How to Care for Passiflora Over the Winter

Written by sarah terry
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How to Care for Passiflora Over the Winter
Passiflora vines need some winter protection when frosts or freezes threaten. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Approximately 500 species belong to the Passiflora genus, the most well-known of which is Passiflora edulis, commonly called the passion fruit vine. Although Passiflora typically grows best in climates with mild winters and no frosts, some cultivated varieties can withstand winter temperatures down to -1.67 degrees Celsius. Exercise precautions and special care to ensure your Passiflora vines will survive--and even thrive--throughout the colder winter season.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Light blanket or cloth
  • 10-5-20 NPK fertiliser
  • Pruning shears
  • Garden hose or irrigation system

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  1. 1

    Grow the Passiflora vines beside the wall of a building or deck or on a patio to help the tender plant survive occasional frosts or freezes. The warmth from your house or other heated building will radiate outward and help warm the vines.

  2. 2

    Cover your Passiflora vines when freezing temperatures or frosts threaten. Drape a large, light blanket or cloth over the vine or provide some other kind of overhead protective covering. Uncover the vines in the morning when temperatures warm.

  3. 3

    Feed your passion fruit vines with 1.36 Kilogram of 10-5-20 NPK formula fertiliser in early spring if the plants were damaged by winter frosts. The fertiliser application will help strengthen the vines and ensure spring regrowth.

  4. 4

    Prune your Passiflora vines in early spring if you live in a region with colder winters. Prune away all weak or frost-damaged growth and cut back the rest of the growth by about one-third.

  5. 5

    Water your Passiflora vines once a week in the absence of rainfall year-round, moistening the soil down to and around the root area. Although passion fruit vines demand more frequent watering while they're flowering and fruiting, watering regularly throughout the winter can promote year-round blooming and growth in many warm climates.

Tips and warnings

  • In some regions, like Hawaii and India, your passion fruit vines may produce fruit crops into late fall and early winter. In Hawaii the harvest season extends into January, while in India the harvest goes into December. Collect the fallen passion fruits daily to prevent contamination from soil organisms, spoiling of the fruits and animal grazing.
  • Passiflora vines are sometimes difficult to cover because of their large size. If overhead protection during frosts or freezes isn't feasible, you can allow the vines to freeze back to the ground in most cases. Passion fruit vines will typically grow back in the spring, even after freezing.

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