Leafing through a mail order catalog, I found the passion flower striking and worth a punt to try it out. In Zone 6 it is considered a soft perennial and needs its roots to be well insulated with mulch over the winter for it to survive.
Blue Passion Flower (Passiflora Caerulea):
- Type: Flower, perennial, vine (bears passion fruit in certain climates)
- Exposure: Full sun
- Hardiness zones: 6-9
- Blooms: Summer
- Height: 6’+
- Division: Yes, via cuttings
- Cost: $15 potted
The plant is a flowering vine that will bear fruit if grown in the right climate. The fruit is apparently edible, but tastes unremarkable. If given a fence or lattice to climb, it will creep up as its tendrils hold on to whatever they can reach, including other sections of the vine.
Bumble bees and honey bees love the pollen from this beautiful flower. The flowers have a distinctly clean fragrance to them. The smell is not overpowering, nor does it carry, it requires getting up close and personal to truly appreciate. The plant is also resistant to deer, rodents, and destructive insects.
My soil is horrendously poor and notoriously sandy, the plant doesn’t seem to mind one bit. Mulch, organic compost, and fertilizer help.
Although striking, the blooms only stay open for a day or two in Zone 6. The root I nurtured from my online purchase has been a slow grower and will only bloom one flower at a time. The potted vine I bought at my local nursery is easily 10 times larger and blooms multiple flowers at a time.
I recommend supporting a local business if you can. Not just for the feel good factor, but the quality and survivability of the plants is almost always better than mail order.