Bizarre situation- 20 foot Passiflora Vine (on life support!)

Discussion in 'Vines and Climbers' started by jpasquini, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. jpasquini

    jpasquini Active Member

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    Hi All,

    Forgive the long story. I purchased the Passiflora Incensa from Logee's in the spring, not only because of the huge cool flowers but because I wanted to use the fruit.

    Unfortunately, the vine grew like "a vine"....all the way up the side of the chimney all year long, till it reached the top. Yet not a bud or flower in sight.
    I had the same thing happen before- bought a Passiflora from same company, had it two years straight (brought it in in the winter), not a single bloom.

    Well on to my question: Disappointed yet again, after waiting another year- I brought the vine inside for the winter. But this time, BOOM! within an hour it went from thriving to wilted on the verge of death.
    This is probably my fault- I had had trouble getting the plant out by the roots, it had grown under the brick chimney, so I only had a small root section I could dig out.

    Not knowing what to do, I cut the last foot of the vine off and stuck it in a glass of water. It recovered! Yet even though I soaked the pot the rest of the vine was in, it continued to deteriorate.

    I noticed the cut off end of the vine was hollow, like a tube or straw. On insane inspiration, I took the free end of the 19 foot vine attached to the pot and stuck IT in a glass of water, thinking maybe it could suck up water backwards.
    Half of it (the upper half) recovered!
    Yet the lower half toward the pot continued to wilt, then dropped all its leaves.

    I now have a 19 foot Passiflora vine, one end in a pot, the other end in a glass of water (picture a giant upside-down "U") and what appeared to be half the plant alive. And its "head" sitting in a glass of water in the kitchen. All still alive, but clearly dying by degrees.

    Obviously I don't want to disturb the roots further, so I am stuck without any options. Meanwhile, BOTH the vine in the glass and the vine end in the cup, appear to be gradually wilting away. I can almost hear the slowing heartbeat of the hospital monitor.

    What can I do to save this plant!??? I am at my wits end.........thanks for any advice.

    JeffPas


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    BTW- If you have anything to say, say it fast. I honestly don't think this plant will survive the day in this situation, 2 tops. Something needs to change in its treatment! The Grim Reaper is closing in.
     
  2. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    passiflora vines are usually hardy to zone 6 and some to zone 5, so, really no need to uproot it and keep it inside over winter (unless your location is a lower zone rating).

    being hardy doesn't mean it will be evergreen, so, the vines would die back over winter and the plant would regrow from the roots come spring. i don't know if you can salvage this or not - you could try planting it outside again and maybe it'll survive the winter and regrow.

    not sure, since i haven't grow this one - they may need a couple of years to mature enough to flower.
     
  3. jpasquini

    jpasquini Active Member

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    I've left several outside over the years and they've all died- never came back. I know MayPops Passiflora is Zone 6 but I've never had that variety.

    My last try was a Ruby Glow, that I wintered indoors 2 yrs and then finally left it outside one winter hoping for the best, but it croaked.

    Logee's says they should bloom the first year.........not sure. Well, wondering if I should dig up the roots and put them in water, since that seems to help.
    Don't roots need to 'breathe'? Apparently the cutting I have (1 ft in the glass of water) doesn't.

    Should I dig up the roots and soak them in rooting hormone, maybe? I don't know.
     
  4. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Gosh! What a thing to happen week before Halloween!
    A horror show for you indeed it would seem.
    It sounds like there are enough parts for you to experiment in every method you can think of.
    Long ago I had heard that the water roots that plants develop are not the same as those that grow in soil
    but
    I have found that if I root a plant in water, I can then place it in soil I keep wet for a while, gradually drying it out to a proper moisture level for ordinary growing.
    I once saw a greenhouse owner using the water method to root one experimentally as they were not familiar with them at then either. I still find it a good way to get a start of my 'flossy' and a few other plants but they then need to go thru this transition of water to soil type root, I think. I'd like to know for sure from an expert too!

    I have a passiflora in the ground here for 20 yrs,. Some years she dies back to the ground but many years had green leaves until it got too frosty and rainy and wintery. She is planted in my most protected area facing South with her roots able to snug in under concrete so she doesn't get frozen in winter. I had had a root of it travel underneath to the back of the house ! and appear from a crack in the back patio floor but that's the north side so I didn't let it stay.
    This one has no good fruits, only small hollow things a pale yellow, good only for drawing pumpkin faces upon.

    Wishing you all success in your dilemma now.

    D
     

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  5. jpasquini

    jpasquini Active Member

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    This is exactly what mine did- it grew underneath the fireplace (tho I never light fires in it). I couldn't get it out.

    Could be this is the one time I should have left the thing where it was.

    This is the bloom, one of the biggest of all of them. It says hardy to Zone 6 on their site but then a nice "minimum temperature 40" copout, so no guarantee. For some reason, mine always die wintering outside tho Springfield, IL isn't really that cold.

    I wonder if I dug up the root part and stuck it in water, if that would be better than leaving it in the pot.
    It seems to be dying now.

    Next fall if it lives, I'll leave it outside. Got nothing to lose I guess.
     

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  6. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    A breath-taking beauty!
    We are getting in other varieties in beautiful colours at our nurseries locally but how many can one grow?
    Perhaps when I move.......oh to be able to plant shop once more!

    I found that they tended to get spider or cyclamen mites when grown indoors.

    So hard to say. Dying or going dormant?
    There may be rootlets left under that fireplace that may return.
    I have had them die out in one place only to come back where it was originally planted.
    If only one could see underground without digging!

    If the long vine is still attached to the now detached root (hard to tell)
    you might be more successful if you cut the vine and root it,
    leaving the root in a pot with soil right for growing, not too wet, but in a cool place for winter so it won't die or grow.

