Monday, July 5, 2010

It seemed like a good idea at the time

I really wanted a passionfruit vine. I never thought in my wildest dreams it would be this invasive. It started innocent, 3 little vines growing along a trellis, they were supposed to just fill the trellis and any tendrils overgrowing would just be pruned.

It turns out these are lillikoi or yellow passionfruit Passiflora edulis var. flavicarpa - read up on it and you'll discover this vigorous vine quickly smothers and engulfs anything in its path.

Here's the problem, its taking over a substantial part of the garden, not only vinining and smothering everything in its path, its also growing on the ground, space that I normally use to grow squash and pumpkins in the fall. Not only has it overgrown the trellis to the point that the wires basically snapped and can no longer support the weight, its engulfing the largest plant in my garden, a travellers palm. If you just turn your back on it and come back a few days later, the tendrils are starting to vine into anything in its path.

If it was laden with delicous yellow passionfruit, I might overlook its aggressive behavior, but after flowering on an off since January 2010, I have yet to see a single fruit.

 I have to make a decision about it soon, before it becomes almost impossible to get rid of it. Another reason why its hard to get rid of it - I see tonnes of Gulf Fritillary butterflies around it, its one of their hosts plants.


  1. Sounds like you need to chunk it for sure. I love my trumpet vine in the middle of my garden, but they are notoriously invasive too. Good luck ! Gina

  2. My neighbor keeps planting vines on our mutual jamsine fence and it is taken over by passionflower vine, morning glory vine and some other small light perple vine. It is one big, giant mess...but as you say the butterlies love it, and it is so pretty!!!

  3. Yeah, its quite a decision to make. Its basically the last "unused" space in my garden, I have some other plans for it down the line, i.e. when the valencia pride mango starts casting its shadow over the area, I am considering some shade loving plants, until then I'd like to grow some squash or something that will actually be productive there.

  4. I had a similar experience iwth a blue sky vine. We ended up digging it out and the root mass was about the size of 3 bowling balls.

    My neighbor had one removed and said that the root extended through her next door neighbor yard and into another - that's three yeards!

    Good luck. There is no time like the present. Just saying.