Passiflora - an exotic vine "not for everyone"
Passionflower passion flower always causes vivid emotions. To some gardeners, her strange inflorescences seem to be the most beautiful of all exotic pets; in others, one kind of her intricate "order" flowers causes irritation. Passiflora needs a lot of space, and attention too. The difficult nature of this long-familiar "exotic" scares many, although in practice the passiflora is usually still pleasantly surprising. This plant is for fans of unusual indoor vines, which can not look away from its amazing flowering.
- Passiflora and her appearance "not for everyone"
- Types of indoor passionflower
- The conditions for growing room passionflower
- Passiflora care at home
- Diseases, pests and growing problems
- Passiflora propagation
Passiflora and her appearance "not for everyone"
Known among us, and throughout the world, as passion flowers or passion flowers, passion flowers have become famous as one of the most original vines. Passiflora is grown here mainly as a tub garden plant, which is brought into the room for the winter. And in countries with milder climates, it often appears in the lists of the best garden vines, rather than indoor crops.
But the beauty of many Passiflora flowers attracts so much that they decide to move the charming vine to the interiors. They even begin to advertise it in many catalogs and flower companies as the best exotics for home conditions, although due to the capriciousness of passionflower it is very far from this status.
Even the species name Passiflora clearly demonstrates its special status. True, she received it not at all because of her appearance and not at all because of her passions. The name was given to her by the first missionaries, who considered the flowers of the plant a wonderful symbol of the sufferings of Christ.
Passiflora causes a lot of emotions and conflicting reactions. But those who love this creeper call it incomparable. Passiflora's popular nicknames include the name of granadilla and the cavalry star.
In nature, passiflora is represented quite widely everywhere except Europe and Africa. The greatest variety of these vines can boast in South America.
Botanical description of passionflower
Passiflora are powerful evergreen woody vines of the climbing type, the shoots of which, depending on the species and pruning, can be limited to both modest 50 cm and stretch up to 3 m. In nature, plants are much larger, up to 50 m tall, but in room culture they anyway, with much more modest sizes, they demonstrate their massiveness and power.
Passiflora is characterized by a sparse, uniform leafy even in the lower part of the shoots. Three- or nine-lobed leaves with a heart-shaped contour sit on thin petioles and create a feeling of airy elegance even when formed into a complex trellis.
The beauty of the leaves is further emphasized by the glossy shine of the surface and the rich, dark, grayish shade of the green color traditional for passionflower. During wintering, the plant partially discards leaves, but it is perfectly restored in the spring.
Large flowers of passionflower are not accidentally considered legendary. Bright not so much in color as in shape, they really deserve the title of flowers of passion. The pointed petals, due to which the flowers become similar to the stars, look spectacular, but their true beauty can only be appreciated nearby.
Contrast staminodynia, forming a flat circle growing together with perianth lobes in the corolla, give the plant a filigree beauty. A huge disc-shaped perianth with narrow lanceolate lobes, like a saucer, emphasizes the beauty of a long column, five star-shaped stamens, three stigmas that diverge towards the stigmas and a crown of long mutated staminodes.
The contrasting color of the perianth and crown emphasizes the complex details of the structure and gives the passiflora flowers a resemblance to orders and the same cavalry stars, turning the passion flower into one of the most easily recognizable plants. The symmetry, the abundance of details, the perfection of the flower structure of passionflower cannot be confused with any other indoor plants.
After flowering, the original oval-shaped passiflora fruits are tied up, reminiscent of pomegranates in their internal structure, which served as the source of another nickname - granadilla. The fruits are edible, in Latin America they are used for desserts and drinks, are considered a valuable fruit. Outwardly, they resemble feijoa and passion fruit.
Passiflora flowering period traditionally coincides with the time spent in the fresh air - from June to September. Each flower opens for just one day, but they bloom relentlessly.
The color scheme of passiflora is interesting, but not so diverse. White, blue, red and purple - these are all color options. Colors are not presented in their pure form, but unusual cold shades and variegated variations.
Types of indoor passionflower
The most common type of passiflora, which is mainly grown in house culture, is passionflower blue (Passiflora caerulea) - typical for the genus of liana, which differs from its counterparts in stronger shoots and powerful growth. With a length of up to 2 m, it forms an elegant crown on the supports thanks to the heart-shaped leaves sitting on long petioles, divided into 3 or 9 lobes. White, blue, purple flowers like stars shine against the background of dark glossy leaves.
Three other greenhouse and indoor passiflora species also deserve attention:
- Passiflora Lemon (Passiflora citrina) - a flexible, somewhat sloppy-looking liana with complex leaves and small yellow flowers.
