Garden Photo of the Day

A maypop invasion!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Nedra Stephenson

Let’s finish off this last full week of 2013 with something fun! Nedra Stephenson in Milan, Missouri, sent in this photo last month.

She says, “How many pops could a maypop pop if a maypop could pop pops? This “mess” came from one passion vine plant planted the year before. All came up from seeds. I had no idea that they could be so aggressive, but I enjoyed them this year. If the summer had lasted any longer, they might have taken over the farm.”

Oh, if ONLY I could get a passion flower vine to grow this well, Nedra! I’ve tried…and tried….and tried…and finally given up. This is super cool! Have a great weekend, everyone!

——I know you all are STILL feeling all lazy, sitting around the house after Christmas, goofing off…….So how about you go take a photographic stroll through the photos you took in your garden this year, and send some in to me! [email protected]….. Thanks!


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/27/2013

    I've given up trying to grow passion flowers as well. I've seen them growing around me, but my efforts fail. Now I see that with my limited garden space, maybe my failure is a good thing! I still love those flowers!

  2. flowerladydi 12/27/2013

    I too have given up on passion flowers,,,, one year I had a potted one and was exctatic when I saw ONE flower!!!,,,,, too frustrating here,,,,, but what fun for you Nedra to watch that takeover in your yard! What is one's joy can be another's nemesis! -:)
    Fun post!

  3. user-1020932 12/27/2013

    this same thing almost happened to me. planted one and it was more vigorous that kudzu. i'm still digging out plants several years later. very cool flowers though but i'll enjoy them in the wild rather than my yard from now on

  4. user-1020932 12/27/2013

    P.S. watch out for that Vinca major in the pot on the right hand side of the photo. they escape and can quickly take over entire beds

  5. Aarchman07030 12/27/2013

    If you're going to be over-run, I guess it's better to succumb to a pretty face...

    I second tntreeman on the vinca major. I was so busy battling Japanese Knotweed 2 years ago that I didn't notice the sweetly innocuous Vinca Major was making a major land-grab of its own.

  6. GardenGrl1 12/27/2013

    I'm thinking about that innocent little passion flower I planted on the side of the house last year...

    As of last season, the only aggressive volunteer growers I had were heirloom tomatoes and dill.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful flowers!

  7. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/27/2013

    Nedra, that is quite a sight, without a doubt. I, too, probably would have succumbed to the temptation to see just how many of the little reseeded volunteers would produce a bloom and what the effect would be with a passionflower carpet. As Michelle said, "super cool." Now that you've experienced their fertility and vigor in your garden, what is your plan for next year?
    And, I can't believe that I never knew that the passionflower vine was called maypop. I have heard of maypop but I thought it was something completely different...thanks for the education.

  8. pattyspencer 12/27/2013

    Wow - gorgeous flowers but what an invansion! I too have always wanted one of these but since my talent seems to be buying something innocent that turned it's ugly head maybe I'll pass it up. I have far too many plants that have done what this pretty little thing has done and I'm still dealing with the aftermath years later - lol

  9. wGardens 12/27/2013

    Yes, a fun post this morning! And made for a great photo. I, too, wonder what your plan for this area is for next year. BTW- I like the colors of your home!

  10. Doxnmom 12/27/2013


    They are beautiful, and I don't find they strangle other plants or buildings unlike wisteria. They seem to be easy to pull out of the ground if there are too many.

  11. greengenes 12/27/2013

    Well good morning to all and to all a good fright! Man! Is that a beautiful sight to all of us who have tried to grow a passion vine! And to find out it is a may pop! Love it! And to those who can grow these...well just enjoy it! They are a beautiful flower! It prompts me to get another one and try it. Here in the north west we don't get too much hot sun for a length of time which I think the pops need. But that's part of the fun of gardening ...try and try again. Try new things and explore! It seems I cant get enough! Thanks so much for sharing! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL AND MAY THIS YEAR AHEAD BE FILLED WITH PEACE AND GOOD HEALTH AND LOTS OF TIME IN YOUR GARDENS!

