This year I grew passion vines from seed for the first time. In fact, I have never even had any kind of passion vine plant in my garden or in a pot before. They are supposedly aggressive vines in warmer climates (like zones 9 – 11), but will die in cold winter regions, which southwest Idaho is (zone 5). Some sources say it might be possible to overwinter a passion vine in a very protected location, with mulching. I may try that next year, but for now, the three passion vines that I grew from seed are safely in my greenhouse.
There were two minor challenges with getting the seed to germinate. First, it had to be soaked. I put it on a warm window sill for this. There were not any noticeable changes in the seed from soaking. (click on any photo to enlarge)
The little round seed was easy enough to keep track of and plant in potting soil just like I do for all my seed starting. The main thing now was to be patient since the earliest the seed packet said to expect germination was 3 weeks. So, I covered the pots with plastic and put them in a warm cupboard.
I was pleasantly surprised when I had one seed sprout in almost exactly three weeks. A couple other sprouts were soon to follow, two in one pot, but that was all out of the 6 pots. Now, it was time to move the pots under the greenhouse lights, in hopes of still keeping them warm enough for more to sprout.
The seedlings were very sturdy right away, looking a bit like little trees. However, they did not grow very fast. In fact, they didn’t change much in size until I planted them outdoors when the weather was reliably warm during both the night and day. Two were put in large pots and one was planted directly in a flower bed in full sun.
All three vine seedlings did well, but the ones in the pots suffered a bit from inconsistent watering and being a bit crowded from flowers around the perimeter that grew larger than expected. Neither of those blossomed, but the plant in front finally blossomed in early October. I had about given up hope, but it was worth the wait to find that exotic bloom.
I decided to move them all into the greenhouse for the winter. This doesn’t leave me with walking room on one side of my potting table, but the plants will get good light from the east facing patio windows and the grow lights. (see a one minute greenhouse tour video below!) I removed all the overgrown petunias from the pots. I left in the smaller midnight phlox, and let the potting soil dry out enough to make the pots lighter to move. I still needed a bit of help to get them up the patio step.
When I was cleaning up and moving the pots, I saw what looked like another passion vine seedling in one of the pots! I checked it carefully, making sure it wasn’t just growing from the same roots. From what I read, it could take some seeds up to a year to sprout. I will either transplant it or thin it.
The vine growing directly in a garden bed was a bit bigger, but I decided it was worth trying to dig it up. The soil was moist due to a recent rain, which made digging easy. The roots ended up being robust, but not unmanageable. Once it was potted, I temporarily dropped the vine over the rocket stove chimney stack that my husband started building in the greenhouse. Yeah, some interesting things go on in my greenhouse. He says he will not be working on it in the near future.
Just that single bloom has inspired me to keep experimenting with passion vines. It might be worth starting some mid winter and up planting them to larger pots, so they will be more mature in the spring. I might also be able to root branches into some gallon pots off of the already grown vines. I’m already thinking of fences I could drape them on for a unique display next year!
Here are the books mentioned in the video:
You have the options of a kindle or print book for the book in English
And because the kindle and print versions of the Chinese are not linked at amazon –