    You might try making several cuttings from the vine section using different methods for rooting it; soil & water. Only thing is, the light is not good for inducing growth now so that could be one improvement toward success.

    Lighting a fire now and then in the very cold might keep one alive there!


    Please let us know how things turn out for you.

    D
     
  7. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I grew that plant in Atlanta. It did very well, in fact, it was almost invasive in its spread. New growth appeared very late in spring (summer?) though. Eventually the caterpillars kept defoliating it and I let it all go. Look for new shoots coming up from the ground in spring. I don't think there would be any regrowth from the old vines after a winter in Zone 6.
     
  8. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    where you are located shouldn't be too much of an issue for this plant - things like high wind exposure do make a difference when it comes to hardiness and ability to make it through the winter, though. drainage or lack-there of may also be an issue in the spots you've tried. you might need to plant in a different (and more protected and/or better draining) location as well as mulch heavily for winter.

    although, the fact that it naturally grew under the fireplace sounds like it found a good/protected spot for itself and it may have done fine where it was - with a good layer of protective mulch over top as a 'coat' for winter.

    i always put crushed leaves (just crumpled by hand) around any of my plants that might be borderline for survival with extreme cold temps and/or extended cold temps. they do just fine and i've never lost anything - other than the mums and i didn't put the leaves around them the last two winters, so, that one is definitely my fault as they were always fine before that.
     
  9. stoneangel

    stoneangel Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout

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    I have the same variety as Dana. Mine is in a pot. I has grown like crazy.
    I had trouble with the buds falling off. Then found out that I needed to water it heavily when budding. Then it flowered. Some things to check:
    - the grower (try a new grower or plant store)
    - the soil (check ph) maybe add some fertilizer specific to flower growth
    - try cutting the new plant back ( I promise it will grow back)
    What I noticed about mine, is that the flowers grew on the new growth. I've seen the fruit on established, healthy plants and it wasn't that big. That might just be the case in cooler climates. Maybe someone else could comment on that.
    Good Luck!
     

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  10. jpasquini

    jpasquini Active Member

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    Hi All-

    Thanks for the replies. I just wanted to post an update on this thread for closure.

    The starters all died..........or at least, showed little response. It appeared as if they might have started to root, but it was extremely slow.
    It could be I didn't have enough light in the kitchen.

    As far as the potted vine however- all of the leaves dropped off until it was nothing but the stalk. It stayed that way for weeks. However, that stayed green.
    I kept the pot soaked for about two weeks [so wet there was sometimes even standing water under the pot], and one morning I noticed this (see pic below)

    IT LIVES!!! It came back from the dead!!!!


    As far as getting it to bud, I have no idea as it never has to date. I'll try keeping it wet though I know sometimes you can 'drown' roots, making all this tricker than it looks. Though these plants seem to like alot of water.


    They claim that this variety (Passiflora Incensa) is Zone 6...........so its going back under the fireplace in the spring and next fall I'll try leaving it outside.
     

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  11. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    sorry that the starts didn't...very glad the main plant is surviving, though! good luck with it over the winter - replant once the temps are consistantly over 55 day and night - actually, over 60 might be a better benchmark (just to be sure any chance of a late freeze has passed).
     
  12. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Thanks for posting back with your results.
    Nice to hear.

    D
     
  13. Charles Richard

    Charles Richard Active Member

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    I was given a passiflora vine from a friend at the nursery I used to work at in Nanaimo.
    It looks alot like 'Dana's' and it amazingly comes back every year. Last year with our winter it did get nocked back completely.
    The vines that I have seen in the tropics are absolutely beautiful and rampid growers.
    The fruit is quite delicous and like buying fresh peaches from the Okanagan as apposed to the local grocery store, the flavor and sweetness, there is no comparison.
    We have never had fruit on ours, but I enjoy the flowers and foliage. We have it growing with our Variegated Kiwi 'Actinidia Kolomikta'. Looks quite interesting together.
    This forum has been very insiteful.
     
  14. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Hi CR,
    If you get fruits they will be hollow on this variety.
    I got mine as an indoor plant that I tried outside on the sunny side of the house where the roots can get under for winter protection and it has thrived for 20 yrs with die-backs in the severe winter years, always to pop again somewhere from that underground root system. I have kept rooted cuttings in 1 gal pots in the garage overwintering dormantly too.
    I wonder about trying some of the other varieties here too. Next place perhaps.

    D
     
  15. Charles Richard

    Charles Richard Active Member

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    Dana,
    Have you tried other variaties. I know that I saw different forms at Art Knapps this past summer. Do you think that yours has hollow fruits, because it does not have a long enough growing period or many other variables?
    Kathy at the nursery said she sees different ones come through, but had not tried any.
     
  16. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Hello Charles,
    Even after checking my book I don't know if the passiflora caerulea has barren fruits because it does or if it is missing something here.
    Worth googling that. Thought I'd seen that somewhere.
    There is a variety called edulis.
    I have seen some beauties for sale also but have nowhere else left for trial.
    next place!

    D

    And also,
    I had one in water in the garage but it did nothing until I put it into the tray with bottom heat. It has since started to develop nice roots at the bottom which is mostly root rather than stem material.
    It just wasn't moving without the heat.
    Frugal to heat from the bottom too with little wattage used compared to a heater.
    I keep getting cutting from their invasion into a bed I will not let them grow into again.
    It becomes massively magnificent here given a few mild winters in a row.
    It needs no special care but is messy, dropping the numerous, once more closed, flowers when done and then leaves as they gradually drop off during the winter months. Not a great one for over a walk-way.
    Nice mild scent, like bees wax I think.

    D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2009

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