Pruning passion flowers: when & how


For me plants are some of the most exciting living beings, even though they live in slow motion. They have fascinating abilities and just so much potential! That's why I studied organic farming. However, since plants are rather thin on the ground in my city, I often spend time hiking in the nearby mountains at the weekend. In the future I would love to run a farm myself.

Favourite fruit: strawberries and gooseberries
Favourite vegetable: courgettes

Since passion flowers tend to spread out, they need to be pruned from time to time. We show what to consider when pruning passion flowers.

Long passion flower with many leaves
Since passion flowers grow very quickly and take up a lot of space, they need to be pruned thoroughly regularly [Photo: pisitpong2017/]

Passion flowers (Passiflora) can sometimes form long tendrils. So pruning now and then is quite appropriate. Here we have summarised the best way for you to do this.

Passion flowers are very tolerant of pruning and therefore do not resent a decent pruning. Since they are true climbers and can grow very large, pruning may even become essential – at the latest when the question arises about the winter quarters.

When is it best to prune passion flower?

In principle, you should prune your passion flower in the spring before it starts growing again. For planted specimens whose above-ground biomass has frozen over the winter, you can now remove the dead plant parts. If the above-ground parts have survived or if the passion flower was overwintered indoors, pruning is now also an option.

Purple passion flower
The best time to prune passion flowers is spring

However, you can also do the pruning in autumn before moving to the winter quarters for overwintering passion flower. By this time, the growing season is largely over and a good pruning will certainly make it easier for you to find a suitable place to keep the plant over winter.

How and how much should passion flowers be pruned?

Since passion flowers bloom only on young and woody shoots, you should cut back the older shoots of passion flowers. In addition, pruning leads to more branching, which is quite desirable. The shoots can be cut back to 15 cm, but in such a way that some buds still remain. More than five buds are not necessary. The young shoots then emerge freshly from these in spring. Be sure to use a clean, sharp tool such as a knife or pruning shears for pruning to avoid disease transmission.

Several blue-purple passion flowers
Remove old woody shoots to get your passion flowers to bloom beautifully the following year

Summary: Pruning passion flowers

  • The optimal time is shortly after the start or just before the end of the growing season, that is, in autumn or spring before the new shoots appear
  • Cut back older shoots in particular, as Passion flowers bloom only on woody shoots
  • Pruning possible up to 15 cm
  • Use clean, sharp tools for pruning

For more on proper care for your passion flower, see our dedicated article.

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