Tuesday, August 4, 2015

All passion, no flower...

Boosted by last summer's easy success with Passiflora 'Sunburst' I dived in deep this year and decided I needed more (many more) passion flowers in my garden...

Searching the interwebs for unusual, yet hardy, Passiflora I stumbled upon Passiflora lutea. A yellow-flowering, passion flower native to the eastern and south-central U.S. "from Pennsylvania west to Kansas, and south to Florida and Texas" (source). The fact it wasn't available anywhere on the West Coast should have deterred me, I suppose. But it didn't, it only made me more convinced that I needed to grow this in my Portland, Oregon, garden ... after all it is hardy to USDA Zone 5...
Passiflora lutea, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - here

Trying to find a nursery that would ship proved to be an eye opener. The first few I tried didn't have any in stock, okay, that's understandable. Then came the group that wouldn't ship to Oregon because of the "sprays" that our state required. What? I wouldn't have been surprised to hear that if I lived in California, they have lots of requirements, but Oregon? Really? Then came the group that would ship (sprays not an issue, hadn't heard of them) but only next day air, because of distance, and next day air meant upwards of $50 just for shipping, then there was a minimum for ordering.

Then I discovered Mail Order Natives out of Florida.

Their plants were $7 each and shipping was $15 if the order was under $25. Now I was shopping in April, so temperatures were still mild across most of the country - thus a slow train would not be an issue. I ordered a pair of the Passiflora...

Both arrived looking good, I was really impressed with their packaging...

I planted one at the base of my palm, a Trachycarpus fortunei...can you see it there on the left?

I thought the leaves and flowers would look lovely working their way up the fuzzy trunk...

Well, five months later and not much has happened. Perhaps it's just getting settled in? It is in a lot of shade but that's what I read they required. At least it's still alive.

The other plant went at the base of the Clematis tibetana var. vernayi trellis, or rather the second trellis which is much less used by the Clematis.

Five months later it's grown...

And it's starting to work its way up the trellis.

That's good, but still no flowers, maybe next year? I would love to hear from anyone who has personal experience with this plant- I've read mixed reviews about it's light requirements and tendency to spread.

Passion flower lust still not satiated, Passiflora ‘Lady Margaret’ was grabbed when I saw it at Garden Fever. Its rebar cage a tribute to this garden, since all his exotic Passiflora climb rebar trellises.

'Lady Margaret' has been a huge disappointment. Planted out in May it's barely grown...and of course there are no flowers...

The HPSO Spring Plant Sale (Hortlandia) brought this Passiflora jamesonii 'Coral Seas'  to my garden. It's grown like crazy.

Up and over...

It's working its way along a punctured piece of metal I attached to one of the fence boards.

Happy happy!

But not a single flower.

Here's the instigator of this madness, the P. 'Sunburst' from last summer which I successfully overwintered by digging it up at the last minute and taking it indoors. It's been happily growing upwards for a few months now...

But, you guessed it, not a single flower...I am bummed.

In a moment of weakness I ordered two other Passiflora online from a vendor here in Oregon, there was a sale, you know how these things go. It was a foolish thing to do since it was already late in the season, then add in that shipping took a crazy long amount of time and they're just tiny things here at the beginning of August.

This one is Passiflora 'Purple Tiger'...

(I keep trying to make that into a little flower bud)

And this one Passiflora rovirosae.

It's got new leaves since arriving and being potted up. Neither of these are hardy here, that's why they're in containers. Next spring I'll plant them out, assuming they make it through the winter.

So that's my tale of passion flower woe. Lots of leaves, lots of passion - no flower.

But wait! A package arrives in the mail, it's from Alan at It's Not Work It's Gardening.

And what's that!?

Passiflora incarnata, looking just a little frazzled from it's travels but it perked up in no time. Alan has written about his plant(s) several times, this post has a lot of great photos.

Alan has encouraged me to put it in a container, to keep it from running amok. I am THRILLED to try this one in my garden, maybe it will give me the flowers I'm longing for?

You may have noticed that was a rather big box Alan sent, and yes there was more than just the passion flower. My loot included: a pup from one of his NOID agaves, a pad from a NOID Opuntia (how many people can say they've got an agave and opuntia from suburban St. Louis? Not many I'm sure), Amorphophallus konjac, Pinellia pedatisecta, a couple of Jewels of Opar seedlings and a Manfreda virginica!

This is a Missouri native plant I'd never heard of until Alan wrote about it, I'm pretty excited to have one! At least if my Passionflower collection doesn't bloom I've got lots of other exciting plants to distract me, thank you for your generosity Alan!

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

42 comments:

  1. Wow! When you fall for a plant, you really fall. I hope you have great success with them, and finally get some flowers.

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    1. Ha, I guess I did kind of jump in the deep end of the pool didn't I?

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  2. At least with the P. incarnata the blooms don't get going until after mid-summer here -- maybe that's how the tropical ones are too? (Actually, most vines seem to need to reach a critical mass of foliage before they start blooming in my experience.) Point is, don't give up on those yet!

    (I expect the P. incarnata to flower for you this year still)

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    1. I won't give up...and I hope you're right!

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  3. I had a passionflower last year that did bloom but it needed more water than I was willing to give it and its leaves were whitefly magnets.

    But I'm about to try again because I have also received a few maypops from Alan. Knock on wood!

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    1. I've been told that I'm watering them more than I should...so I've cut back. So far no insect issues (fingers crossed).

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  4. I'm probably being a cruel enabler, but there is a great source for passionflowers, who ship, down in Vista Ca. Kartuz greenhouses, they have a website. Mua-ha-ha-ha-ha.

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  5. I hope they all bloom in unison for you next year, Loree!

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    1. I don't know that I'll have them all next year, since only one (the one from Alan) is hardy here. I tried to propagate my orange blooming one from cuttings but failed. I supposed I'll dig it again but the other two in the ground, if they can't be rooted from cuttings, well then it might just be the end for them.

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  6. I predict that next summer will be filled with passion(flowers) to match your passion for the odd and unusual.

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  7. You are going to be bush wacking in a few years,and loads of flowers. 🌺

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    1. That would be lovely, although I fear the hardiness issue may keep that from becoming a reality.

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  8. I have a purple one here in northern california that I barely water and it takes over a whole fence or two. I know they're different than your varieties, but having lived with this guy for 8 years now as a casual observer, this year just wasn't a flower year for mine either. Maybe there's something subtle and weather related?

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    1. You might be on to something there, I wondered - but being new to the game I wasn't sure.

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  9. Great to see you throwing your usual exuberance into a new group of plants. I a sure you will have far less time to wait for flowers than you would with the agaves.

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  10. A Missouri native Manfreda, cool! Perhaps you'll get some flowers late in the summer? Have to say, with the beautiful leaves of Sunburst flowers aren't that necessary :)

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    1. True, the 'Sunburst' leaves are quite attractive, and when I bought it they were enough. But then it had to go and spoil me last year with so many gorgeous flowers!!!

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  11. Passiflora lutea volunteers in my San Antonio, Texas yard. I'm sorry to say that it doesn't bloom a whole lot, but when flowers do occur they are beautiful, delicate and much enjoyed.

    What I do love about this varity is the beautiful symetrical foliage which I treasured, that is until the Gulf Fritillary butterflies found it! It's a favorite for laying their eggs on so I can't send a picture of the foliage in my garden as it looks all rag taggity. However, I did take some photos at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens this last May of foliage that the Gulf Frit butterflies had not yet discovered.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v214/RoseLee/Roselee%20III/1-IMG_3742_zpstregiiag.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v214/RoseLee/Roselee%20III/1-IMG_3741_zpsjm8w2c10.jpg

    Hope this gives you an idea of what you can expect in the way of foliage when it really gets going.

