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The characteristics of passionflower
- Type: vine
- Height: 2 to 5 m, 5 to 10 m, 10 to 20 m
- Flower colors: white, blue
- Fruit name: passion fruit, maracuja…
- Desired exposure: sunny, semi-shaded
- Type of soil: humus
- sanitizer: no
- variety: Passiflora affinis, Passiflora aurantia, Passiflora biflora, Passiflora caerulea, Passiflora edulis
Origins and peculiarities of passionflower
The passionflower (Passiflora) belongs to the genus Passiflora of the Passifloraceae family of more than 530 species. Initially, this climbing plant developed in the tropical zones of Australia, America and Asia.
Its name comes from the use that the Jesuits of South America had, who represented the Passion of Christ to the natives thanks to this flower, in which we can see, with a little imagination, a hammer, a crown of thorns as well as the Crucifixion nails.
Visually, the passive flowers are very aesthetic plants which are characterized by:
- Their magnificent flowers can be blue or white depending on the species;
- Their more or less ornamental foliage depending on the species.
The most well-known passiflora are the grenadilla which gives the passion fruit, the officinal passionflower which has sedative and anxiolytic properties as well as the blue passionflower, very widespread in French gardens like ornamental plant.
Use of passionflower
The Native Americans made poultices with the passionflower leaves to treat wounds and bruises. Available in fruit juice, it relieves eye pain. Crushed leaves have a reputation for treating burns and rashes.
The passionflower is used as a medicinal plant, in particular because of its soothing and anti-stress properties. If you have trouble falling asleep, passionflower herbal teas are therefore highly recommended!
Be careful however: at too high a dose, passionflower leaves can become toxic…
Although some passionflower species withstand temperatures around 0 ° C, it is preferable, if you are not in a region with a mild climate, to place the plant in a greenhouse or in a veranda. Passionflower prefers humus soils and does not adapt well to dry and alkaline soils. To optimize flowering, the development of the plant should not exceed 45 centimeters long by 45 centimeters wide.
To note : Passiflora contain tendrils; if you plant them next to a pergola, a trellis, a fence or a tree trunk, the latter will not fail to wrap around the support ... for a more aesthetic visual rendering!
Caring for Passiflora
To limit its vegetation, it is advisable to trim passionflower after flowering: its size will only improve the next flowering. The branches can be cut by a good half. Wilted flowers should be removed as they appear. In winter, the base of the plant will be protected with mulch. In summer, it will be watered copiously, especially in case of strong heat.
Diseases and enemies of passionflower
The passion flower can be attacked by aphids which make the leaves sticky and can transmit viruses to it.
Red spiders can also attack passionflower and cause small discolored spots to appear on its leaves.
Finally, whiteflies and mealybugs like to hide on the inside of their leaves.