Passiflora Incarnata (Purple Passionflower): A Complete Propagation Guide

Passiflora Incarnata (Purple Passionflower)

Emma Downey

Emma Downey
Gardening Expert

Updated on 12/4/2022

The purple passionflower, also known as Passiflora incarnata, is a tendril-climbing vine that overgrows and remains evergreen. Despite its somewhat tropical look, this spreading plant is surprisingly hardy (the hardiest of all the passionflower species), and the stunning and fragrant blossoms attract butterflies and other pollinators. Native Americans in the Southeast United States cultivated this plant for its orange-yellow edible fruits, known as Maypops, because of the sound they make when trodden on. These fruits provide a healthy food source for wildlife throughout the winter months.

Within its hardiness zone, the leaf offers visual appeal throughout the year. It blossoms between June and July and bears fruit between September and November.

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  • Purple passionflower, Maypops, Wild passion flower, and Apricot vine are some familiar names for this plant.
  • Botanical Name Passiflora incarnata
  • Family: Passifloraceae
  • The herbaceous vine that lives for years and years.
  • Size: at Maturity Up to 20 feet in Height
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun, Partial shadow
  • Type of Soil: Abundant drainage space
  • Soil pH: Neutral, Acidic
  • Seasons of Flowering: Summer and Autumn
  • Flower Colors: Pink and Purple
  • Hardiness Zones: 7-11, USA
  • Native Territory
  • America Continentale

Care For The Purple Passiflora Passionflower

Care For The Purple Passiflora Passionflower

This twining vine is perfect for growing up against trellises, walls, or fences because of its ability to twine around support structures. Because it adheres to the brickwork using tendrils rather than aerial roots, it will not cause the same kind of harm as plants with aerial roots, like ivy, may. However, regardless of whether or not it is climbing or spreading, it will continue to produce blooms.

Try controlling the growth of the spreading root suckers if you want to stimulate flower and fruit production rather than excessive foliage growth. It will help you achieve your goal. Growing it in a container is an effective strategy in these situations.

Because purple passionflowers are such extremely combustible plants, planting them up against your house in locations with a high probability of wildfires is not the most fantastic idea.


Purple passionflowers require a place that receives full sun but can survive in partial shade.


When it comes to the kind of soil, purple passionflowers are not picky. They may thrive in almost any environment, including inferior soils, as long as the ground is well-drained and consistently moist. It could even become a little out of hand and out of control in prosperous soils.


This climbing vine can survive in dry environments; nevertheless, regularly wet soil will provide the best opportunity to admire the plant's stunning blossoms. Slow, deep watering at the root level is excellent. When circumstances are dry, applying a few inches of loose mulch at the roots can assist in retaining moisture, and it is constructive if there is a lack of water. Be careful that the mulch does not touch the plant's stem.

Temperature And Relative Humidity

Temperature And Relative Humidity

These flowers, with a tropical appearance, may survive in frigid temperatures. The roots of your purple passionflower should withstand temperatures as low as about -5 degrees Fahrenheit, provided the plant is grown in soil that drains effectively. Even if the plant's top growth perishes due to these cold conditions, the plant will continue to thrive if the roots are mulched. This evergreen keeps its woody appearance even when grown in warmer regions.


Your purple passionflower will produce a profusion of blossoms if it receives a regular, very light feeding. Choose a fertilizer that doesn't have excessive nitrogen; if you don't, it will direct the plant's growth toward the green foliage rather than the blooms. Apply fertilizer at the beginning of spring before new growth appears on the plant. After the blossoms have occurred, it is best to continue to provide these heavy feeders with food at least once a month, if not more frequently, until the beginning of fall.

Pruning Process

Pruning Process

You won't need to perform routine pruning on the purple passionflowers. However, it is helpful to pinch back the plants in their first growing season to foster an entire, bushy appearance and to avoid your climbing vine from seeming straggly. May do This to achieve both of these goals.

Because the plant is managed as a herbaceous perennial rather than a coniferous evergreen in colder areas, it is an everyday practice to prune the top growth of the plant on an annual basis. Because blossoming occurs on new development, it should trim in the late winter or the early spring to guarantee that fresh blooms will be abundant later in the spring.

Spreading The Seeds Of Purple Passionflowers

Spreading The Seeds Of Purple Passionflowers

There are a few different approaches to propagating purple passionflowers, the most common of which include tip layering, softwood stem cuttings, and growing plants from seed.