- Passiflora grapevine (Passiflora vitifolia) - a plant that is easily recognizable by the resembling large leaves of grape.
- Passiflora amethyst (Passiflora amethystinaformerly known as passionflower violet (Passiflora violacea) - a very elegant variety with bright three-lobed leaves and pink-purple fuchsia shade elegant flowers.
Most of the passiflora on sale are hybrid varieties of blue passiflora. They differ only in the color of the flowers and the size of the leaves, most often remaining nameless. You can find many original plants with exotic, variegated, contrasting color variations that turn flowers into works of art.
The conditions for growing room passionflower
In the rooms, finding a really comfortable place for passiflora is not easy. This plant belongs to the extremely photophilous and in residential premises can only live on window sills. And the requirements for a cool wintering do not simplify the selection of places for it. Before you start a room passionflower, it is worth evaluating the conditions that can be provided to her.
Passiflora are easily formed, although not the most flexible, vines. They can not be grown in bush form, with overhanging sprawling shoots, in pots on tall stands. But then it can be used for walls or trellises, formed on supports. Passiflora on arches and round supports is especially good, but it also looks good on other types of foundations and frames.
Lighting and placement
For passionflower you need to pick up really bright places. She is not afraid of the direct sun. In the summer at noon, the rays may be too burning even for its leathery leaves, but usually in the southern locations the liana feels good.
Even the slightest shading leads to stretching of the plant, fading of the leaves, lengthening of the internodes and a corresponding deterioration in flowering. Good lighting is necessary for the plant year-round, even in winter, regardless of whether it combines the passiflora indoor and garden culture or is grown only as an indoor plant.
To accommodate passiflora, you should not choose rooms and even balconies of northern orientation. On the south balconies (but not on the south windows) she will need to install diffusing screens only in the summer. Due to the sensitivity to exclusively natural light, it is impossible to grow this vine in the interior, and not on the windowsill. Passiflora is suitable for conservatories.
Temperature and ventilation
From spring to autumn, passionflower requires a warm, comfortable place with temperatures higher than + 21 ° C. With a drop in temperature, and with fluctuations in lighting, too, the plant may stop blooming. This plant is demanding on environmental stability, which feels good in living rooms or on warm days.
If passionflower combines garden and indoor culture, its dependence on weather is more pronounced. On cloudy days, the liana does not open flowers and demonstrates its “dissatisfaction” with all appearance.
The key to beautiful flowering Passiflora and the main condition for success in growing this vine is, of course, a cool winter. Unlike some competitors, passionflower will not be content with a slight drop in air temperature: it needs a really contrastingly cold winter with a drop in temperature of at least 10 degrees. The optimum temperature for passiflora is considered to be from 6 to 8 degrees Celsius; it is better to limit the maximum values in winter to 12 degrees.
Access to fresh air, high-quality, regular airing of rooms are no less important for this vine than the optimal temperature values. Passiflora can not withstand stagnation of air even in winter, when kept in cold.
Passiflora feels great outdoors. It can be moved for the summer to the garden or at least to the balcony. At the same time, it is necessary to protect it from drafts in the rooms, especially during the cold wintering period.
Passiflora care at home
Passiflora is not a plant for beginners. It requires accurate and abundant watering, the correct correction of care for the rest period, frequent top dressing and annual pruning. You need to constantly monitor the liana, which does not simplify the growing process. Endurance and resistance to pests and diseases directly depend on the quality and thoroughness of care.
Watering and humidity
Passiflora is one of the most moisture-loving indoor vines. But the requirement to carry out plentiful, frequent watering does not mean that one can treat with carelessness the degree of drying of the substrate. Dampness for passiflora is destructive to the same extent as for any houseplant. The average frequency of watering during the period of active growth is 1 time in 2 days. But for the dormant period, only very light soil moisture is maintained, sparse irrigation is carried out with a frequency of 1 time in 8-10 days.
You must be very careful when moving from a period of active growth to a period of rest and vice versa. Watering is reduced gradually, transferring the passiflora to an almost dry regime after taking it into the cold. During the winter, passiflora is watered only to support the viability of the plant - with a minimum amount of water and very rarely. But they begin to resume watering only when the plant is moved to heat, trying to carry out frequent watering, but with a small amount of water, maintaining a light substrate moisture before rapid growth begins.
High humidity for passiflora is preferable, and when grown only in rooms - is required. Even in winter, the plant should be sprayed more often, especially when using central heating appliances. Evening spraying allows you to preserve the beauty of the leaves. Passiflora does not need to be installed in humidifiers.
