A Passion For Passion Vine Plant

By Nikki Tilley | March 10, 2021
by Nikki Tilley
March 10, 2021

I once stated that a plant I relate to well is passion flower for its unusually beautiful bloom and interesting characteristics. This still holds true, and if I could be a flower, the passion flower vine might be a good choice. It’s a little different and so am I.

My Passion for Passion Flower Vine

The purple passion flower variety (Passiflora incarnata) grows abundantly in my region. Also known as wild passion vine or maypop, I first came across this intriguing plant when I was about fourteen, walking along a trail in the woods as I commonly did. On that particular day, something purple caught my eye just off the path. I decided to investigate further and was amazed at the beauty of this unusual looking wildflower staring back at me. It was captivating, almost alien like in nature. 

I dared not pick the flower, though part of me wanted to. I left it as is but was disappointed upon my return. The blooms were gone and in their place were these green egg-shaped things. I had no idea at the time this was the fruit, and being somewhat mad about that, I stomped on them (yes, that was a bit aggressive), discovering yet another interesting aspect of the passion vine plant – it makes a ‘pop’ when stepped on. This is where the moniker ‘maypop’ comes from. Who knew? I sure didn’t until years later.

I’ve always wanted to grow a passion flower, though I never have. As a vine, it can become aggressive (much like me) with the right conditions, and living in a hot, humid environment, I’ve hesitated planting one. Maybe I’ll try it once I find a suitable area in the landscape or, perhaps, I’ll try planting a potted passion vine plant. It’s still on my wish list.

Passion Flower Growing is Similar to Me

I share a few traits with this exotic plant. Like the passion flower, I enjoy warm temps. That said, when it’s really hot during summer, as it can get in my southeast garden, some afternoon shade is a must. This is something to consider before planting. And while fairly low maintenance, as I deem myself to be, there are still a few things to keep in mind when passion flower growing. Some types can be heavy feeders (I like to eat too). You’ll need to include some type of support for the vines to grow on too, and remember, these vines may require pruning to keep the growth in check. I also appreciate a little support now and then. Given certain circumstances, I can become just as aggressive just as the vine, so it never hurts to “cut” away things that inhibit a healthy lifestyle and personal growth.

There are a number of meanings associated with the passion vine plant. I think one of the most common reflects its religious significance – many of which represent various elements of the Crucifixion. For some people this might be controversial, and that also represents me. While not devoutly religious per se, I’m very spiritual. Not everyone agrees with my need to be different, or unique like the flower. I have an open mind that can occasionally light fires. Such free thinking outside the norm is often frowned upon in some circles. Oh well. And then there’s the fact that certain species of passion flower vine, like the purple passion flower, are noted for medicinal benefits, such as calming the mind. I am extremely empathetic and can have a calming effect on those in need.

So there you have it. If I could be a flower, the passion flower vine best fits my personality. It’s a little different and so am I.

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