Hardy Passionflower - Knowledgebase Question

Grovertown, IN
Avatar for wl7cju
Question by wl7cju
April 19, 1998
I accidentally bought a package of Passiflora caerulea seeds from a local nursery being told they were the hardiest to grow this far north. According to my NAS fieldguide to wildflowers, there is a Passiflora incarnata that grows wild in Southwestern pennsylvania, when I contacted the company who makes the seeds. The told me to return the package I bought for the replacement of P.incarnata. According to the back of the package, it is zoned from 7-10. Is there another P.incarnata then that lives in comfort in Pennsylvania? Or is the package wrong? Would much appreciate an answer to what has become a 'mystery
of the hardy passionflower (zone 5)'.

Answer from NGA
April 19, 1998
"The American Garden Book", written by the folks at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, states that passiflora incarnata is hardy in zones 6 to 9. (Since parts of southwestern PA are zone 6, they may indeed thrive there. In fact, the plant is described as sometimes invasive.) However, I was not able to find a type that is rated as hardy to USDA zone 5. Passiflora caerulea is rated to USDA zones 7 to 10, and the reference states that often the stems are killed back to the roots in zones 7 and 8. Why not give P. incarnata a shot? Place it in a warm, protected spot and mulch it well in the fall, once the ground freezes.

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