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This month in the garden...

 

"The best way to make sure you're removing a weed and not a valuable plant? If it comes out of the ground easily it's a valuable plant."

Anonymous

 

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This Month in the Garden (July 2010)

Most people think of passion flowers as tropical plants but, with care, Passiflora incarnata or the Maypop passion flower (U.S. zones 5 to 9) will grow in Wisconsin gardens.

Passion flowers got their common name in the early 1500ís when Catholic missionaries to the New World felt they displayed signs of Christís suffering on the cross.  The plants are vines with trifoliate leaves and in warm climates will bear both new flowers and fruits at the same time.

Passiflora incarnata is native to the sandy soils of the southeastern U.S. The common name comes from its habit of rapidly pushing new growth out of the ground in May in areas where it dies back to the soil line in winter.

Maypop has light lavender flowers and will need winter protection in Wisconsin.  Grow Maypop in a sunny, protected location, near a south facing wall or under a roof overhang and use four to six inches of winter mulch.  The vine is drought tolerant when established and can be propagated from seed or spring cuttings.  Seeds should be soaked 24 hours before planting and may take up to a year to germinate.  The soft wood cuttings should be taken early in the year and will have to be overwintered indoors and planted out the following spring.

Ripe passion flower fruits are the size of henís eggs and may resemble small kiwis.  They can be difficult to find since they are a popular food for wildlife.  Fritillaries and other butterflies also feed on the plantís leaves in their larval forms.  Maypop fruit may be harvested for making jam and jelly and parts of the flower are used in herbal remedies. 


This Month in the Garden Archive:

November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July
2010
June 2010
May
2010

April 2010
March 2010
February 2010

January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April
2009

March 2009

 

Port Washington Garden Club, PO Box 492, Port Washington, Wisconsin 53074
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