If you want to start a new plant from stem cuttings, try following these steps:

  • In the spring, choose a cutting that is six inches long and comes from a young shoot that has leaf buds (you can also take woody cuttings in early summer)
  • Take off any leaves that could be at the bottom of the cutting.
  • Place the cutting's base into a potting medium that has enough drainage at a depth of approximately 1 inch.
  • Wet the potting mix, and then cover the container with plastic that has been perforated to allow air circulation.
  • The plant should be warm, moist, and shielded from solid and direct sunshine.
  • Usually, it takes around a few weeks for the cutting to begin to develop roots.
  • Once the plant has established itself adequately with its roots, you can move it to the outside place designated for it.

Passiflora Incarnata (Purple Passionflower)

You can use the method of propagation known as tip layering if you want to generate a new plant in the same spot as the one it came from. It is accomplished by bending a stem of the present plant down toward the ground, covering it with earth, and waiting to see whether a new shoot will form from it. If you want to optimize your chances of success with this strategy, the optimum time to use it is around the end of summer or the beginning of fall, and the following recommendations can help you do so. To ensure a smooth finish, remove any leaves and nodes from the tip of the vine before inserting them into the soil. Bacteria can become an issue if the foliage is buried in the ground.

Create a depression in the ground, slide the point into the resulting area, and then cover the depression with more soil. You may need to use a garden anchor pin or a small rock to weigh down the tip to prevent it from rising and losing touch with the soil.

When the growing point is sufficiently rooted in the soil (meaning it should remain there when you pull on it), it should produce a new plant in the exact location. You can dig it up and separate it from the parent plant to transplant it to a new area.

How To Germinate And Grow Passionflower Seeds In The Purple Color

How To Germinate And Grow Passionflower Seeds

Reproducing purple passionflowers from seed is possible, even though the germination rate is low and the process is more complicated than propagating the plant from cuttings. It takes two to three months, but it might take as long as a year. Towards the end of winter or at the beginning of spring, you might give the following steps a try:

  • If you use seeds that a plant has already produced, you should harvest them from the berries after they have become yellow, shriveled, and mushy.
  • Brown seeds indicate that the plant has reached Maturity; for optimal germination, spread mature seeds as soon as possible after harvesting the crop.
  • After washing, soak the seeds in warm water for between 12 and 24 hours. Throw away any floating seeds since they cannot develop into viable plants.
  • Place seeds on the top of a moist potting mix and sow.
  • Place the plant inside a plastic bag to prevent the moisture from escaping.
  • While you wait for the leaves to emerge, ensure the seeds are kept in a dark, cool place. Grow lights and maintaining a consistently warm temperature throughout this period can assist boost the likelihood of successful germination.
  • Once the seedlings have reached a size where they are manageable, you may prick them out and transplant them into their pots.

Passiflora Incarnata (Purple Passionflower)

  • It is beneficial to the seedlings to keep them in a warm area throughout the first winter and then to plant them outside in the late spring or early summer after the last frost has passed.
  • Before transplanting the plant into its permanent place, it should be hardened off for about two weeks.
  • If temperatures remain above 55 degrees, Fahrenheit can plant the seeds immediately at the site where they will be grown outside.

Putting Purple Passionflowers In Pots And Repotting Them

Even with fertilizer, your plant will eventually eat up all of the nutrients in the container within a few years because purple passionflowers are such heavy feeders. At this stage, it is advisable to repot the plant in a container at least a few inches larger than the one it is currently growing in. Check that the container has adequate drainage holes and that the media you're using is fertile and well-drained before you plant anything.

The Most Common Pests And Diseases Found In Plants

The Most Common Pests And Diseases Found In Plants

The purple passionflower is attractive for some reasons, including its resistance to diseases, pests, and deer to a certain extent. However, in humid and warm areas, pests like scale insects, spider mites, and whiteflies may become a concern. Root rot is another potential problem if the soil around your plant does not drain well.

How To Achieve Flowering In Purple Passionflowers

How To Achieve Flowering In Purple Passionflowers

The exotic, fragrant summer flowers of the purple passionflower measure between one and three inches in width and often only remain open for a single day. Please do not attempt to train your plant in an overly formal manner because it is more likely to produce blossoms on loose tendrils that hang down. Because they are heavy feeders, you may be dissatisfied with the number of blooms that occur if you do not get the nutrition levels just right.

Frequently Asked Questions