Passiflora coccinea
Common Name: red passion flower
Type: Vine
Family: Passifloraceae
Native Range: Guianas, southern Venezula, Peru, Boliva, Brazil
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 10.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Scarlet red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy, Edible

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-12. In St. Louis, passion flower should be grown in a container that is overwintered indoors in the cool temperatures of a greenhouse or in the bright light of a home with temperature around 60 F. For containers, use a well-drained, peat/humusy potting mix. Place containers outdoors in full sun after last spring frost date. Best flowering in full sun, but tolerates light shade. This flowering vine appreciates high humidity, but needs good air circulation to discourage fungal diseases. Water evenly and consistently during the growing season. Vines produce flowers on new growth, so they may be pruned as needed early in the growing season. Bring vines indoors before first fall frost date. Reduce watering from fall to late winter. Passion flower may be grown as a houseplant in a sun room or in a sunny south-facing window.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Passiflora coccinea, commonly called red passion flower or red granadilla, is a tropical, tendril-climbing, evergreen vine from South America that typically grows to 10-12’ and to 3-5’ wide and produces extremely showy scarlet red to deep red passion flowers (each to 3-4” wide). Flowers are followed by orange to yellow, edible passion fruit (to 2-3” long) known as red granadilla. Smooth, red to purple stems are clad with single, doubly serrate, oblong, medium green leaves (to 5” long). Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to the flowers. Passion flowers have an acquired religious significance that dates back to the 1700s when early Spanish settlers interpreted various parts of the flower to be symbolic of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, hence the common name.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Caterpillars (butterfly larvae) chew unsightly holes in the leaves.

Garden Uses

Where winter hardy, grow on a pergola, trellis, arch or fence. Where not winter hardy, grow in containers on a sunny porch, deck or patio and then overwinter plants indoors.