Hi there, I'm very new to gardening and bought my first passiflora last year. I was told that it was a hardy plant that would grow and vine, which is what I was looking for... however, after the winter it still hasn't returned - there are no green leaves, and the branches look "dead" to me. What can I do? Is this a doomed project?
The pot has holes, it was watered over Xmas, and some plantfeed was put in the pot.
Do you know what Passiflora species it was? And do you know what zone you're in? Some varieties are less hardy than others, so it's possible depending on what zone you're in and what passiflora this is that it wouldn't be hardy in your zone. Or if it is one that should be hardy in your zone, then it could have been a problem with watering or something. If it's one that should have been hardy in your area I wouldn't give up on it yet, sometimes if things are damaged by cold they will take a while to wake back up in the spring. You could try scratching the bark with your fingernail down somewhere near the base of the plant--if it's green underneath then it's still alive, but if it's not green then it's most likely dead. Some things will come back from the roots though so you could still wait a bit.
Thanks very much. I'm actually in the Netherlands, and was told by the lady at the shop that it should be okay here, but seeing it looking so barren I'm a little concerned. When it flowers it has purple flowers (if that helps).
I've found that people who sell plants don't necessarily know that much about them. She may have been familiar with one type of passiflora and assumed that they'd all be the same. There are a lot of species of Passiflora, some of them can't take much frost, but others can handle areas that have pretty cold winters. And unfortunately a lot of them have purple flowers, so that doesn't help narrow it down much. Do you have a picture of it from last year when it was blooming? Regardless of what happened to it, there's not much you can do now besides wait and see if it puts out some new growth. I'd try the scratch test that I suggested above and see if there's any green under the bark.
Can't tell for sure, but it might be P. caerulea http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1264/ I still don't know what zone you're in, but this one's pretty hardy so if that's what it is, I suspect it was something else that killed/damaged it besides cold. Can you say a little more about when you noticed it starting to look unhappy, what were the symptoms, etc? My first suspect is usually overwatering because that's one of the most common ways that people kill their plants but there are lots of other possibilities as well.
The Netherlands is listed as zone 8. I noticed over winter that the leaves hadn't fallen away, but looked very brown and wilted. When I touched them they simply crumbled, so I thought I'd remove the leaves to see if that helped in any way. I did the fingernail test today and I can't see any green - doesn't look promising :(
Do you recall whether you'd had any frost or cold weather before the leaves turned brown? There are some Passiflora species that are only hardy to zone 9 or 10 so if you noticed it after cold weather hit that's probably what happened. There's still a chance it may come back from the roots so you've got nothing to lose by giving it a little more time--I usually don't give up on things until at least June (and I've had some things take that long to show signs of life if they were badly damaged by cold!)
I agree with ecrane3, Fynci - I grow several varieties of passiflora in my 8b zone (central Texas) and many of them are rather hardy. I would cut those stems back to about 12 inches, place it in a morning sun exposure and wait awhile. It just might surprise you! Anne
I've got mostly the same issue with my passiflora caerulea. I got it last spring, and it grew and flowered like crazy. But when the fall came, and the room it's in started to get colder(no lower than 0-5 degrees Celsius, around 32 Fahrenheit), the leaves started to fall of, and the stem/vine withered(got dry and really easy to break). I was told this was normal, but I'm still nervous, he he. I did the scratching test, and underneath the bark it was a greenish white, more white than green, but with a hint of green. I have almost not watered it this winter, since the soil has been somewhat moist the whole time. I also have rocks at the bottom so it would drain better, therefor I doubt that I drowned it. Also I have cut the vines to about 2 inches, because the vines where dead above that.
You posted on a thread from 2009? I dont know passis very well- some of ours grow wild and sometimes they return, othertimes they dont. Green is good- pots are so cold to the roots of plants and they are dormant now here. They need resting times til soil temps are stable 50*? So not watering is a good thing until its ready to grow.
Meant to add...at bottom of the page is a place to post a query of your own about your plant, on each forum it has this. I know reading the threads gets your questions bubbling up - the info is for future use- i like to read old threads as well and it reminds me of things i meant to do! I am not an UBER and they will pop in and out as their times allow.