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Tropicals & Tender Perennials: Sulky Incarnatas

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Forum: Tropicals & Tender PerennialsReplies: 2, Views: 53
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Ann Arbor, MI
(Zone 5a)

September 6, 2012
8:32 AM

Post #9266898

Hello Passiflora gurus. I'm new to growing these plants (and to Dave's Garden) and I was hoping someone could give me advice on a problem I'm having with my Maypops (Passiflora incarnata).

By all accounts these things are supposed to grow like weeds, and I am growing them only a little bit north of their native habitat, so I'm puzzled by their sulky behavior after planting them out as transplants. I started them from seed last spring, growing them in small pots up to about a foot, at which point they were growing quite vigorously. I then transplanted them to larger containers and they stopped growing completely. They have been sitting there sulking for over a month now and showing no new growth at all despite decent weather. The leaves are now exhibiting what I take to be signs of nutrient deficiency (see first two photos) - when I planted them out they were bright green. The tendrils have all curled up into tight little balls and refuse to open (third photo). I dug up the roots a little and they appear healthy.

The potting mix is a fairly rich 50/50 ProMix/forest compost amended with an all-purpose organic fertilizer (Espoma Plant Tone). The container is a milk crate lined with burlap, so it drains pretty well but the soil does stay very moist. I haven't done any additional fertilizing beyond a dose of chelated iron in an effort to combat what I initially took to be signs of chlorosis this has had no visible effect.

I'm very puzzled by these plants' behavior and would be grateful for any insight you could provide.

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Ft Myers, FL
(Zone 10a)

January 16, 2013
2:17 AM

Post #9386757

I grow this passiflora quite a bit, as it is the favorite of gulf fritillary and zebra longwing butterflies where I live. They love the nectar
of the flowers and also the leaves are the food source for their caterpillars. Like you, I often see nutrient deficiency in the leaves
of many of the plants, while others do perfectly fine. You may be keeping it a bit too wet, mine like to dry out inbetween.
They also do well when fertilized with a weak solution/water soluble fertilizer. Take stock in the fact that
you are not alone in this passie's pickiness, at least imho. Also, I've noticed this one hates you messing around with the roots,
unlike edulis, which grows like a weed down here, and takes transplanting well.


Ft Myers, FL
(Zone 10a)

January 16, 2013
2:27 AM

Post #9386760

PS: I have never used the mix your speaking of. I use my own super well rotted compost that has lots of
coconut and pine bark broken down into the sandy mix. To this, I add some peat, and a ton of perlite,
plus osmocote beads. These incarnatas do much better than the ones that naturally grow in the ground here,
as our soil in Florida are notoriously crummy. The only in-ground ones that do good here (for me) tend
to grow out of the broken down pine needles my husband mulches up with the lawnmower, and are in
good partial shade of pine tree canopies. I realize yours are potted, but perhaps the pine's weak acidity

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