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The problem of your passion flowers not blooming may be due to environmental or biological factors, or because of how you’re attending to them. To give you an idea, pruning at the wrong time can remove most of the stems that produce the flowers resulting in no flowers that year. Feeding them with fertilisers that are hight in Nitrogen encourages lots of foliage growth at the expense of flowers, not enough sun can also lead to no flowers. As you can see, there are a few causes as to why your passion flowers may not be blooming.
Below is a more detailed guide on the causes and solutions to encourage those exotic, stunning flowers.
Environmental factors that lead to poor flowering passion flowers
Are your passion flowers planted in the best location for their good health? If the flowers are unable to generate enough energy through sunlight on the leaves, then both foliage and flowers will not grow very well, especially flowers. Passion flowers, even the more hardy Passiflora caerulea should be in a sheltered position, with four to six hours of direct but not too bright sunlight. My own passion flowers, usually get around 5 hours and do great. The soil should be well-drained and slightly acidic, although they will grow well in most soils, however, slightly acidic seems to be the sweet spot.
What to do
Closely examine where you’ve planted your passion flower plants for the environmental factors. Read Passiflora caerulea – Growing and caring for passion flowers to find out which conditions matter and what they should be. Adjust your passion flowers’ environment if possible, even transplanting them to a new location if necessary or even consider growing them in a pot. Top sim up, they need a sunny position with at least 5 hours of sunlight, well-drained soil in a sheltered position.
Your passion flowers may not be blooming due to the leaves being attacked by pests and/or disease. Many of the insect pests that go for your plant’s leaves suck out the sap. This weakens the leaves and makes them unable to produce the energy that the plant requires to produce blooms and even new foliage.
In addition, fungal diseases can also have the same effect on the leaves, stems and roots. These also weaken the plant, but now in all areas. Diseased plants, if left unchecked, may even die. Diseases are also easily transmitted to plants that are close to the infected ones, spreading throughout your passion flowers and even other none related plants.
What to do
Read my article on Passion flower pests and diseases as well as my guide on passion flower problems. This details the most common pests and diseases that affect passion flowers such as aphids, mealybugs and root rot most of which weaken the plant. And a weak plant usually can’t produce many blooms.
You’ll need to closely examine the flowerless plant to see which of the pests or diseases are present and then treat it. But most of the problems are treatable the same way (natural organic sprays and plant oils) and the problem generally won’t kill your plant.
Your issue of your passion flowers not blooming may be because of you and how you’re caring for the plants. The two most common mistakes are over- or under-watering and incorrect pruning.
You should water your passion flowers when the top 3cm of soil is dry. This is usually once a week; water more in drier weather. Rainwater is better than tap water (as it is for any plant). And watering the plant too much can result in water-logged soil which may lead to root rot which then leads to poor flowering. This weakens first the root and then the stems and the branches, leaves and blooms. The plant becomes too weak to do anything, let along produce new flowers.
Your passion flowers may also not be blooming due to poor pruning, this is actually more common than many people think. You don’t really need to prune the plant except in just a few special circumstances or to maintain a shape. Over-aggressive pruning or pruning at the wrong time may result in your removing new growth or buds in error. There’s nothing left then to develop into flowers. Passion flowers flower on the current year’s growth, this means pruning too late can remove the shoots that are going to produce the flowers.
What to do
Check out the Watering section in Passiflora caerulea – Growing and caring for passion flowers for more information. Plus read the article Pruning passion flowers to find out when and how to prune these plants to encourage more flowers and not remove flowering shoots by mistake.