For passiflora use only warm water for spraying and water at the same temperature with air in the room or several degrees warmer for watering. Water should not be hard.
Fertilizing and fertilizer composition
For an actively growing and large plant, especially during the flowering period, top dressing plays a very important role. It is better to feed passiflora according to the same scheme as garden tub or pot plants - once a week with a twice reduced dose of fertilizers.
At rest, feeding passiflora is not carried out at all, stopping in October and resuming only in March. When grown without a period in fresh air, foliar top dressing with a frequency of 1 time in 5-6 weeks is included in the care program during active growth.
For passiflora use full mineral fertilizers or alternate mineral fertilizing using organic fertilizers. When combining different types of top dressing, the frequency of procedures is increased to 1 time in 10 days. Long-acting fertilizers on this vine should not be used.
Cutting and forming passiflora
From the second year after sowing or rooting of cuttings, passiflora need to be formed. Traditionally, pruning is performed on this vine after the end of the dormant period, in early spring. This is one of the measures to stimulate active growth in late February or early March and an important guarantee of stimulating flowering.
Since the liana blooms on young branches, faded shoots are cut off from the plant. Pruning on passiflora is always carried out quite shortly on faded shoots. They leave about two-thirds of their length, cutting off ¾ all the bare branches that are bare and too long. Pinch the tops of young twigs and necessarily remove dry, damaged, unproductive twigs. After trimming, it is advisable to process the slices.
Passiflora garter is also a mandatory measure. The point is not only that the plants must be directed upward for flowering, but also in flexible, curly shoots that cannot be formed into a bushy form. Passiflora is grown on large, powerful supports, formed into figures, sent along trellises. Tie the shoots with soft twine, without strong pulling.
Transplant, containers and substrate
A transplant for this creeper is carried out only when the root system has nowhere else to develop, and the roots appear in the drainage holes. The less often it will be carried out, the better, because passionflower does not like the change of containers too much. Traditionally, the plant is transplanted before drift back into heat, in late February or early March. In years when transplantation is not carried out, replace 2-3 upper centimeters of soil with a fresh substrate.
For passiflora, the stability of containers is very important. Large plants require the right choice of heavy, reliable, not prone to turning pots. Liana is grown in large, spacious containers with a height exceeding the width, but not increasing their diameter too much compared to previous containers: excess space for root growth leads to poor vegetation and flowering.
Passiflora require unusual, dense, heavy earth mixtures. Adult passifloras are often transplanted into simpler soil mixtures and substrates for garden tubs with clay content, in which plants show more active growth and flowering in the garden. But even in indoor culture, light soil is not the best choice.
For passiflora, you can use ready-made earth mixtures for tubs, begonias, citrus fruits, or make a soil mixture yourself on the basis of turf land. Alkaline earth mixtures are needed for this vine.
When transplanting passiflora to the bottom of the tank, a high drainage layer must be laid. Since the plant remains in one container for a long time, the addition of charcoal to the soil avoids the risk of spreading rot and mold.
When transplanting passiflora, attention should be paid to checking the condition of the roots along the perimeter of the undestructed earthen coma. The plant is transshipped, trying to keep as much of the earthen coma as possible intact.
Diseases, pests and growing problems
Passiflora susceptibility to pests and diseases directly depends on the conditions of cultivation and care.If a plant suffers from temperature extremes, drafts, does not receive the necessary respite during wintering, it is almost always infected with a spider mite or felt. If plant care meets the requirements, then this vine is one of the most persistent.
Indoor and garden passiflora are propagated mainly vegetatively. The easiest and most convenient way is simple cuttings. For rooting, shoots with two or three leafy buds are cut. Cuttings can be cut in the spring and throughout the summer, but, most often, use the branches remaining after early spring pruning.
Green and semi-lignified branches are suitable for rooting. From strong shoots cut small short cuttings with one bud and leaf, about 6 cm long or large long cuttings with three leaves. The lower section should be 4-5 cm under the kidney.
Rooting is carried out according to standard technology - under a hood, in a light substrate or sand, immersing the lower section by 1-2 cm at a slight angle and maintaining the air temperature within 21-26 degrees. On average, rooting of passiflora shoots lasts about 1 month. You can plant cuttings after a couple of new leaves appear on them.
Passiflora can be obtained in other ways. It is difficult to grow plants from seeds. They require scarification and two-day soaking. They are pressed into the substrate by 0.5 cm without covering the soil. They will not grow without very good diffused lighting, air temperature of about 25 degrees and humidity close to 100%. Sometimes varietal passiflora propagated by vaccination.