heliconia, which are the most important pests in the conditions of natural growth. These glands differ in shape and placement according to the type of Passionflower. There are even varieties of passionflower that, in the process of their growth, can change the shape and appearance of leaf plates so that this pest does not recognize them.
The flowering process extends throughout the spring, summer and fall months and depends on the plant variety. Flowers, which can reach more than 10 cm in diameter in opening, grow from axillary buds and are endowed with a pleasant aroma. There are usually 5 petals and also 5 sepals repeating them in shape, which have a small process on the central vein. The perianth and scales are separated from each other by plates or antennae, which are arranged in rows and have the shape of a crown.
Passionflower grows very rapidly and can grow up to one and a half meters in a year. After its end, fruiting occurs with yellowish small or medium-sized fruits. The plant has soothing properties that are used for medicinal purposes, for this, the fruits and flowers of the plant are taken. But there are types of passionflower that are specially grown for the sake of roots or fruits (they are used for food). But many varieties are usually grown purely for decorative purposes.
Recommendations for growing passionflower at home
- Lighting. Passionflower loves bright light very much, you don't even need to protect it from the scorching rays of the sun at lunchtime, but at the same time there should be an increased humidity of the air and soil. If such conditions cannot be created, then it is better to organize the shading of the plant from midday rays. It will be hassle-free to grow passionflower on the windows, where the sun looks in the morning and evening hours. A pot with a plant can also be located on the northern windows, but then its flowering will not be so abundant. Also, constant access of clean air is recommended for the plant. With the onset of summer, passionflower can be rearranged in an open space and placed in a sunny place, but accustoming to this kind of illumination should be gradual in order to avoid leaf burns. If there are few sunny days in winter, then it is necessary to supplement the plant with special lamps.
- Passion flower content temperature. Summer temperatures range from 20 to 26 degrees, in winter it is preferable to arrange a dormant period with low temperatures in the range of 14-18 degrees. Different species are adapted to different growing conditions. For example, varieties that prefer to grow in mountainous areas or on tropical plains can tolerate extreme heat, long dry periods and rainy weather with low temperatures, and some passionflower can survive even 15 degrees of frost, but this is not the necessary conditions for normal growth. flowering and ripening of fruits.
- Air humidity. As a resident of humid and warm areas, passionflower is grateful to the average and high humidity in the air, therefore, to create such conditions, regular and frequent spraying is necessary. Water for spraying is soft, well-settled or boiled, it is also better to use water collected from the rain. In winter dormant conditions, spraying is carried out if the temperature is not sufficiently lowered and the air in the room is rather dry. Also, to increase the humidity of the environment, a vessel with water is placed next to the pot or a flowerpot can be installed in a deep pallet filled with some kind of porous material (expanded clay, pebbles, sphagnum) and sufficiently moistened. But the main thing is that the pot does not stand directly in the water, its bottom should be above its surface. If conditions with low humidity continue for a long period of time, then this threatens with dropping of the buds and the defeat of the passiflora with a spider mite.
- Watering. In the warm months of the year, it is necessary to water abundantly and regularly, as the soil in the pot dries out, it should be invariably moist (you should never swamp the soil at all). But the soil in the pot should not completely dry out - this threatens the death of passionflower. With the arrival of the colder months, you need to water less, but do not stop. If water remains in the pan during watering, then it must be removed immediately so that it does not bloom.
- Top dressing of passionflower. From the first days of spring until the end of summer, the plant starts up actively growing, at this time, once or twice a week, it is necessary to fertilize the flower, using fertilizing with mineral complexes and organic matter that is part of them. During dormancy (autumn-winter), passiflora should not be fertilized.
- Soil selection and replanting. The plant has a very fast growth rate, and it depends on how much space is given to the root system. If transplants are performed annually, then soon the passionflower will not fit into huge tubs, therefore, transplants are needed for young plants from year to year, but the pot is chosen only slightly larger than the previous one. Adult specimens are transplanted only once every three years. If there is no goal to grow a huge plant, then the volume of the pot should not be greatly increased. When the plant reaches the desired size, the transplant can be replaced by changing 2–5 cm of soil on top of the pot to soil rich in nutrients. The pot can be chosen from any material (plastic, ceramic), but in ceramic pots the soil dries faster.
Passiflora is transplanted in early or mid-spring. When transplanting, the plant is slightly cut off, strongly elongated shoots are shortened - the branches, which are placed in the center, leave 15–20 cm in height, and are further shortened in the lateral branches (5–10 cm in height from the base of the branch). The acidic reaction of the substrate should be neutral or slightly acidic with a pH of 6. For planting in a new soil mixture, it is composed on the basis of:
- land from turf, rotted foliage, humus, peat and sand - all parts must be equal;
- leafy land, peat land, humus land, coarse sand in proportions 1: 2: 2: 1.
You can buy ready-made substrates for begonias, citrus fruits (lemon), saintpaulias. Passionflower can thrive in hydroponic material. After transplanting, the plant is watered very carefully and only when new shoots appear, watering increases.
Passion flower breeding tips
Most often, the plant propagates by cuttings, in rare cases, using seed.
Propagation of passionflower is best done in the spring and summer months, using cut shoots from the tops of the stems or root shoots. In the case of cuttings, you can use those stems that were cut during transplantation. The branches must be divided into parts so that the stalk has at least two leaves. Before planting, the lower part of the stem is disinfected and then dipped in crushed charcoal with any root growth stimulant. Cuttings are planted in the ground, which is composed of humus and sand, taken in equal parts. In order for the rooting process to be successful, it is necessary to create conditions under which the temperature of the air and soil will be kept within 25 degrees. It is also recommended to use mini greenhouses for rooting with the possibility of bottom heating. The container with cuttings should be covered with a plastic bag or a piece of glass should be placed on top, while you should remember to often ventilate and moisten the soil (it should be moderately moist, but not wet). Watering is done with water slightly above room temperature and spraying is performed with it.
