Maypop Weed Control: Tips On Getting Rid Of Wild Passionflowers

Maypop Weed Control: Tips On Getting Rid Of Wild Passionflowers

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By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Maypop passionflower plants (Passiflora incarnata) are native plants that attract bees, butterflies and other important pollinators. The passionflower plant is so lovely that it’s hard to believe it is a troublesome weed in warm climates where the rampant growth isn’t naturally reined in by winter freezes. Let’s learn more about getting rid of wild passionflowers.

Maypop Weed Control

In certain areas, including the southeastern United States, tangled patches of wild passionflower weeds cause problems in hay fields, croplands, wooded areas, pastures, on rocky slopes and along roadsides.

Wild passionflowers grow rapidly by means of an extensive system of underground roots, and getting rid of the plants isn’t an easy task. Read on to learn more about maypop weed control.

Getting Rid of Wild Passionflowers Naturally

If you want to control ornamental plants in your garden, remove suckers and wayward growth as soon as you notice it. Otherwise, you may be able to control a small stand of passionflower weeds by pulling the plants when the soil is moist.

Use a shovel or trowel to help with stubborn plants because any roots left behind will grow new plants. Dispose of the plants securely.

Maypop Weed Control with Herbicides

Unfortunately, manual control isn’t always possible with large stands of maypop vines and herbicides are required. Even with chemicals, large infestations are difficult to eradicate. Products containing 2, 4-D, triclopyr, dicamba or picloram have proven to be effective means of controlling woody or herbaceous weeds in pastures, rangelands and lawns, although repeat applications may be needed.

Be aware, however, that the products can kill any broadleaf or woody plant that comes in contact with the spray, including ornamental plants. Read the labels carefully and use herbicides appropriately, as the substances are highly toxic to people and animals. Herbicides are highly polluting when they leach into the groundwater, and may harm fish and aquatic birds.

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Read more about Passion Flower

In late summer, yellow oval fruit appears as the blossoms fade on the passionflower vine. The fruit tends to fall off the stems when ripe. Passion fruit can be eaten raw by popping them open and eating the pulp and crunchy seeds. Passion fruit is also cooked for jellies, jams and juice.

Hardy passionflower plants grow wild in the southeastern part of North America. The natural habitat includes the area between Virginia and Kentucky, south to Florida and Texas. It grows in fields, along roadsides and beside fences. It even forms thickets in sandy soil areas open to full sun exposure.

Controlling Passionflower Weeds - How To Manage Maypop Passionflower Plant - garden

Q: In summer where I grew up there were wild vines that bloomed similar to passion vine. They produced a globe-shaped fruit. As kids, we’d throw the ripe fruits at each other like bombs. My mother told us the fruits were edible – they tasted slightly sweet and contained lots of seeds. Is this wild maypop vine the same as passion vine?

A: Your memories coincide with mine. Maypops made GREAT ammunition for war games in abandoned fields! Passion vine, Passiflora incarnata, produced the edible fruit we pitched so passionately. Like morning glory vine, the seed of passion flower sprout in abundance and it sometimes becomes an easy-to-control weed.

Passion flower foliage is food for Zebra longwing, Julia and Gulf fritillary butterflies. Gardeners have selected improved cultivars of the vine, including ‘Lavender Lady’, ‘Blue Crown’ and ‘Ruby Glow’.

The frilly flowers, in shades of blue to purple-red are quite ornamental. I have an area where the vines grow and flower over nondescript azaleas each summer.

Passion flower care

  • Passiflora is considered as Hardy in USDA zones 5-9, but if the severe cold is threatened then they should be put in safe places or use heavy mulch. Most of its variety grow forward in 7-10 zones.
  • Since these are vines, they need support, you can use a trellis or fence to support them.
  • The acidic soil of these wines should be kept moist during the growing season, the moist soil is essential for the development of good flower and plant.
  • Add a balanced fertilizer (10-5-20) at the beginning of spring. Repeat after 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Maypop Flowers should be planted at the beginning of spring.


