Passion Flower – Overwintering

(Question)

I live in the GTA and bought my first Passion Flower this spring. It was sold in a hanging basket; however I removed from the basket and planted it into my garden and trained it to climb up my arbor. I now know that it can be brought indoors for overwintering. How do I go about doing this? Will it bloom indoors, or do I cut it down completely?

Thank you

(Answer)

The Passion Flower (Passiflora spp.) can be overwintered in 2 ways.  They can be left to continue growing or they can be forced into dormancy until spring.

Since you have planted your passion vine in your garden, you will need to dig it out and place it in a suitable container with adequate drainage.  Make sure when you dig out the plant that the root ball is as generous as possible and that the ball is not disturbed.  Plant with potting soil to fill in the spaces that will not be filled by the root ball.   Water well and allow to drain fully before bringing indoors.

Now you have to decide if you want to put the vine into dormancy or not.  If you have an adequately sunny and warm location, you can place the plant in that location and expect it to continue to flower with appropriate care.  That care would include adequate watering, misting (or adequate humidity) and regular turning of the plant to expose the entire plant to sunshine.  Should you decide to put the plant into dormancy, you would need to put the plant into a dark, dry and cool location.  Water only monthly, just enough to keep the stems from drying out.  It will lose most of it’s leaves which should be removed and discarded to discourage any disease.  Once the spring arrives, it can be brought into a sunny location to start growing again.  Once it is warm enough outside, the plant can be ‘hardened’ outside by exposing to the sun in ever-lengthening periods of time until it can survive in full sun without being burned.  Cut back any dead stems.  It can then be replanted in the garden for the remainder of the season.