passion fruit vine

(Question)

So I bought both a tropical passion flower vine called clear skies and a passion fruit vine (unknown cultivar). the passion fruit vine was a small plant in a 4 inch pot. it has been planted up in a beautiful planter with an obelisk trellis and has since grown alot. how do i over winter it? I have heard they can go dormant. how do I do this? I have a cool dark basement. I really do not want to kill this plant. also when do I cut it back? do the two passion vines have the same winter care? I have included a picture as well. the one on the right is tropical passion fruit vine in the black pot and the one on the left in the grey pot is passion flower clear skies.

(Answer)

Dear Gardener,

Your passion flower vine is Passiflora Caerulea ‘Clear Sky’, and is often tagged as Blue Passion Flower, and also as Passion Vine. So, you can see,  your Passion Fruit Vine could very well be a similar cultivar, just named differently by the originating supplier.

Either way, both plants are Passiflora, of the family Passifloraceae, numbering hundreds of hybridized species. Some varieties have been developed specifically for the flowers, some for the fruit. Known for its strong tendril-climbing capabilities, delicate, exotic blossoms, and sometimes fruit, this family enjoys strong commercial, and growing, success.

The Royal Horticultural Society, England, says of the Passiflora Caerulea”:

“A really exotic-looking plant, with large white flowers and central filaments of purple, blue and white from July to September, followed by egg-shaped, orange-yellow fruit. The leaves are pretty, too; deeply lobed, dark green and glossy. This blue passion flower is a vigorous, trouble-free climber that thrives in hot summers and will quickly cover a sunny wall or fence. Ideal for a tropical planting scheme, it grows best at the base of a sheltered wall in full sun, although it will tolerate some shade. The fruit are edible when full ripe, but not very tasty.”

“This climber is semi-evergreen, so it can lose some of its leaves in winter. In colder regions or more exposed gardens, it may lose them all, but then fresh new foliage appears again in spring.”

So, to your question regarding wintering-over in our Toronto climate*, your intuition to plant them in good-sized pots will stand you in good stead. Because you now have the option of taking your thriving plants indoors, to continue growing, or to be held dormant. Please review this  detailed Toronto Master Gardener advice to Passion Flower  overwintering, for your options.

Trusting this will be helpful, and wishing you great success!

* Toronto, Ontario, has a Continental climate: Moist Continental mid-latitude climates have warm to cool summers and cold winters.