  • The Passiflora incarnata is a vine plant and it grows very fast. Therefore, pruning is required from time to time. Vine Prune has many reasons.
  • After pruning, the old vine comes with new stimulation and the plant starts to grow, and it increases the blossoming.
  • For the second year of the plant’s growth, people to prune the inactive plant.
  • To control the plant and to expand the new branches, need to be pruned.
  • The perfect time for maypop flower prune is late winter. At this time the plant does not grow much, so the pruning does not affect the plant’s growth. First sorting deadheads, and let them leave the highest buds in the branch. According to a general rule, the sorting of any plant should not exceed 33 percent, otherwise, it may die.

How To Control Your Neighbor’s Passion (vine)

Dear Arboretum Plant Information,Last year our neighbor planted passion fruit vines on his side of a retaining wall that separates our properties. They’ve been very prolific and are constantly climbing over the top of the wall and onto our side. We politely asked him to keep the vines trimmed, which he did, but our problems still weren’t over. Early this month we noticed a few young shoots popping up on dry hard compacted dirt on our side of the wall & in the cracks of a bricked patio floor which is flush against the wall. I tried using Roundup Weed & Grass killer a few times (streamed & foamed during some 80-mid 80 degree sunny weather) & later noticed that they were still growing (i.e. green & thriving). Initially the portion above soil seemed to die, but after a week, the shoots came back. I haven't sprayed any more since then & am waiting to let them grow long enough to match the growth on our neighbor's side. How do I get rid of these plants? Signed, Passionate in PasadenaDear Passionate,What’s probably happening is that the vine is sending out shoots from its roots. Spraying Roundup seems like a good idea, but it does present some problems:

Treating the shoots may kill your neighbors vine. Since the shoots that you are spraying are basically the same plant as your neighbors, spraying an herbicide like Roundup that is absorbed by the entire plant before it starts to work could result in not only the shoots you are spraying dying, but your neighbor’s entire vine dying as well.

Roundup takes a couple of weeks to show results. You’ve just sprayed these plants, give the Roundup some time to work.

Applying Roundup when it’s too hot will result in the plant’s tissues burning. Scorched plant tissue does not absorb Roundup, so the plant does not perish. You should apply roundup when the temps are below 85 degrees F. Preferably in the early morning when temperatures are low and any breezes are at a minimum. Errant exposure to Roundup spray can cause plants like roses to become deformed even from minute amounts of Roundup.

Treating expanding shoots with Roundup can be futile this is because the flow of nutrients in the plant (Roundup has to be taken up into the nutrient stream to be effective) should be in a direction towards the roots for Roundup to be effective. A newly expanding shoot has little capacity to make food, its expansion fueled by a nutrient flow with a net direction towards the tip of the shoot. So what you need to do is allow the shoots to grow until they are about a month old, and then spray them when temperatures are below 85 degrees F. This is because after a month the ability of the plant to make food for the plant is much higher than when it first started expanding and therefore an effective dose of Roundup will be delivered to the entire plant…which, like I mentioned above, may include your neighbors plant too.

So, how do you get rid of the shoots if you have decided you don’t want to kill your neighbor’s passion and not to use Roundup? Simply snap off the new shoots as soon as they appear.


Goal: Outline the different problems that can occur when growing this plant and how to combat them. Can be broken into three subsections: growing problems, pests, and diseases. revent and/or combat them.

Open with a few sentences on how prone this plant is to pests, diseases, and problems. Then, go into the specifics:

Growing Problems

Overall, passionflower is resistant to most diseases and pests, but there are a few that can give it some trouble.


Aphids are the most troublesome pest for passionflower vines.


Aside from the common diseases that affect most plants, your passiflora incarnata may suffer from root knot nematode. This causes the roots to thicken to the point of killing the plant entirely.

To avoid root knot nematode, it’s best to avoid the purple-fruited subspecies and opt for the yellow-fruited subspecies…these ones are more acidic and resistant to this affliction.

Goal: To answer common problems and questions about planting, caring for, harvesting, or storing this plant.​

Q. There are so many varieties of passionflower, which should I choose?

A. Some good varieties to choose are P. mooreana, P. karwinskii, and P. ‘Guglielmo Betto’.

Q. What is the history of the passionflower?

A. The name “passionflower” comes from the passion of the Christ. Missionaries named it as such because the three stamens of the flower represent the wounds of Christ, and the 12 petals represent the 12 apostles. The corona of the plant also is symbolic of the crown of thorns.

Watch the video: Growing, Harvesting and Eating Maypop Hardy Passion Fruit


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