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It is completely normal for the passion flower to develop some yellow leaves in autumn or winter. These can easily be taken out. However, if the exotic passiflora suddenly withers completely, there is more to it than that. In this case, however, panic is usually not appropriate, because there are usually no dangerous diseases behind the limp leaves, but care mistakes that can be corrected with a portion of care.

Passion flower suddenly dies

Sometimes you buy plants without knowing exactly how to take care of them. If you want them to develop well and possibly bloom vigorously, the question of the perfect location arises. Knowing how often to water and fertilize is just as important. For this reason it happens from time to time that the otherwise robust passion flower gets withered leaves and sheds the flowers. If the exotic climbing plant suddenly dies, the question arises as to what the possible causes are and what to do.


If you notice that your Passiflora is starting to weaken, this requires your intervention. The sooner you find out the cause and take measures to counteract the situation, the greater the chance of reviving the ailing plant. However, many hobby gardeners are quite helpless in the face of this problem and wonder what to do. First of all, keep calm. Since the causes of the withered leaves can be varied, it is best to proceed systematically. To do this, subject the entire plant and also the external influences to a thorough examination.


In relation to their lush foliage, passion flower plants only have a very sparsely developed root system. For this reason, the plants are very sensitive to both waterlogging and drought. If a passion flower suddenly dies, in most cases this is due to unfavorable watering behavior. The passion flower needs a lot of water, especially during flowering. With a lack of water or intense heat, the flowers dry up prematurely and the leaves first turn yellow and wither, later they dry up and fall off.


To check if the root ball has dried out, just looking in the pot is not enough. The soil is often only superficially dry and the bale is still damp half a centimeter below this dry layer. Therefore, press your thumb or forefinger a little deeper into the ground. If the entire substrate is dust-dry, the Passiflora simply lacks water. A short immersion bath will help until no more air bubbles rise. But then let the pot drain well to avoid waterlogging.

notice: Use rainwater or low-calcium tap water to water passion flowers, as most species are sensitive to high levels of lime.


If passion flowers are left in water for a long time, the roots can rot and die. Therefore, first look in the cachepot. Has water accumulated here? Do water and root balls already smell foul? If so, then it is usually not enough to simply let the passion flower dry for a few days. Fungi can penetrate the plant through the dead roots and the passion flower inevitably dies.


Remove as much of the substrate as possible. If the entire bale has rotted, repotting has no effect. If there is only partial death, cut off the affected shoots with a clean knife or scissors. Then plant the passion flower in a new, clean pot with fresh, well-drained substrate. Don't forget to lay a drainage layer of clay granules right away. It is best to put some pebbles in the cachepot so that the water can drain better from the bale in the future.

heat damage

For some problems that occur with passionflower, the direct cause is no longer apparent once the damage occurs. This is particularly the case when temperatures are high or too low for a short period of time. On particularly hot or windy days, the young shoots of passion flowers that spend the summer on the balcony or terrace cannot be supplied with water through the roots to the same extent as the moisture evaporates through the leaves at the same time. This is also possible if the soil in the pot is actually sufficiently moist. In this case, however, only the younger shoots usually drop their leaves and become wilted. If the leaves turn silvery, it means sunburn.


In most cases, the withered shoots can no longer be saved. Be sure to place the plant in a sheltered location so that the problem does not occur again in the future:

  • South window: provide light shade in the midday hours
  • place alternatively on east or west windows
  • Balcony: Protection from the blazing midday sun
  • alternatively shade the root area

cold damage

Whether a passion flower is hardy depends primarily on the species and the location. The natural range of the approximately 500 species of Passiflora stretches from warm South and Central America to cooler North America. Most species come from the tropical and subtropical regions of the world and are not hardy here.


Once individual shoots have frozen, they cannot be resuscitated and die off. Just wait a few days and cut out the dried areas generously.

  • Be sure to place balcony plants in their winter quarters in good time
  • depending on the species between 5 °C and 15 °C
  • always as bright as possible
  • Check the apartment for drafts (tilted window, drafty hallway)
  • change location

If the entire Passiflora dies off, only the radical method will help. Cut off all shoots up to about ten centimeters above the ground and overwinter the plant in a cool but frost-free place. Next spring we will see whether the passion flower has survived the cold shock and will sprout again. Don't forget to check the substrate from time to time and water it if necessary.

lack of light

To a certain extent, it is perfectly normal for passion flowers to drop a few leaves in winter quarters. However, if the foliage turns yellow over a large area, the following causes are possible:

  • cold air
  • a place directly above the heater
  • too little light


Passion flowers also need a lot of light in the winter months, but best in combination with a cool, frost-free area. The plant does not survive a dark or too cold hibernation and dies. In an emergency, a special plant lamp provides more light.

Incorrect amounts of nutrients

Both too low and too high nutrient levels in the substrate have a significant impact on the health of the passion flower. The climbing plant is one of the heavy feeders that should be fertilized regularly in spring and summer. During the winter months, fertilizing is stopped completely. Watering with calcareous tap water increases the pH value in the substrate so that the plant can no longer absorb iron and chlorosis occurs. This can be recognized by the pale leaves with dark veins.


Relatively old and large plants that also grow in a cramped planter should preferably be fertilized once a week to ensure a secure supply. When it comes to amounts, however, always stick to the recommended dose on the packaging. Iron chelates supply the plant with the important trace element in the short term.

  • transfer to a larger pot
  • Remove as much of the old soil as possible
  • use fresh, well-drained substrate

notice: After repotting, you do not need to fertilize at all for a few weeks, as the plant is well supplied with nutrients.

diseases and pests

Although the exotic climbing plants are quite robust and resistant, diseases or sucking insects can occasionally occur. If you don't act early enough, the plant will die of weakness.

tip: As a precautionary measure, place newly purchased passion flowers isolated from the other plants so as not to endanger the entire stock.

red spider mites

lice and mites

Especially in winter quarters that are too warm or drafty, the plants are susceptible to infestation with spider mites and aphids. Therefore, examine your plant regularly, especially the undersides of the leaves and the tips of the shoots.

First aid

Cut out all heavily infested parts of the plant and dispose of them in the household waste. Then wash the leaves thoroughly. A mixture of water, detergent and alcohol or neem oil in water is recommended for spraying against the pests. Spray the passion flower with a flower sprayer for three days in a row (do not forget the underside of the leaves). Then again after one and two weeks to kill off the next generation.

tip: To prevent pest infestation, the climbing star should be sprayed with water more often in winter.

fungal infections

If the entire passion flower wilts within a few days and the cause is neither dryness nor waterlogging, then the vascular bundles are likely to be infected with fungi or bacteria. Now it's a matter of acting quickly, because the plant can no longer be saved if the fungus infestation is advanced. A fungal infestation is easy to recognize:

  • healthy vascular bundles: spongy and white
  • with fungal infection: hollow stems, brown coloring inside


Cut off all wilted shoots generously. To prevent the fungus from advancing further, you must use a clean, sterile tool to cut into the healthy tissue. At the same time it is necessary to pot up the plant to take a closer look at the roots.

  • remove rotten roots
  • use a new pot (risk of infection again)
  • alternatively: rinse the old pot with boiling water
  • Pot in fresh, well-drained soil

For the next few weeks it is necessary to place the passion flower in partial shade and shelter to stimulate rerooting. Please do not fertilize the plant during this time, as high amounts of nutrients inhibit root growth.

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