Peculiar Passion Fruit

Passion Fruit, originally uploaded by jazmyn.

Not many people are aware that you don’t have to live in the tropics to grow passion fruit. There are hardy varieties, such as the Maypop Passion Flower, you can grow in Zone 5. In colder climates you can find varieties that adapt well to containers, such as the variety ‘Black Knight’ and bring them inside during the winter or grow them as an indoor plant entirely.

The passion fruit in the same genus as the passion flower (Passiflora) and has very similar flowers. However, the passion flower does not have edible fruit so care should be taken when choosing a plant to grow.

Passion Flower

The flowers of both plants are quite peculiar. While today they are frequently associated with romance and sexuality, the “passion” in their name is actually in reference to the “Passion of Christ.” From Wikipedia:

That’s quite a breakdown of just one flower! 

I’ve successfully and unsuccessfully grown passion fruit. At our previous home, in Napa, we had a plant grow quite well. The now defunct Copia had large teepees of the vine in their gardens that you could sit in. However, at our current home I killed mine last year because of the salt water in our well. I do plan on planting a new one though as soon as I can.

To learn more about growing passion fruit, particularly in colder climates, check out The Garden of Eaden’s blog entry on the subject.

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