If one thing most homesteaders agree on is that multipurpose plants are absolutely priceless.
After all, if you are going to put a ton of time and energy into cultivating your plants, this is ideal for maximizing your crop, right? Purple passionPassiflora avatar) Is a perfect example.
Not only is it beautiful, but you can eat fruits, flowers and leaves, and it is an absolute pleasure to grow.
A Bit About Passionflower Plants
If you live in one of the more temperate regions in the United States, chances are you stumble upon purple charges in the wild at some point. It is native to the southeastern states and grows as a forest all the way to northern Ohio and Illinois.
When you are out for some time in July or August, will you be shocked by its presence. It looks like some alien life that happened to try to grow on this planet.
The leaves are optional and usually have three or five lobes. Meanwhile, the flowers have very beautiful, white-colored blue-white petals and purple flowers, and continue to grow long.
In fact, these vines can grow above 20 feet under ideal conditions, so consider when you are understanding where your cultivation is to be done.
Grow your Passionflower plants on trellis, arbor or other frames to keep the fruit from rotting along the ground. Placing them on planks also makes it easier to harvest.
Special Note: Try to grow yours around a tall Arbor or Gazebo, and wait. As soon as the flowers appear, they will be covered with butterflies and sparrows.
Instead of cultivating from seed, it is best to buy seedlings or young plants from reliable growers.
Yes, you can cultivate passionfruit with seeds, but they are difficult to germinate – they can also take months to develop into sprouts. The process hits or misses, but if you soak the seeds overnight you may have better luck.
Feasible, fertile seeds will drown, while infertile people will rise upward. Toss those out, and plant viable ones one inch deep into a sterile seed-starting mixture. Then cover lightly with additional soil.
Is there a possibility of better germination? Place an electric heating pad under your seed starting tray, and keep it on low heat. Make sure the soil remains moist, but not wet. Also, keep a full-spectrum growth light for 8 to 10 hours throughout the day.
Once the seedlings are a few inches long, you can transplant them into the garden, or planter pots.
Aim for neutral pH soils in the 5 to 7.5 range, mixed in some well-aged manure. If you are doing your development in containers, make sure to add perlite or volcanic rock to provide plenty of drainage.
These plants prefer to live in slightly drier soils after they mature, and without adequate drainage, their roots can easily rot.
Now, passionflower plants are required very Of sunshine. And i mean very. If they do not get many hours of direct sun, they also will not blossom, let alone produce any fruit.
The only exception to this is if you live in a scorching climate (area 11+). In this case, your plants will be grateful for a little shade from noon to 3 pm, so they don’t scorch.
This plant makes “perfect” flowers, not only its blooms are so spectacular. In botany, perfect flowers have both male and female reproductive organs (such as pistols and stamens).
That said, the flowers are self-sterilized. This means that you need at least two different vines, so pollen can be collected from one flower and used to fertilize another flower on a different vine.
Note that these flowers only bloom for 1–4 days, so if you aim to grow fruit on your plants, you will need to dive in with a cotton swab and get compost.
I have many bees where I live and they do well to pollinate my plants. But sometimes it is better to be active, than to skip fertilization.
How to grow Passionflower in cooler climates
As I have mentioned in some of my other articles, I live in the sub-boreal region of rural Quebec. We are in Zone 4B, so we get similar weather to parts of North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Minnesota. This means that we have a short season and a lot of snow in winter.
Most people think of Josh-Kharosh as exotic, sub-tropical type plants. They do not realize that they can actually be very developed anywhere. The key is time.
As soon as they are available I get young vibrant plants from local garden centers and plant them in containers. I apply tilak on the most numb part of my porch from mid-morning to midday. Then in the evening when the weather is cold, I bring them indoors.
Once the summer temperature is lowered and not too cold at night, I leave the pot on for the entire time. At this point, the plants have grown large enough that I need them to train a trellis. They will be out until autumn comes back, this time I bring the plants home for the winter.
I keep them in my basement, which is moderately warm throughout the winter. That said, I still cut grass around the plant bases with straw. It keeps the roots warm and protected.
Potential problems (and their solutions)
Passionflower plants are very tough, despite how fragile the flowers appear. I have never had any problems with me, but I know there were some issues with them.
One of these potential issues is a pathogen known as Fusarium wilt. It hides in the soil and can affect your plants at any time. Keep an eye on yellow, shrunken leaves and split stems.
Passionflowers may also suffer from cucumber mosaic virus and root-notch nematodes.
As an added annoyance, keep an eye out if you live in the nearby countryside. I have lost fruit to groundhogs and squirrels, and deer will eat everything, including deerflies.
Harvest poultry-sized fruits – also known as “mayopops” – while the skins turn brown and shrink. They will look like brown lunch bags after being used. Squeeze them very gently, and if the meat gives “little” and remains salty, it is ready.
Slowly close the fruit, similar to when you choose a tomato. Place these inside the baskets, and either eat them immediately or individually wrap them in paper and keep in the fridge. Never store them in plastic, or they will rotate the goo if you nap too much.
Note: The super-ripe passion fruit will fall just above the vine. If you find that your fruits are ripening and you cannot bring them home on time, then cut them, that’s fine. Place baskets or blankets under the bails to fall on them.
To eat them, cut the slices on top and take out the insides. The inner seeds are coated with a kind of disgusting (but tasty!) Gel and can either be eaten or removed. These seeds can cause stomach upset in some people, so you want to leave it with caution.
Passionflower fruits do not store well, but you can make jams out of them for winter storage.
How to use Passionflower medicinally
When they are as vibrant and luscious as possible, gather passionflower leaves and flowers. When they are in great shape, their components are vibrant and the remedies are full of goodness.
These can be used fresh, or dried, and are ideal in both tinctures and infusions. I use them in both types of preparations, as tingers are great to have on hand for emergencies. Infusions (tea) take a little longer, but are lovely when peeled in the evening.
Passionflower is a wonderful nerve tonic that has anxiolytic, sedative and antispasmodic effects. This means that it reduces anxiety, can calm you down and help you sleep. It can also reduce menstrual cramps such as muscle spasms.
In fact, clinical trials show that passionflower is as effective as anti-anxiety benzodiazepines such as oxazepam, without just negative side effects.
The comparative dose to achieve similar results was 45 drops of excitable tincture per day. Some naturopaths recommend 15 drops, three times daily. This allows the effect to remain constant throughout the day.
Start with 20 drops in a glass of water or juice to soothe anxiety and reduce insomnia. If you find that is not effective, try again with 10-20 drops.
Should you like tea, steep 1 teaspoon of dried passionflower in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Then strain it, and drink it hot. Sweeten with honey, agave, or maple syrup if desired.
A quick note:
As with all herbal medicine, make sure to do your research before consuming anything. If you are already taking anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications, talk to your healthcare provider.
Additionally, pregnant or nursing women should avoid taking Passionflower without professional medical advice.
Idea Source: morningchores.com