It is best, according to reviews, to root the cuttings in water. But using this method, you need sufficient lighting, you can use artificial. A container with cuttings is also wrapped in a bag. The temperature should also be 25 degrees, if it is lower, then rooting will become difficult. After a month, the cuttings will release roots, and they can be transferred to the pot in which they will grow for a year. The substrate is chosen the same as for adult plants. A year later, passionflower will delight with flowering. To propagate a plant with seeds, they must be planted in late winter or early March. The soil is poured into the container, which is suitable for adult flowers, and the material is sown. The container must be covered with glass or wrapped in a bag to maintain a constant temperature and humidity. The temperature can fluctuate between 20-24 degrees. They begin to plant the steams when they have formed 2 full-fledged leaves, in pots with a diameter of no more than 7 cm.
Pests and diseases affecting passionflower
Most often, the plant is affected by harmful insects due to violations of the growing conditions. Of these, one can distinguish: thrips, mealybug, scale insect, spider mite, anthracnose (fungal disease). To combat them, spraying with modern insecticides and fungicides is used.
If the buds begin to fall off, there is increased dryness of the air in the room or the defeat of a red spider mite. Low temperatures, poor lighting or lack of nutrition are characterized by poor flowering and slow growth. Also, at low temperatures, the leaf plates begin to lose their turgor and curl. If the soil in the pot is waterlogged for a long time, this can cause rotting of the base of the stem. Cracking the fruit means that the passionflower needs to be fed with boron-rich fertilizers. It happens that, without any reason, more than 50% of unripe fruits can be discarded by the plant.
The fruits that are edible in some species of passionflower are passion fruit or granadilla. The rest of the plant can provoke hallucinations up to paralysis.
- Passionflower blue (Passiflora caerulea). Another name is the Cavalier Star. The native area of growth is the central and southeastern territories of the continent of South America. Bloom in the spring, summer and fall months. Differs in ten-centimeter colors of blue and white shades. The fruits are yellow-colored, the shape and size of a chicken egg, and are used in cooking. An unpretentious and low-maintenance variety.
- Passionflower (Passiflora foetida). The size of flowers is limited to 6 cm in diameter, it can take on white, pinkish, dark lilac and blue petals. The color of round fruits is very diverse.
- Passionflower red-white (Passiflora incarnata). It is also called passionflower bodily or apricot vine. The variety is resistant to frost. Shoots can reach a length of 6-10 m. The color of flowers is very diverse, the fruits of a yellow hue have a sour taste. This variety is most useful in medicine.
- Passionflower racemosa (Passiflora racemosa). Variety of creepers that can shed leaf mass. The leaf plate is divided into 3 parts, the edges are solid, the surface is glossy, rough to the touch, rich emerald color. Differs in red flowers with a crown of bluish mustache, whitish bases.
- Winged passionflower (Passiflora alata). It bears another name for the Brazilian passion fruit. Flowers can grow up to 12 cm across. The petals of flowers are painted in wine shades with elongated tendrils of stamens. Fruits are colored when ripe in rich yellow or ocher tones, have a fragrant smell.
- Passionflower tender (Passiflora mollissima). She is the softest Passionflower. In the territories of the Hawaiian islands, it bears the name of banana passionflower. The stems can be up to 7 m in length and are completely pubescent. The flowers have a tubular beginning up to 10 cm in length in gray, green and reddish tones, differ in dark pink petals and a violet-red crown. The diameter of the flower is up to 7 cm. The fruit is 12 cm long and 4 cm wide, with a light yellow peel and a pale orange center. Has a sweet and sour pulp taste.
- Passionflower edible (Passiflora edulis). The second name is "crimson granadilla", grown on an industrial scale. The white flowers reach 6 cm in diameter, and the antennae-stamens have a top similar to the petals and a dark purple base. When ripe, the fruit grows up to 7 cm in diameter and is distinguished by purple and yellow-green hues.
- Passionflower three-lane (Passiflora trifasciata). The stem winds well and has a ribbing on the surface. The leaf plates are rounded at the base, and at the top, divided into 3 parts, with a yellow-tinted midrib on each petal. Flowers only 4 cm in diameter, inexpressive yellow-white shades, after flowering, gray-black fruits ripen.
- Passiflora tetrahedral (Passiflora quadrangularis). Often called the giant granadilla, she is the largest member of the family. The shoots of this vine reach up to 15 m in length and are quite powerful. Leaf plates of deep malachite color. Flower petals can form a circle with a diameter of 15 cm. Round-oval fruits, when ripe, reach 30 cm and have a sweet taste. In apartment conditions, it rarely bears fruit; it is recommended to use greenhouses for its maintenance. It is used extensively in medicine.
- Passiflora scarlet (Passiflora coccinea). Flowers of bright scarlet color against a background of dark green deciduous mass. Fruits in yellow fruits, the surface of which is painted with strokes and stripes, the taste is very pleasant.
- Reed passionflower (Passiflora ligularis). The fruits are colored yellow, ocher and red and taste good. The flowers are shaded with white or pink colors, reaching up to 10 cm in diameter.
Learn more about caring for passionflower at home in this video: