Passion Vine Fertilizer: Tips On Fertilizing Passion Flowers

Passion Vine Fertilizer: Tips On Fertilizing Passion Flowers

By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Passion flowers have an interesting history and an attention grabbing bloom. Many of the plants in the species are native to North America and Passiflora incarta is a common flower of the American southeastern states. These notable vines are great to grow as attractive screens, floral cover-ups or simply over an arbor as decorative shading. Caring for these intricate flowers includes properly feeding passion flower vines.

Feeding Passion Flower Vines

A casual stroll in sub-tropical states may find you spotting a wild, tangled vine in a ditch or along a roadside with complicated, scented flowers sporting distinctive fringed ray petals. The plant may or may not also bear round to oval waxy fruits of speckled purple, orange-gold or light yellow. These are passion flowers, which have become naturalized in some regions and are a commonly grown ornamental vine.

The lucky gardeners who can persuade these plants to live in their landscape know that fertilizing passion flowers is the key to vines choked with blooms. Learn how to fertilize a passion flower vine and make your neighbors pea green with envy as they watch your plant flourish.

When to Apply Passion Vine Fertilizer

Fertilizing passion flowers at the correct time will ensure plenty of blooms that season and a healthy plant, as well as a bountiful harvest on those varieties that produce edible fruits.

Most plants benefit from supplemental nutrients. The optimum time to give plants food is just as they are leaving dormancy. Generally speaking, that is in spring when soil and ambient temperatures warm up and new growth commences.

Passion flowers are considered heavy feeders. The first application should be in very early spring. Plants cultivated for fruit are fertilized 4 times per year, but those in average culture should be fertilized every 4 to 6 weeks until fall.

How to Fertilize a Passion Flower Vine

In commercial settings, the proper fertilizer for passion flower vine is one with a NPK ratio of 10-5-20. This gives the needed nutrients for best vine growth and plenty of fruit.

That said, studies have been conducted to determine the correct levels for passion vine fertilizer. A general rule for ornamental plants is a ratio of 1:1 of nitrogen and potassium. This would mean the first and last numbers of a fertilizer formula would be equal. For passion fruit vines, a food with lower numbers will still enhance the plant’s growth but leave little worry about burnt roots and dropped fruit. Some examples of a lower ratio would be a 5-7-5 or 6-6-6.

A soil test prior to the first application can indicate which, if any, nutrients the area is lacking in and the pH of the soil that affects a plant’s ability to uptake nutrients. The lower number formulas are adequate for landscape plants and safe to use without adverse effects on the vine.

The correct amount of passion vine fertilizer will depend upon the size of the plant. Commercial plants get 3 pounds (1.5 kg.) per plant 4 times per year. The homegrown vine that is not in production can use feeding every 6 weeks for vigorous plants with a lower number formula.

In commercial settings, where plants are producing fruit, each plant needs 32 to 36 ounces (1 kg.) of nitrogen to produce maximum fruit. However, excess nitrogen can cause fruit to drop.

Most passion vine fertilizer is granular and should be scraped into soil around the root zone and watered in. You may also choose a foliar spray, which is topically applied and can help prevent chlorosis in alkaline soils.

Any fertilizer for passion flower vine should be deeply watered in and soil should be drenched regularly to prevent the build-up of salt in the earth.

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Read more about Passion Flower

How to Care for a Maypop Vine

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Maypop (Passiflora incarnata), also known as wild passion flower or passion vine, is a perennial that can add ornamental interest to a garden. This fast-spreading vine grows dark-green foliage, purple and pink flowers and oval-shaped fruit that can grow up to 3 inches in diameter. Maypop attracts hummingbirds and butterflies and can serve as ground cover or beautify walls, pergolas, gates or trellises.

Having a Passion Vine Throughout the Year

Firstly, you should grow your passion flower vine at a place that is having favorable conditions. Also, you need to make sure the vine is sheltered carefully to deal with any kind of climate.

Plant your passion flower vine near a building foundation, large rock, or concrete surface to help them absorb or spread heat. It helps to keep them warm.

The roots of the passion flower vine are adaptable to weather and survive strongly, but you need to make a shelter for the upper part in order to prevent the wind from affecting them.

How to help Passion Flower Vine survive through Winter

When winter comes, you shouldn’t fertilize your passion flower vine because it will have a negative impact on plant development once the climate becomes warmer.

Make sure to cover the area around the root of your passion flower vine. The colder the climate, the more you should mulch that area.

Shaping Passion Flower Vine

You can prune and shape your passion flower vine when winter comes. It keeps the vines healthy. During the winter season, the passion flower vine above will die but once it becomes warmer, it will bloom again.

Therefore, you can go ahead and complete your pruning to make the passion flower vine more beautiful.

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Black-Eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata)

A tropical perennial vine normally grown as an annual, black-Eyed Susan vine planted in a pot creates a profuse blanket of green foliage dotted with small bright spots of color. They are easy to grow, cheerful, look great, and flower all summer long. Growing from 5 to 10 feet long, this vine prefers well-draining soil and needs to be fertilized during the growing season.

Black-eyed Susan vines look particularly stunning in tall, narrow pots with a rustic trellis. They also work great in hanging baskets. They can sprawl everywhere, and sometimes need some assistance to grow up a trellis. Consider mixing different varieties the orange and yellow, or orange, yellow, and white combined are a great combination.

  • USDA Growing Zones: Perennial in zones 10 to 11 grown as an annual elsewhere
  • Color Varieties: Yellow, salmon, bright orange, white
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil

How to Grow: Passion Flower

Sun Requirements
Full sun, with some afternoon shade in hot summer climates

Bloom Period and Seasonal Color
Most passion flowers repeat bloom from mid summer until fall

Mature Height x Spread
15 to 30 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide, depending on the variety

Passion flowers have a look and reputation for being exotic and hard to grow. However, this perennial vine is widely adapted in USDA zone 6 to 10 gardens, flowering from mid-summer until frost. Passion flowers are also called passion vines because of their growth. But there are some passion flowers that are more like shrubs than vines. Some passion flower produce edible fruits as well.

The exotic, fragrant flowers on all passion flowers are open for only one day. But the flowers are so complex, colorful and stunning that it’s always a delight even if you only get a few flowers per vine.

The climbing vine attaches itself to structure, wire and string with tendrils making this a good plant for pergolas, trellises and fences.

When, Where and How to Plant
Plant passion flowers in spring on fertile, well-drained soil. Although you can start passion flowers from seed or cuttings from a friend, it’s easiest to purchase plants fro ma nursery.

Plant vines in a hole dug three times the diameter of the root ball. Remove the plant from the pot and wash off the potting soil revealing the root system. Prune off any circling or errant roots and plant, add water and the native soil to the hole. Keep passion flowers well watered.

Passion flowers can also be grown in containers, especially in cold areas. Bring them outdoors in summer into a sunny, warm spot. Overwinter the plants indoors in a sunny window. With some luck you’ll get flowers forming in late summer.

Growing Tips
Passion flowers can be rampant growers. In fact, in some areas of the South they are considered invasive. Plant where their size can be maintained with annual pruning or grow them in containers. Even in marginal areas, such as USDA zone 6, where passion flower may dieback to the ground each winter, they will grow back from their root system in spring and flower that late summer.

Grow passion flowers in full sun, on well-drained soil and fertilize in spring and mid-summer to get the best growth and blooms. Keep the soil moist with mulch. The mulch also can protect the roots in winter in cold areas.

Plant Care
Passion flowers usually don’t need much attention to deadheading and pruning. You can remove spent flowers to keep the plant tidy and pruning should be done in early spring to keep an aggressive plant in bounds.

In areas where passion flowers thrive, so do their pests. Control aphids, white flies and spider mites with sprays of insecticidal soap whenever you see damage. Clean up dropped leaves in fall to reduce fungal diseases on the flowers and foliage.

Companion Planting and Design
Grow passion flowers vines up trellises as a focal point in your landscape. Passion flowers dazzle when grown in entry way gardens or in front door areas. Passion flowers pair well with other butterfly attracting plants such as butterfly bush, butterfly weed, pentas and Joe Pye weed. The butterflies enjoy the exotic flowers as much as we do.

There are many newer hybrid passion flowers available for home gardeners. ‘Sunburst’ features orange and yellow flowers. ‘Inspiration’ has deep purple colored flowers. ‘Raspberry Strudel’ has various shade of pink and red in its blooms. ‘Lady Margaret’ is a red variety. ‘Victoria’ is a pink flowered, evergreen vine in warm climates.

Passiflora edulis produces small purple or yellow colored, edible fruits after flowering. Passiflora incarnata is a native deciduous vine in the Southeast. It grows close to the ground and when you step on the fruits they pop, hence the common name Maypop.

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My passionfruit vine isn't flowering


I have a similar problem. Many, many passiflora cerulea vines have re-appeared in my garden since I planted one tiny vine last year (gotta give it credit, passiflora has spunk!!). Last year the dozens of vines grew to maybe 12-15', but no flowers. So far this year the five or six vines I've kept have gotten to about 5' long, but no flowers. Will any special supplements/foods help? I drop my old soft bananas in the garden sometimes, as I heard passi's like potassium. :)


I think P. caerulea can just concentrate on growing the first year. Not always, but sometimes. On the other hand, the Incense plant I planted this spring is preparing to bloom. even in this horrid Texas heat.


I too have passies w/ vines growing like crazy & no blossoms. I have Blue boutique, flavicarpus, & coral glow.
I'd love to hear why these aren't blooming. Had them in house under grow lites last winter so they were well established when brought out this spring. boo hoo. I want a flower!
I recently gave it a dose of Jack's Blossom Booster (10-30-20), and buried a cut up banana in soil.


I would love to hear how that turns out Patty_in_Wisc. Mine still has no blooms, but continues to climb. I have eased off the fertilizer as suggested, but we haven'thad alot pf sun lately or all the rainn from these tropical storms and hurricanes.

Unfortunately, I have no idea what variety I have as a bought it at a MG plant sale and the tag only said passion vine.

Thanks for all the help and I'm sure all of us w/ no blooms would love any suggestions.


I have a 'stray' the appeared about mid May. it's now covered in flowers and fruit! It is growing about 6 inches a day! It is in soil right beside the house, and is growing right underneath a large planter, and now up and over the planter and it's still going! No fertilizer no additional water, it's just there! My camera is 'out of commision' so no photos.


My passion vine bloomed for the last two years where I used to live. I cut it right back and transplanted it in a location in my garden that gets sun from 11am till 8 pm. It is growing like crazy but no blooms. I didn't know it doesn't like fertilizer so have been feeding it. I will stop feeding it food and try the bananas. Hopefully this will work. Has anyone else had problems with blooms after transplanting? Thanks


I have a "Lavender Lady" growing up the porch post with afternoon sun - same deal, lots of lush foliage, no blooms. Only gave it coffee grounds in early spring. It bloomed like mad the first year and not much since then, I think it's 3 years old now. Last year I cut it back to about 2 feet in winter and it took forever to regrow up the post so this year I left all the brown stems and let them sprout new growth all the way up - it filled in a lot quicker, but why no blooms with that head start??


Hi Folks
Firstly some grown from seed as Krstofer says never flower.
Secondly either don't feed them at all, or if you do it must be high K+ fertilizer. Too much N+ and they will grow furiously with no flowers. Also some flower in bursts with abunch of flowers for a while then none at all so be patient. Also for any of you living in really hot places the heat will cause them to stop flowering. very few flower when you get above 35c or so


Three years later. still no blooms. I purchased an expensive passiflora vine (cerulea) 3 years ago. It has grown like crazy every summer here in Orlando. Never a bloom. Not one! It's planted in the rocks near the back porch: Solid sunny location. No fertilizer (apparently there's not a consensus about whether fert. is needed). What do I do to get it to bloom??


passion flowers do not need fertilizing or any special care.They grow wild beautifully.
They first concentrate on climbing then flowering.
So I gather, you should not feed them any nitrogen(N).
May be phosphorus (p) and Potash (k).
They definitely need lots of sun and company.
I have transplanted some roots in the winter and Look forward to see what will happen.
But look at the bright side even their vine is pretty and more than that edible. Eat the then raw, in salads, dry and make tea with it. With their flowers I make cologn. I just put then in 100 proof vodka, then after a while strain it. Voilla!! for additional color can add some red rose or other red fragrant flower petals.


There have been discussions before about how all but the ripe fruit must be assumed to be poisonous (cyanide is quickly released).


>But look at the bright side even their vine is pretty and more than that edible. Eat the then raw, in salads, dry and make tea with it.

Um, no. Not just no, but seriously no. All passiflora synthesize a natural cyanide as protection from herbivores. Every year there are cases of children being poisoned in South America from eating under-ripe passion fruit. While it's true a tea can be made from the leaves of some passiflora, this is processed to remove the toxins.

Anyone tossing a salad full of passiflora foliage wouldn't be someone I'd want to dine with.


I have pictures that I have taken last summer, from the
Passiflora that grows wild here , Atlanta GA area.

I do not know the name of the variety. But it has Blueis-purple color petals and strands.The flower is abotan inc and half accross.

I ate some of its leaves and nothing happened to me.
At the time. Shortly before I did not even know the name.
So I did a google search and read a lot about it. No where they mentioned that it is toxic or poisonous. In one of those websites, they mentioned that the leaves are edible, so is the fruit. The unripe fruit has no taste. medium ripe ones are very tart. Even the ripe one is tart too but has a unique flavor and taste.

I tried to copy one of the pictures that I have taken but the editot would not accept. Anyway, as I mention this specific variety grows wild around here. Its fruit is round and about the size of a walnut. It turns light green-yellow when ripe. I will try and find that web site and give you a link here , if I can later.

Again, as I read about it there are many differen one, both unaltered an hybridized. So some of them might be toxic or poisonous. But the one that I am talking about definately NOT POISONOUS. But could be toxic (unripe fruit and leaves) if consumed in excess. The fact that nothing has happened to me, is good enough for me to say what I have said, i.e, IT IS EDIBLE.


AS I promised in the above post , here is one of the links that I was talking about.

Go ahead, copy to your browser and read it for yourself.


I don't find the fact that you're not dead from eating passionflower leaves very reassuring, cyrus, because the 10 other people who tried this might just be too dead to write about the experience. It says on the wikipedia page for passiflora caerulea that the leaves contain cyanide, but can be boiled off if made into a tea.

It says here that the effects of low level cyanide poisoning can be difficult to detect, so maybe that's why you haven't noticed any symptoms:

I've been growing passion vine this summer too, but still haven't succeeded in getting it to bloom. I've read that the trick is to constrain it in some way, like preventing it from growing beyond a certain point, or containing its roots somehow. They say the flower production is a "defense mechanism" if it can't propagate by climbing anymore, it tries plan B, which is to propagate by pollination.

It will be disappointing if my passionflower ends up refusing to flower, but at least the leaves are pretty.


Here is my situation I have a neighbor who ad the passion vine with tons of flowers and blooms omg it was amazing so I decided to sneak some clippings about 30 of them whic I tried growing tem in different scenes ground, planter, dirt,rocks , Finally I got some major growth my my fence just like his and it is of course growing up me fencelike crazy but guess what nooo blooms I dont get it.. I never got to go ask them what he did to make this vine so amzing because he moved out of the community but I planted it in the same exact type of area he did even the same type of fence.. Yes I have got mabie 3 blooms wit about 2 flowers but his had about 50-75 flowers at one time and was always in bloom. Too bad I never got to ask to him


Nicole, sometimes it takes patience for the passi to develop a mature root system. I planted Clear Sky a couple of years back. The first year, it grew well but set no buds. The second year it set a few flowers--less than a dozen--over the summer. Last year it bloomed constantly. My Constance Elliot was similar--no blooms at all the first year, then many the second. Vegetative maturity doesn't necessarily mean root system maturity.

Also, if you're over-fertilizing with nitrogen, that could encourage vegetative growth over flowering.


Wait until your vine gets as big as you want it and then start cutting off the ends all over the plant. That is when mine has started to flower. I have 3 bulbs that have opened up with the pretty white/purple flower and I have many more bulbs that have not yet opened but will in the next few days. My vine is approx 1 yr old now. Good luck.


I would like to comment on those foraging on Passiflora. Field testing ANY unknown foraged foods can be deadly. Just because you ate something once, twice or even a few times and did not get sick (or worse) does not mean the plant is not toxic. Some toxins have a cumulative effect on the body. Please, please do not forage for ANY wild foods unless you are in the company of an expert. While Wikipedia may be a nice jumping off point for learning it is NOT a reliable resource for knowledge on foraging.

There are many edible varieties of Passiflora. The following quote is from professional forager "Green Deane"

". Lastly, the Internet is the great garbage can of misinformation and amateur writers. Of late sites have been proliferating the nonsense that Passiflora incarnata has cyanide in it. It categorically does not. The American Pharmaceutical Association Practical Guide to Natural Medicines by Andrea Peirce states: âÂÂUnlike other Passiflora species, ⦠[the] Passionflower does not contain the poison cyanide, as some sources incorrectly suggest they may have mistaken Passiflora incarnata for Passiflora caerulea, the ornamental blue passionflower that does contain this toxin.â . "Passiflora foetida also has some cyanide in it as evidence by some research on goats feeding on the foliage. However, I have eaten a fruit or two at a time with no problem. Goats, of course, eat leaves so they can get a higher concentration of cyanide. The passion fruit used in Hawaiian Punch, Passiflora edulis, has to be limited to goats as well, less than 45 percent of their feed."

I worked for years in surgery at UAB on the transplant team and saw the tragedy that can befall a family when foraging goes wrong.

I am turning my yard into a food forest, and am intensely interested in native edibles. I research the heck out of every native edible I consider for my yard. Verify, verify, verify!

Here is a link that might be useful: Eat The Weeds

Watch the video: Growing Passionfruit Vine On A Pergola