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I Have Passion Flower That I Cannot Get Rid Of…

Cynthia Asked

I have passion flower that I cannot get rid of and need to have a suggestion on what to try.

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Cynthia: There are several hundred species in the passiflora genus. Most are tropical vines that are not native to the United States. Passiflora incarnata is the species native to the Southeastern part of the country. I assume this is the one you are trying to get rid of. Despite its very complex and beautiful flowers, this vigorous vine can reach upward of 30 feet and be a challenge to get rid of once established. If your goal it to eliminate it from the garden completely you will want to cut back all of the current season’s growth and dig up as much of the root system as possible. This is the part that will be a challenge. The roots can grow as deep as 2 feet and depending on how old the vine is the roots can be quite thick as well. Spot spraying the tips of the roots with Roundup will help kill the roots. Be careful if you choose to use this herbicide since it is nonselective and will damage any plant material you may want to keep in the garden. It may take a few applications to kill the root system so keep an eye out for new growth for the rest of the growing season and next spring as well. Cutting back new growth before it has a chance to take off is key to keeping this vine under control. This vine is spread by root suckers and seed so removing the flowers before the seeds dry and the birds or wind have a chance to spread them will help eliminate future plants from popping up.

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