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Beginner Gardening Questions: Passion flower vine w/o caterpillar devastation?

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Forum: Beginner Gardening QuestionsReplies: 3, Views: 25
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feisele
Tucson, AZ

April 6, 2013
4:14 PM

Post #9473992

I planted a passion flower vine last fall b/c I wanted a dense vine to screen off an east wall. Then I learned that because of its relation w/ the fritillary butterfly life cycle, my vine might be completely eaten by end of summer. Is there any way to prevent the butterfly's caterpillars from forming, and thereby have a green screen year round? Or do I need to find another vine?
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 7, 2013
10:28 AM

Post #9474711

I'd give it a chance and see what happens, caterpillar damage might not be as bad as you think. I have Passiflora 'White Wedding' growing on my back fence and if there's been any caterpillar damage on it, it isn't visible when I look at the vine from even a few feet away. It makes a nice green covering on the fence--I've had it for 4 yrs or so now and haven't had problems. I don't know if they like some species/cultivars better than others or if there just aren't that many of the right type of butterfly in my area but I think it's worth giving it a chance since you already planted it.
Diana_K
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 8, 2013
7:43 PM

Post #9476786

Some species are not the favorite food of these caterpillars.
P. x belotii, also called P. x alatocaerulea or P. x. pfordii (different names for same plant).
P. vitifolia is another species that is not as attractive to the caterpillars.
nelsoncastro
Victoria
Australia

April 9, 2013
10:12 PM

Post #9478349

ecrane3 wrote:give it a chance and see what happens, caterpillar damage might not be as bad as you think. Don't know if they like some species/cultivars better than others or if there just aren't that many of the right type of butterfly in my area but I think it's worth giving it a chance since you already planted it.


Couldn't agree more..the P. x alatocaerulea grows quite happily in a pot and you have the convenience of being able to move it to a sunnier site or even bring it indoors for the winter. Plus, it limits the spreading by rhizomes.

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