Another Passion Surprise

This ‘Blue Crown’ hybrid Passion vine has surprised me again.

First surprise was that it survived the winter outside.


I actually noticed it growing during the warm patches.

Second surprise was that the blooms move the female parts up or down depending on some unknown reason. I am hoping GEORGE will eventually explain this.

Third, the vine has started producing lovely orange fruits for the first time ever.


My fourth surprise occurred when I opened a “pop” to discover…



Who knew? (Probably you.)

All this from just one plant.

I know…I am easily entertained.


Smother Lessons from a Vine

I am a helicopter mother for my plants also.

So I overprotect the rare ones whether they need it or not.

I have had this ‘Blue Crown’ hybrid Passion vine for four years.


When I finally got multiple starts by cuttings, I decided to risk leaving one outside.

Surprise! It stayed green all winter. The ones inside went dormant.

The ousted vine has climbed all over the fence.


The two potted clones have finally started to grow.


The one left out is covered in blooms. The protected ones are just now getting leaves.


Will I be bringing one in next winter?

Yes. Just in case it gets super cold.  I will keep one stock plant inside.

Sometimes growing things need to be left alone. That includes children.



Saving My Passions

Saving my Passions involves some risky behavior.

Passion vine hybrid

I must climb a ladder with scissors in my hand.  Twice.


The first trim occurs back in early fall.  I cut off the side shoots.

I then streamline the vines down to three or four main stems.

The first trim prevents the vines from getting shocked all at once and makes the second trim easier.

Then I climb back up again, about a month later, to cut them down from the trellises.

I usually leave about one third of the plant in place.

I wrap this lower portion into a wreath-like ring and secure it to a short trellis in the pot.

I use garland hooks from craft stores to hold vines onto the trellis. These can be moved and removed easily.

I then wheel my potted vines into my sunny workshop to spend the winter with all my other precious plants.

It’s a jungle in there!

The trimmed pieces may be cut up into cuttings to produce new Passion vine plants for my friends.

Passion vines cuttings. Red Passion has bigger leaves that are hairy and bronzed.

I keep a request list.  Newly rooted plants will be given away in the spring.

The bunnies helped out by hiding under the Turk’s Cap plant.


They know mama on a ladder with scissors is something to be afraid of.


Where’s the Pot?

I thought I would like this trellis up here on the library deck.


I wanted to be able to see the bright red blooms from my desk.


I might have to put a “dummy pot” on the stand under it.

Where is the real pot?


Way down below at the base of the column.

This vine stretches out its springy tendrils and grows like crazy.

My Red Passion vine is one of my favorites.


Caterpillars Come Back

Okay.  I know these are not the same caterpillars as last year.

Those are long gone as Fritillary butterflies.

I grow these wild Passion vines just for them.


I have been inspecting the leaves for weeks.


I was beginning to get concerned.


Then they appeared.


Large and small. Over and under. Here and there.


Just like always.


I love them with a Passion.





Vine Time

I love vines, as you probably know by now.

By the end of July they have reached the top of their trellises.

They are finally starting to produce flowers.

Two of my favorites are putting on a show this week.

The hybrid Passion vine is opening several flowers each day.


I had to get on a ladder to get these shots.

Notice the pollen underneath the stamen paddles.

Hybrid Passion vine

This vine only made one fruit last year with no seeds inside.

My Moon vine has produced its first two blooms this week.

I missed the first, but caught this one closing this morning.

Moon Vine

More blooms ahead.



A Plant that Feeds Ants

I was thrilled to discover my first Red Passion flower bloom last week.


When I checked on it the second day, it had all ready closed.


Upon closer examination, I discovered it was covered with tiny ants.


These ants were busily scurrying between tiny green discs on the outer edges of the sepals/calyx.

I at first thought these green discs to be aphids,

but they were too uniformily spaced.


I had to do a little research to discover their identity.

They are tiny nectaries, produced by the plant to feed the ants.

These ants in residence provide services in return.

They guard the plants against aphids and caterpillars.

If you have been following the FLOWER, you have seen my caterpillar photos,

many of which were taken on my wild Passion flower vines.

I have not seen one caterpillar on this Red Passion flower vine.

So the Red Passion plant has pet ants.

Who knew?