Description There are over 400 species of tropical passion flowers (Passiflora spp.) with sizes ranging from ½ inch to 6 inches across. They are found naturally from South America through Mexico. Early missionaries to these regions used the distinctly colored patterns of the flowers parts to teach about the passion'of Christ; hence the name. Read on to learn more. Propagating Passion Flower Seeds Passion flower seeds are best germinated while fresh, or straight from the fruit. They do not store well and will usually go dormant for up to a year. To break dormancy and improve germination for seeds, you can simply take a piece of fine sandpaper and lightly rub one or both sides of the seeds. Then soak the seeds in lukewarm water for about 24 hours. Press the seeds about ¼ inch into moist potting mix or peat compost-whatever you use should drain well. Cover with ventilated plastic to maintain humidity and remove once germination begins within two to four weeks. (Note: Seeds can take anywhere from four to eight weeks or even longer to germinate.) Keep seedlings out of direct sunlight until they develop their second set of leaves. Don't expect instant blooms with seed-grown plants. Some passion flower species can take up to ten years to bloom Tips for Passion Flower Care Their vibrant colors and heady fragrance make the passion flower plant a welcome addition to any garden. Unfortunately, because of its origins, most species of passion flower plant can't overwinter in many gardens in the United States, although there are a few that will survive up to USDA plant hardiness zone 5. Most varieties will grow in Zones 7-10. Because they are vines, the best place for growing passion flowers is along a trellis or fence. The tops will be killed off during winter, but if you mulch deeply, your passion flower plant will return with new shoots in the spring. Since growing passion flowers can reach 20 feet in a single season, this die back will help keep the vine under control.
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