Passion Flower

1. Q: I have a passion flower that I have been keeping on my deck this summer. I have brought it inside as the temperature has dropped up here in Canada. I am looking for information on keeping this plant healthy inside under artificial lights. I have read two differing views on this. 1) treat it like a regular houseplant i.e., regular watering etc; 2 let it have a dormant period.

A: The passion flower (passiflora) is a vine of vigorous growth which blooms intermittently throughout the winter months. The flowers, which are about 4 inches across, are intricate in detail and beautiful in coloring. The plant prefers sun, but will do well in partial sun. It is best suited to moderately cool temperatures. The plants should be grown in 6- or 8-inch pots. They make rapid growth and require plenty of moisture. A fine, but strongly attached, wire placed up the sides and along the top of the window will provide adequate support for the tendrils.

The reason you are getting mixed signals about the dormancy is that most people in the southern U.S. grow it as a root-hardy perennial; it would freeze in the ground if you tried that in Canada.

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