Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' Propagation Frenzy

May 9, 2014

My Passiflora 'Mission Dolores' is climbing over the side of the fence. I decided now was a good time to cut it back and to propagate it.

For those not familiar with the hybrid it is P. parritae x P. antioquiensis, Carlos Rendon's hybrid. A while ago he brought a cutting in bud/bloom to a sale at the SF Botanical Garden (Strybing Arboretum). The flowers are 7 inches in diameter; the peduncles (flower stems) up to 2 feet long. Wow.

This is a picture of the plant at Strybing, growing in the trees. Unfortunately, it is now dead following December's freezes (27 F at Strybing?).


Here's what my cuttings looked like initially. For some reason the photo strikes me as looking like less material than there really was...

After chopping them into mostly 2 node cuttings, with a few 3 node cuttings:

After further trimming the leaves (i.e. yanking them off manually). At this stage I counted 42 cuttings:

I potted these up in moist perlite (see the protocol at the bottom) after touching the very ends to 0.1% IBA (Rootone).

A "dome" (inverted plastic cup) on the top maintains humidity during rooting:

I'll follow up what happens to these guys, probably potting up rooted cuttings in 3 weeks. I'll donate a few successful plants for postage (hopefully--sometimes vigorous rooted cuttings don't make it): 1 for the first 5 successful plants, 1 more for every 10 after that. So 3 plants if I get 25 successes. I live in a borderline climate for this hybrid (or either parent) and I'm not inclined to send them to their deaths. Plants for postage will go for Sunset zones 15-17, 22-24 or the equivalent with a greenhouse. Such a greenhouse would likely already be full of cool-growing Andean species.

Here is a link that might be useful: Method for propagating cuttings

Comments (20)

  • morningloree

    I really like your propagation methods. I hope you find wonderful homes, for your cuttings, it's a beautiful passionflower that unfortunately really doesn't like Florida!

  • daveh_sf

    Randy, why do you tear the leaves instead of cutting them with a razor or sharp shears?

    I do one additional thing - I spray the cuttings and the inside of the top dome with a fungicide (I use Physan 20) immediately before putting the dome on to help prevent rot.

    I hope you're keeping everything cool during this heat wave!

  • mark4321_gw

    Hi Dave,

    I tear the leaves based on a suggestion by Myles Irvine: "I now tear the leaves by hand rather than clip them as this will reduce intercellular damage." taken from his site, link at bottom.

    Thinking about it, I wonder if it's true, particularly for a sharp blade (such as an unused razor blade). It's marginally easier to do it manually.

    Thanks for the fungicide recommendation. I have a lot more fungus problems up here than I had in my old location, closer to San Jose.

    We are supposed to hit 91 today, but I'm in Palo Alto right now, which is supposed to be five degrees warmer. This is already our second heat wave of the year. Only one more day, though. At least they are always brief; Saturday/Sunday/Monday's forecast highs are 70/69/68, low 50s at night.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Myles Irvine's tips for rooting cuttings

  • daveh_sf

    This reminds me of the tearing-vs-cutting lettuce leaves debate, which is still unresolved and apparently the method makes no difference. I took some parritae leaves to do a test. I tore some and cut some with a razor. I looked at the edges under a microscope and saw very little difference. I did notice that young leaves stretch quite a bit before they will tear, which makes me wonder if cells away from the edge get damaged.

    A branch of my very old and very large antioquiensis which was growing in a direction where it got a little direct sun (under 1 hour) got fried to a crisp in Tuesday;s 90F heat. The rest of the plant is fine. Cooler today. Whew!

  • mark4321_gw

    Hi Dave,

    Is this the same P. antioquiensis you have posted pictures of (on the "other" forum, whose name we cannot mention...). And also the source of a high percentage of the P. antioquiensis seeds in this country? It's all from one plant, over the last few years?

    Have you ever heard of seedlings of your plant, or any of its progeny growing elsewhere, turn out to be hybrids of any sort (without any human intervention)? I ask because I want to assure someone that seeds from Bill H's plant are pretty much certainly pure P. antioquiensis. Probably I should ask Bill directly as well. As far as I'm aware he had no other Tacsonias blooming at the time.

  • socalbill

    Hi Mark:

    The seeds are pure antioquiensis. My first seeds were from Dave H., but I never germinate/send seeds to anyone that are not from a flower I selfed myself. I tag all the flowers with a twist tie when I pollinate them, and If a fruit turns up that I didn't tag, I never use it for seed.

    How did you guys do with the recent heat? I see Dave had a little damage to his antio. We were over 100 degrees, with Santa Ana winds and single digit humidity, for three days in a row but the heat has dropped off today. I have some burning on the antioquiensis, but the damage is fairly minor. 'Mission Dolores' and the parritae came through the heat without damage but I was out watering and spraying them four or five times a day to try and keep them going. One of the parritae seedlings (seed via Australia, not Strange and Wonderful) has some burning but it will outgrow the damage.

