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Thursday
Nov192015

Unusual Climbing Vines: Maypop (passiflora incarnata)

The Maypop vine is a perennial vine that is winter hardy to around USDA Zone 5.  She dies back at the top every year, and then pops back to life come May (thus "Maypop").  The flowers are very intricate and interesting when viewed up close.  One caveat with this plant: she likes to roam around and can become somewhat invasive.  In fact, she may move 20 or more feet from where you originally planted her until she finds a sunny spot that suits her best.  I tried setting her in a big ten gallon pot set into the ground, but she still managed to roam away and send new sprouts at some distance away from the buried pot.  Put her up in the best part of your garden near the nicest shed and she will still pack her bags and try to hitch a ride with some stranger to some new town across your state.  She is a dandy, but she is a rambler in oh so many ways.  You can hold her for a moment but you can never tame her to a domestic life of garden parties under the shade tree; she was born to leave you for someplace else; that's in her passionate nature.  She is often found in abandoned roadsides and fields of eastern north America, but I find her so interesting I decided to put up with her wild ways anyhow...she is such a garden Drama Queen but beautiful none the less.  She has foliage that supports specific native butterflies and has small seeded fruit that are almost edible.  Oh sure, you could plant a climbing rose instead, but this large climber is disease free and vigorous.  Keep her away from the house siding itself to avoid moisture damage, construct a trellis for this growing situation.