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why won't my american passion flower vine stay put?

 
Posts: 7035
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I've gathered passiflora incarnata in the wild for medicinal uses for years.  We love it as a relaxing tea and sometimes more strongly brewed  for headaches and pain.  It's probably my favorite flower.

So, when we moved here, four years ago, I brought a lot of the fruits to plant everywhere here.  Some germinated but none were where I stomped them into the soil.

At the same time, because I didn't want to be without this wonderful herb, I ordered some of the same from Richter's, planted the seed in pots and when the plants were large enough set out at a trellis.  They were the same genus and species but had the beautiful blue/purple flowers rather than the white ones I gathered in the pastures.

This year, I have been watching patiently everywhere I planted them and sure enough,  they are coming up everywhere but where they are supposed to be.   I think if I had to guess, it's within a ten or twelve foot radius of where I either stomped in more fruit or left roots from last year.

They are supposed to be a perennial and good from zone 6-9.    

Why do you supposed they (I assume it's the seeds moving around) travel?  mice? birds? ants?

The best way I've found to deal with this is have a lot of little river cane tripods ready to set up where ever they pop up....and find something else to plant on my other trellis.
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Hi Judith,

If I'm not mistaken, or should I say my best educated guess. The new annual growth doesn't come up in the same spot, because the rhizome they develop underground, is grown from the plant the previous season. The rhizome grows underground wandering away like a underground vine, from that years growth, then the new growth the following season comes from the tip of last years underground running rizome that grows far away. If I'm not mistaken anywhere within 12 feet circumference. The old rizome developed underground, that brought forth to the previous years growth dies back, and the perennial plant sustains itself from the annual migration of its rizome, to produce its new annual growth from the biennial cycle of that wandering rizome. Kind of like the canes on some raspberries plants, that only flower on the previous years cane growth. This may be an adaptation to allow the plant to migrate into fresh ground which hasn't previously been utilized by the plant, leaving its seeds behind in that area to develop where the plant hasn't striped the needed nutrients bare. It also alows its seeds to develop unhindered by the competition of the parent plant, while allowing those sister seedlings to politely migrate out away from each other reducing competition.

Hope that helps!
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 7035
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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thank you R. Steele!  That makes a lot of sense.

It also makes me curious and tempted to investigate any runners that might be connected to my original spot.

The ones in the front yard would have had to ventured through uncultivated lawn...but the ones in the garden I think I could easily look for the escaped roots.

I wonder how much difference it would make if I added compost where I wanted them to stay?  They were so nice on the trellis shading our front porch...now I have to plant some quick growing hyacinth beans or something
 
R. Steele
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Hi Judith,

From what I understand the rizomes unpredictability wander. Most plants have the ability to detect things they're after, nutrients being one of them, and will intentionally go out of their way to take advantage of needed and available resources; however, it's hard to know how the rizome will react. If I'm not mistaken, I know individuals who have tried using compost to guide the plants decision making, and the vine didn’t cooperate. They eventually stopped trying, and just put movable trellises, wherever it popped up the following year. Unfortunately the vines can eventually migrate right off the propery.

Depending on your hardiness zone, there are varieties that establish themselves more permanently, and in using large pots can be moved to give extra winter time protection. These are of course less winter hardy varieties, more suited to subtropical conditions.

As far as the seeds you mentioned in your first post, lots of things could have moved them, but its hard to guess more spacifically without observing all the relevant details. That could explain plants traversing distances not explained by typical rizome migration.

Hope that helps!
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Thanks again!

It was just not something we noticed until we tried to 'tame' this wild plant
We always gathered from an overgrown pasture...the vines would lay out across the grasses and other plants.  I never noticed year to year that the location changed much.

I'm still finding new starts around the yard and I can't bear to mow them so things are looking a little odd.....

One place would have had to go under a sidewalk though?  I'm not so sure how it got there, maybe that one was traveling seed?


 
R. Steele
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Hi Judith,

Your welcome! I'm not familiar with the exact situation, so what could cause seed dispersion would be a random guess. If the seeds had fruit still attatched, many critteres could disperse them. Even the smell of fruit on the seeds could cause interest and dispersion from rodents. Seeds have been distributed by getting stuck in the tread of shoes. Squirrels and birds often move seed even burying them. Birds often even eat the seeds, then depending on the seed, can pass them through leaving the seed in droppings still viable. Erosion or heavy rain can move seeds too.

I can say, the width of a sidewalk wouldn't be enough distance to hinder the amount of rizome growth that variety has been documented growing in a single season.



 
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