    There was a heavy fruit set this year so if you need some seeds I'll have a lot of them once the fruits start to ripen. After this round of heat, I probably won't have any more flowers with functional pollen, so I'm probably done with the morning pollinations for the rest of the year.

  • mark4321_gw

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for the followup on P. antioquiensis. I think you are aware of the situation here. For many years there were plants claimed to be P. antioquiensis that were in fact hybrids (I think generally P. x exoniensis). So when the true species came along, those nurseries that had it wanted to be 100% certain that they had the right thing. So even now they would prefer to see their plants bloom first. I will pass along what you said and hopefully that will dispel any remaining doubts. I will email you soon also.

    I know that Annie's Annuals did sell P. antioquiensis (still sells the plant sometimes?). As far as I'm aware they are the only nursery source of the plant. Hopefully that will change.

    At our airport a little more than a mile away (which is closer to the Bay, and may be a degree or two cooler) temps Monday through Thursday were 86/51, 91/ 59, 91/62, 87/62. We did hit 13%, 13%,15%, 12% humidity those days. However, it should be pointed out that the low humidity is associated with cooling at night. If we had two or three days days of 91/75 I'm sure the plants would have suffered more.

    I don't see any obvious damage to Tacsonias. Perhaps some of the very tender new growth on a few P. membranacea seedlings got damaged(?).

  • mark4321_gw

    I went ahead and opened up one of the eight rooting chambers on Sunday, so after 9 days. I found that three of the six cuttings had roots--a very good sign. I went ahead and potted those with any roots (in a perlite-rich mix). I put the other three back in perlite. My original plan was to let these go a full 3 weeks...

  • mark4321_gw

    I took a look at the rest of the cuttings on Tuesday the 27th (so 18 days, a little shy of 3 weeks). This includes the 3 that hadn't rooted of the first 6. There were 28 with roots, 13 without:

  • mark4321_gw

    So I potted up everything that had roots, which I guess gives a total of 31 in pots. We'll see how many make it. And of course, more should root...

  • merkity

    out of curiousity, what does everyone do with all the new plants once they are rooted up and growing nicely? at some point you run out of room....( at least i do)

  • mark4321_gw

    Trade, give away, sell, donate. Depending on the circumstances.

  • waterwise999

    New to the forum here. After reading a few of your posts about Mission Dolores, I am interested in trying it out in my garden. It looks like it will do well in San Francisco where I live. Would you please provide a suggestion where to get one? Thanks.

  • mark4321_gw

    waterwise999, I still need to respond to your email from two days ago.

    Here's the current status of what I rooted. I have about 15 still alive. The 5 best are in the photo below. In general I've been slow to move them to spots with significant morning sun. Most of the other 10 stayed inside for too long.

    As for where to buy the plant, here are some possibilities:

    Grassy Knoll Exotic Plants. It looks like they have a wait list. You would have to ask Elizabeth how long it might take. This might be the simplest way to get one.

    SF Botanical Garden (Strybing Arboretum). A good source for larger plants. There's a sale Saturday. I don't know if they will have Passifloras. They lost a lot of propagated plants in last December's freeze. Possibly they have P. 'Mission Dolores', but I would be surprised if they have much big enough, in the immediate future. It's always worth asking Carlos Rendon (who made the hybrid), if he is at a sale.

    Annie's Annuals. In the past their plants looked good. However, I don't know if/when they will be selling again.

    I've also seen P. 'Mission Dolores' at the Dry Garden in Oakland, 1 gallon for a good price. I don't know if they still carry it.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Sales at SF Botanical Garden (Strybing Arboretum)

  • mark4321_gw

    I don't think I posted these here, but apologies if this is a repeat. This is my P. 'Mission Dolores' blooming in mid July. It had a couple flowers open two days ago. Nothing today, but more should open in the next couple days. As before, it blooms mostly in the darkest corner of my growing area. Notice that the buds are pale instead of their normal red color.

  • mark4321_gw

    And one at night:

  • mark4321_gw

    Since I have it, one of the flowers from 2 days ago, plus a bud.

  • morningloree

    Absolutely gorgeous.

  • mark4321_gw

    Thanks, Dawn, it is an amazing hybrid. The person who deserves all credit is, of course, the hybridizer, Carlos Redon (who also brings us many other species and hybrids, Passifloras and otherwise). I just sunk a healthy plant in the ground, provided water, occasionally fertilizer, and a place to climb, sort of. Interestingly, Carlos has expressed surprise that the plant has done so well in my sunny, "warm", "dry" climate. The last three summers we have averaged about 75/55-60. I'm also just a couple miles from the cool SF Bay. I believe he assumes are summer temps are 5 degrees warmer, more like nearby Palo Alto (or San Jose). Regardless, all of these areas are 10+ degrees warmer than SF, and not the ideal environments for growing these plants.

  • HU-860436347

    Hi , would anyone have Seeds or cuttings or plant I could purchase ? I have been looking for Mission Dolores vine. Thank you!

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