Passion flower was discovered in 1569 in Peru by Spanish explorers, who prepared teas from the leaves of the plant and soon realized its relaxing and sedative properties. The word spread of this incredible plant, and it soon became popular throughout the world.
Today, passion flower is grown and harvested in most countries for its medicinal remedies. It is useful for treating sleeping problems, nervousness and anxiety, as well as for relieving symptoms of menopause.
How To Grow Passion Flower Indoors
There are several varieties of passion flower, but we recommend Passiflora incarnata, which is a hearty climber with large, purple flowers.
- Obtain fresh passion flower seeds and scuff them lightly on one side with sandpaper. Doing this will aid in their germination.
- Place the seeds in a container and cover with warm water.
- Place the container on a heat source, such as a heating pad. You want to ensure that the water maintains a lukewarm temperature.
- Let the seeds soak for about two days.
- Several of the seeds will begin to float. These seeds are no good, and you can remove and discard them.
- Remove the good seeds and place them on a surface where they can air dry.
- Passion flower grows well in a poor, but moist soil, so many cultivators use loam, which is a mixture of sand, silt and clay. If you can’t use loamy soil, any soil will do; just make sure that it is consistently moist and irrigated.
- Start with several six-inch pots. Fill the pots with your soil, leaving one inch of space at the top.
- Place three seeds in the center of the pot, leaving one-fourth of an inch of space, separating each seed from the others.
- Press the seeds one-half an inch into the soil, but don’t cover them.
- Cover the pots with plastic wrap or a see-through bag and place them back onto the heating pad – at a low temperature.
- The seeds could take anywhere from two weeks to two months to sprout. Have patience!
- Keep the soil moist throughout this process.
- After the seeds sprout, you can remove the pots from the heating pad. Now, place them in a window with full sunlight.
- In the summer, irrigate the soil as needed, keeping it moist.
- In the winter, allow the top of the soil to dry between waterings slightly.
- Transplant the plants to larger pots as needed.
How to Care for Indoor Passion Flower
Passion flower is a rambunctious climber, and its tendrils will wrap around anything that they touch. Therefore, you want to provide an indoor tressel or climbing source.
Keep the plant trimmed, and guide the vine to grow around your climbing structure to keep it from getting out of control. Remove any dried leaves or flowers.
You will know fruit is ripe when it is soft and ready to fall off of the vine.
Keep the vine in full sunlight, if possible. However, if the sunlight is too hot so that it is drying out the plant, passion flower will tolerate partial sunlight.
How to Harvest Passion Flower
- Take the leaves (and stems if you want to use them) from the plant and dry them in a single layer.
- You can dry them on a drying screen or in a dehydrator.
- Put the dried leaves and stems into an airtight container.
- Store them in a dry, dark and cool location.
How to Use Passion Flower Medicinally
Passion Flower Tea Recipe
As a relaxing tea, passion flower can be brewed alone, or it blends well with chamomile, St. John’s wort, lemon balm and valerian. The color of the tea will be a light, pale green. It is good as a hot or iced tea.
- One tbsp. dried leaves and stems. (Some people use the dried flower, as well.)
- One cup of boiling water.
- Pour the boiling water onto the passion flower stems and leaves, as well as any other herbs you plan on using, and let it steep for about 10 minutes.
- If you desire a sweet taste, add natural honey.
Passion Flower Salad
The flowers are edible and can be a great, tasty addition to any salad. The flowers also have a calming effect, and eating a daily salad with passion flowers can help to reduce anxiety.
Passion Flower Tincture or Extract:
If you don’t like to drink tea, passion flower can be made into a tincture to add to water or juice.
You can sip on it throughout the day to help relieve anxiety or take 30-44 drops at bedtime to help aid with sleep.
- Fill up a clear jar with chopped-up, dried stems and leaves.
- Pour in 100 proof vodka, making sure the herb is completely saturated.
- Shake the jar daily.
- Let it sit for two weeks, and then strain out the leaves and stems.
- Keep the batch in a dark colored jar, in a dark place.
- Keep some in a dropper bottle so that you can easily measure out the drops.
- Add 30-44 drops into a water bottle or to the juice of your choice, up to three times a day. Sip on this to reduce daily anxiety.
- Directly ingest 30-44 drops at bedtime for a stronger effect.
Passion Fruit Jam
If your indoor vine grows fruit, you can make homemade passion fruit jam!
- Six passion fruits
- Two cups of water and one-fourth cup of water
- Two and one-third cups of sugar
- Half a lime
- First, cut each passion fruit in half.
- Cut out the pulp and seeds. (You will need about one and one-third cup of pulp.)
- Cover the pulp and put it in the refrigerator.
- Take half of the skins, and add to a bowl with the two cups of water.
- Let the skins soak for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
- The next day, boil the skin/water mix that is still in the bowl.
- Boil for 12 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
- Peel the outer skin off of the shells.
- Mash the softened, skinless shells into a pulp and add the one-fourth cup of water and blend.
- Add the shell pulp, the saved pulp from the day before and the sugar into a stainless steel pot. Squeeze in the juice from half of a fresh lime.
- Boil the mix for about 15 minutes.
- Let it cool off a little and transfer the mix to clear jars. Let it cool completely before sealing.
- Enjoy! This is a nice and thick jam, having the texture close to a marmalade.
Passion flower is a delightful herb plant to grow indoors. And unlike other herbal plants, passion flower really puts on a show with its large, beautiful blooms.