  12. portulaca 12/27/2013

    Nedra, my mantra for this summer will be "please, come invade me." It is comforting to know i'm not alone in not getting blossoms. Maypop grew wild on my grandparent's land in this region. Same soil, same weather. Were I to submit a picture of my maypop vine, readers would see nothing but lush vine taking over the area--nope I did not fertilize it. I planted my maypop two summers ago. It was very mature when purchased and the vine grew like crazy right away. lots of blossoms appeared, then caterpillars quickly moved in and feasted ever single blossom away before thye could even open. Visions of jelly quickly went south. The second summer, last summer, caterpillers weren't an issue because hardly a blossom ever formed on the vine for them to eat. Again, no jelly! We shall see what this summer brings. Maypop does very well in the coastal Georgia area. It has ideal growing conditions in my yard. All ideas are appreciated.

  13. GrannyMay 12/27/2013

    Nedra I'd be happy to receive a few unwanted seedlings! It's always interesting to hear about what is invasive and what isn't. Few people seem to grow passion vine here, although I have seen some locally that are thriving. I didn't know it was called Maypop - it certainly didn't pop for me - it never bloomed and then eventually died. On the other hand, I regularly pull out vinca and ivy, but Lamium galeobdolon seems determined to bury my entire garden, including the shrubs and trees!

  14. cwheat000 12/27/2013

    Beautiful invasion. I don't mind aggressive plants as long as they pull out of the ground easily. I have no experience with this plant. This might be the year to give those amazing flowers a try.

  15. tractor1 12/27/2013

    Ach, just one grinchy photo, I'd love to see more, and if ever there was an opportunity for a close up those passion flowers were it. I'm intrigued by your big barn, it looks like it belongs on a huge property, perhaps a farm, there has to be more views to photograph. That tangle of passsion flower vine must be a bird paradise, and all those feeders and a bird bath make that area complete but there has to be more. The close to 2013 is drawing nigh, I hope everyone enjoys its last weekend.

  16. kershawgirl 12/27/2013

    They used to grow wild on my parents' farm in rural S.C. I remember seeing them near the border of woods behind their house. They were at home among the briars and undergrowth of oak and gum trees and other indigineous southeastern growth like "huckleberries" which as I gather are wild blackberries. Is that right? I love seeing such intricate flowers in the landscape.

  17. joycedaffodilhill 12/27/2013

    What a joy! Growing up in West Virginia these grew wild around the railroad tressle bridge. Loved to walk there in summer as the perfumed with the smell. Tried for 20 years to transplant one of them with no luck. Finally begged my sisters to hike there and send me two or three. Got it on the grandchildren swing set. Lovely odor. Then it came up in the grass: 33 plants. Yes I counted as husband concerned his great lawn was being invaded. Transplanted to fence and doing swell. What a great childhood memory. A fence of trellis will help. Interesting fruit produced by them as well. Boys like to play ball with them in fall.

  18. annek 12/27/2013

    I have two very sad sickly passion vines growing in my small greenhouse...I'm taking your maypop photo out to show them what they're supposed to grow in to. :-).

    Great end-of-the-year fun! Thanks for sharing

  19. janeeliz 12/28/2013

    AWESOME! What fun! I love them altho I've never had much luck keeping them going. I buy a new one most years.

  20. user-1020932 12/28/2013

    i don't think i have ever seen a native passionflower available for sale or i haven't noticed one. it's always the tropical ones i see .
    kershawgirl, here in east tennessee what we call huckleberries are like very small blueberries

  21. PennyJPumpernickle 12/30/2013

    I live in Mid-Missouri and can't get rid of the maypop at my pad. I am hoping they don't mingle with my gourd patch this next summer and crowd them out.

    There are several maypop pods hanging on my back fence right now. I DO admit I love to taste the seeds when they are ripe. They taste like grape pop to me.

    If you want to know the secret to growing passion vines, go out and say nasty things to them, and you'll have a tangle of vines the next thing you know. Just ask me...grrrr...

  22. Oklahoma_Bunny 01/15/2014

    You can buy native passion flower vines at a wonderful specialty grower, Bustani Plant Farm, located in Stillwater, OK. They don't do mail order, but you can submit an order and pick it up during their open dates in the spring or fall. It is worth a trip!

    Their 2014 Catalogs are out and you can pre-order for spring now. Check out their website to see their extensive collection of natives and tropicals that Steve and Ruth have collected and offer for sale.

    I am a very satisfied customer - as you can probably guess! I am lucky to live here, but lots of customers travel here just to visit Bustani.

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