Passionflowers are exotic, eccentric, and even slightly alien. They grow on vigorous vines that have a stubborn streak and are difficult to train. However, passion vine training is possible if you follow a few important tips. Read on for information about training young passion vines.
Passion vines belong to the genus Passiflora, a genus including some 400 woody vines native to the tropics of North and South America. The vines produce gorgeous and unusual flowers and, in appropriate climates, passion fruit. The vines of the Passiflora plants are extremely vigorous and excellent climbers. Passion vine training involves maneuvering the vine’s growth into the direction you believe best for your garden. Trained passion vines add vertical interest and vibrant colors to your backyard. However, training young passion vines is not as easy as you might hope. If the vine tendril opts to head west, for example, you will have a fight on your hands if you want it to head east.
How to Train a Young Passion Vine
If you want to start passion vine training, you’ll want to first figure out a plan for the optimal direction and ultimate height of the vine. Then you must start training young passion vines tendril by tendril. Keep an eye on the vine’s progress day by day and be ready to step in if it goes off course. One way to succeed at training is to uncurl a vine tendril from an undesirable area and curl it around something in a desired area. Redirecting tendrils is the best, and some say only, way to accomplish passion vine training. You can also undertake passion vine training with trellises and wires. The vines are directed up the trellis, then, when they reach the top, the tendrils are directed along the wire in both directions. The trellis system is most appropriate for commercial production of passion fruit. However, it can also be used in your home garden. Once you have succeeded and the trained passion vines are growing where you want them to be, just sit back and enjoy the presence of this vigorous vine and its fragrant flowers. Don’t worry if vines layer up over each other. The passion vine does this regularly and thrives.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.
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