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    1. Thank you Ragna, those (great) photos really show what it can do when it's happy! Also good to know the flowers aren't a regular feature, that will help me to keep my expectations in check.

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  12. The Agaves Of Missouri. Great title for...something! Perhaps the Agaves are a dysfunctional (prickly?) family and it's a historical novel chronicling a century... ;^)

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  13. Oooo-a brave woman growing that coral number..it's a monster out on the coast here-but it's frost sensitive-maybe yours isn't the same cultivar . I planted P. loefgrenii caerulea this spring from a 4inch pot (Annies) and it's gotten alarmingly large---oh but the flowers !

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    1. That "coral number" will die come winter (Zone 9), sadly. Flowers!...you tease.

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  14. Wow, lucky you! You now have quite a collection of Passion Flowers. I'm planning to grow my first one next spring. I didn't know until recently that they were hardy to zone 5. Yay! Good luck! Soon you'll probably have so many blooms and fruits, you won't know what to do with them. ;-)

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    1. Hopefully. Which one are you planting?

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  15. Wow!!!!!! You DO have a lot! I say hold out for next year. I have the boring old white and purple one and it didn't do a thing last year. Let's just say, at this moment, it's making up for lost time. That sucker would take over the block if I let it.

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    1. Boring old white and purple one....no! Seriously, they're all cool. Is it in the ground?

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  16. How frustrating to have no flowers! Oh well, maybe it takes them a while to settle in before they really start growing and blooming. What a fun and thoughtful package you got from Alan!

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    1. Indeed, Alan went over the top - in a good way!

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  17. I think that yellow one is my fave, although they are all fantastic plants. I hope Alan is right and that they take off here in late summer. I hear it's going to be hot for an extended time, so chances are pretty good, methinks. Fingers crossed that you get to see at least a few blooms!

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    1. Thanks Anna, I even broke down and bought some fertilizer today...

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  18. I think your first passionflower is still my favorite (it's the leaves). I know next to nothing of these vines, but I hope you get flowers next summer! And I hope Alan is right and the incarnata blooms for you this summer. There is still more than a month of summer left, and who knows how long fall will stay warm. A lot could happen!

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    1. Indeed, summer until November! (and then a very gradual cool down - none of this freaky hard frost out of nowhere business)

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  19. I'm having fun learning how differently plants behave for you versus me. I know climate makes a difference, but still somehow I have been surprised by your nonseeding Chasmantthium, for example. I put out an enormous Passiflora vitifiolia 'Scarlet flame' this spring that I scored for free last autumn and kept in the basement. It was actually blooming when I put it in the ground, but it has just grown far and wide with no flowers.....I am seeing the first little buds this week though. fingers crossed?
    Are you growing any other Manfredas? I seem to recall Mach Mocha on your garden. I am completely obsessed with my new Manfreda 'Chocolate Chip' and hope it survives. My source says it is hardy here, but most rate it for warmer zones.

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    1. Fingers crossed for both your plant and mine.

      I had a lovely Macho Mocha for years but it got so big and unwieldy that I put it in the ground. It survived the first (mild) winter but died back the next and has never returned. I had a 'Chocolate Chip' for years too, it bloomed (gorgeous) and then went on a decline and died. So for awhile I was Manfreda free...

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  20. I liked this post, a thrilling story of the search for passion from the steamy beaches of Florida to the steamy corn fields of St. Louis. The suspense is building, but I am confident you will see many flowers next year.

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  21. I could have given you all of the P. lutea that you want, but I spent a good part of Saturday weeding the garden, and no lie, I must have pulled 40-50 of the SOBs. P. lutea is one of my worst weeds, and I try to be diligent in pulling them before they have a chance to flower and drop their very fertile seeds.

    I guess one man's trash is another woman's treasure.

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    1. Next time! Seriously. I will happily pay the shipping for whatever you can send my way!

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