Hello! I joined the forum a while ago but this is my first post, so hi, all!
I am seeking some advice about growing Passionflower, aka Maypop, Passiflora incarnata. I am in Washington DC, which is Zone 7a. I have been interested in growing Passionflower for a variety of reasons- the flowers are beautiful, I love its medicinal properties, and butterflies love it.
I ordered a little Passionflower plant which should arrive in a couple of weeks, which I had planned to plant in my community garden plot. However, since then I have been reading more about it and I got worried that I might be getting into trouble! I knew it could be an aggressive grower but I also know it's native, so I thought it couldn't be that bad. But from some of the things I'm reading, this plant takes over everything quickly and is practically impossible to control. I only have a small community garden plot and I don't want this plant taking over my plot or everyone else's.
Would it be better for me to NOT plant this? Or am I being overly cautious? Thanks for any advice!
I planted one a few years ago and encourage it grow on my fence. It sprouts around the yard here and there, but the caterpillars and lawn mower keep it from getting out of hand. It dies back to the ground every winter and I'm in south Louisiana. I think you're too far north to get help from the fritillary caterpillars, but winter should beat it back every year.
It grows wild here and about one year in five or more, the weather is "just right" so it explodes everywhere. Vines go up trees and spread through abandoned pasture, mix with blackberry brambles, et cetera.
But, you know, that's just fast-growing vines. They aren't tough; you can trim 'em back with kitchen scissors. (Well, hand shears would be easier, true.)
They always come back in the same vicinity but not usually in the same place. But they aren't hard to control.
Can't speak to your climate zone, but here, where they are native, they really aren't a problem. I always want more of them than I find.
I have used it to provide shade/shelter on a chain link dog kennel converted to a pigeon loft, and have had good results. While it will die down to the ground in winter, it's so vigorous that it covers one side and the wire half of the roof by early summer. It is definitely strong enough to out compete the wisteria I planted at the same time, for the same purpose.
With that said, though, it's easy to manage. When it starts to get too heavy and the wire begins to say, I just cut/rip parts of it off. If it sends out the little runners underground and pops up in a place I don't want it, it only takes a couple of minutes to cut/yank it up.
The flowers are gorgeous and the fruit is loved by my poultry.